Friday, September 26, 2008


Game 159 - Mets

Mets 7, Cubs (ss) 6
Record: 88-71
1 GB PHL in NL East, Tied with MIL for Wild Card

Just when I thought you couldn't get any more inept at this game, you go and do something like this . . . and totally redeem yourself!

Ah, to be able to borrow from Harry Dunn in the afterglow of an enormous Met victory last night on a Friday morning when the sun's peeking out from behind the clouds in South Hampton Roads . . . life is good. Could this weekend mangle the pleasantness of this moment beyond all recognition and recall? You betcha, but until that happens, let's bask in one night's comeback heroics.

A game ball goes to David Wright, who fanned AGAIN with Reyes on the basepaths as the winning run in the ninth inning. He gets the game ball for not grounding into an inning-ending double play. Honestly, these days, with him up and the game on the line, this is a reasonably positive result.

Another game ball goes to Daniel Murphy, who struck out right before D-W by trying to bunt with two strikes. If you listened carefully at that moment in any of the five boroughs, you would have heard an unmistakable, unanimous utterance by the entirety of Mets Township. For the kiddies who frolic about these pages, we'll leave out the gory details of the utterance, but let's just say it rhymes with well-known hunter's expression "Gut the duck." No worries, Danny Boy, an honest mistake by a young talent for whom the art of bunting looks a lot like one of Jackson Pollock's throwaways. Go get 'em next time.

And the biggest game ball -- the elephantitic game ball, I suppose -- goes to Ricardo Rincon. You know, I was amused but startled the other day when Peter Gammons delivered an unprovoked potshot by remarking with a chuckle that John Maine might be the answer in the Mets' pen because "the answer sure isn't guys like Ricardo Rincon." Peter, my good man, I tip my cap. Rincon's magic show where he made two baserunners vanish with just one pitch was more than we could bear, or so we thought. Honestly, boys . . .

And what of Micah Hoffpauir, the guy who hit that crushing three run blast? It was his 2nd career HR -- because Pedro grooved one for his 1st in the first. Nice. I tell you, with all the distractions kids have today with their video games and cell phones and what-not, I think Micah Hoffpauir is Exhibit A that the next untapped market for baseball talent is Amish country. Goodbye, Santo Domingo; hello, Lancaster.

In truth, though Hoffpauir did provide the pauir (sic) (terrible), his non-Derrek Lee glovework also helped the first and final Met runs get plated. Big thanks to Lou Piniella for his split-squad lineup. But I'll speak well of you forever, Sweet Lou, if you get those regulars back in there against the Brewers this weekend . . .

And finally, a sincere game ball goes to Ryan Church for the most elusive home plate slide dodge, dart, and dive I've ever seen. There's no way in the world he should have scored the tying run in the eighth, but he managed it. Doing the little things will make up for some shortcomings along the way, boys, but coming up with amazing plays like that will save the day.

Oh, and I was about to toast Mr. Church and say I would drink one for him, but last night was the first time in recent memory that I didn't throw back a few beers while taking in the Mets game. And it worked, against some serious odds, so we might have to revisit this strange new place called Sobriety for tonight's game. We'll see.

3 to go against the Fish. A game back to the Phils, tied for the Wild Card. Take a breath, boys.

It's a phrase used flippantly all the time, but this is what it's all about.

No comments: