Game 159 - Mets
Cardinals 3, Mets 0
It's all incredibly uncanny . . . in addition to being an emotional disemboweling for those of us who haven't fled the Township in terror. The Cardinals, as if wanting to keep the Mets fans' hate for them at a simmer, send Joel Pineiro to the hill and he blanks the Mets. Blanks 'em -- when they've been notching six a runs a game with ease lately. Pedro throws as well as could be expected, maybe better (no thanks to Luis Castillo, who set the tone nicely by creating an unearned run in the 1st), and yet it's not enough.
The friggin' Cardinals -- if anything, we owed you one, you sons of bitches. Unbelievable.
Meanwhile, down in Philthadelphia, the fucking Braves issued one of the most hapless, soulless, and blatantly gutless displays possible for the second night in a row. There was a playoff-like atmosphere in Philly tonight, which should have been a clear indication of the choke job the Atlanta Braves would cough up. How I didn't see that coming . . . It almost felt illegal -- had they tanked it intentionally, they would have invariably looked more into the game. Sure, they ended up making it sort of close, but more bumbling errors (Chipper's meager and game-changing attempt last night needs an investigation) plus Met-killer John Smoltz sticking it to Glavine yet again with his own pants-crapping just reeked of a hated rival screwing our guys over any way they could. Fuck the Braves. Could not despise you more. Fuck you, Braves.
And yet . . . how can we blame anyone at all except the miserable Mets? All they needed to do was limp down the stretch to the finish, beating horrible teams half the time, maybe less. Not only have they not done it, they've melted down in every which-a-way possible. It's lampoonish, but nobody 'round these parts is chuckling.
Memo to all players, coaches, and executives in the New York Mets organization: The Washington Nationals are not a good a baseball team. Maybe the .453 winning percentage should've told you. They made each and every one of your pitchers look like they should consider a new vocation. The St. Louis Cardinals are a pathetic shell of the team they were a year ago, with season-ending injuries, national controversies, death, and other mild maladies decimating the club. They just shut you out when they had zero to play for and you had it all on the line. What the fucking flapjack roller-skate piece of crap tin foil Florida Marlins will do to you butternut pilgrims over the weekend might border on the criminal -- except that the violence will be of the cartoon variety, what with you caricature Bugs Bunny assclowns tripping over your sloppy selves from innings 1 to 9.
I want to give up on you. I deserve to, and if I had a rational stitch in my lobotomized head, I damn well would. I'd spend tomorrow night with friends, yukking it up over crunchy crudités and crisp Colorado ales, or with my young children, laughing and playing as only carefree, naïve youths who don't know the Mets score can. What will I end up doing, though? Donning yet another wanna-be lucky cap, drinking myself into vague numbness, and shouting at you as you sleepwalk through another contest with emotionless visages in the New York night.
I know you need to keep an even keel from top to bottom, but it just feels like I care a hell of a lot more about this than you guys do. I want to say I know that's not true, but it's hard. It's a gut-twisting, week-ruining, stranger-kicking kind of anxious, mostly internalized ire that I'm walking around town with now. It's torturous, and the only reason I'm still clinging to the rope of hope -- you know, the one tied to the trailer hitch as you careen wildly across the gravelly parking lot and into the pricker bushes while the guy in the flatbed throws darts at my eyes, ears and mouth -- is that there is still every chance (and by every I mean more fleeting than a BetaMax tape of Pauly Shore's career paid for with Susan B. Anthony dollars) that you bastards might pull this out.
Make no mistake: if you do, it will be a drop-to-your-knees, utterly overwhelming kind of redemptive, glorious moment that we couldn't possibly have felt if you had played the past week with the tiniest of sparks. If you don't, it will be career-defining ignominy for some of you and a truly bitter eternal memory for the rest. It will be baseball history, and not the good kind. You'll be referenced and embarrassed every year at this time. You'll be one very big and very bad joke.
But for God's sake, don't think about that now. All I want to see between now and Sunday evening is a non-stop manner of play that will make us say, "Those guys left every ounce of it out on that field. Wow." If we can really feel like you went through it right next to us, giving as much of your mental energy, physical stamina, concentration, sweat, effort, hustle, prayers, and just the best you've got, we'll all die together and be proud to be buried alongside one another. Or maybe we'll all be part of something historically great. Either way.
If we can't feel that, then go fuck yourselves. You're the fucking Braves. But right now my money's going the other way, despite every sensible instinct shouting out vehemently against it. Motherfucker, I'm a Mets fan -- Township-variety, and we simply know no other way than to get on the goddamn bus, sign our lives away, grab a cup, and see where this fucking thing takes us. All aboard.