If the 2007 and 2008 seasons did one thing to me as a Mets’ fan, it’s that they have made me believe that if the worst can happen, the worst will happen. I’m not a pessimist by nature, but these Mets have turned me into one. So let me tell you how I saw things last night…..
Two of my writing gigs are blogging “American Idol” and “The Biggest Loser,” which means I have to watch a lot of TV on Tuesdays so I can recap those shows on Wednesday. So I had to watch “American Idol” in real time while TiVo’ing “The Biggest Loser” in the bedroom. That meant I could check the Mets/Cardinals game during commercials. I watched as the Mets were up 2-0, and Yadier Molina punched a base hit off Ollie P. Of course he did—I don’t think the Mets have gotten that guy out since he ruined their 2006 season in Game 7 of the NLCS.
Anyway, Idol ended and I had to go to the other room to watch “The Biggest Loser,” minus the commercials, which had me back in front of the Mets game by 9:45 central time. I turn it on to see that it’s 4-4 heading into the 8th inning. And all I’m thinking is, the Mets are going to lose this game. I don’t know how, but they are going to lose this game. Now, this is supposed to be a championship caliber team, with big name players and a huge payroll, but their collective confidence was damaged the last two Septembers, and my confidence in them also took a huge hit.
My worst fears were realized when Carlos Beltran was thrown out at the plate as Molina blocked it and Beltran, for whatever reason, did not slide. Out. Double play. Inning over. Then JJ Putz came in to face the Cards in the bottom of the 8th. Daniel Murphy falls down in left field, allowing Brendan Ryan to reach third base with nobody out. Rick Ankiel rocketed a double, scoring Ryan, and then with first base open Putz pitched to Albert Pujols, who moved Ankiel over with a fly ball, after which Ryan Ludwick drove in Ankiel for an insurance run. Then Molina (naturally) smashed another hit to left, but the damage had been done — and it’s worth noting that several Cardinals absolutely crushed Putz’ pitches.
In the top of the ninth, Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin set the Mets down one-two-three. Luis Castillo waved at strike three like he was thinking about what to order for room service. Gary Sheffield hit a grounder up the middle to a perfectly positioned Brendan Ryan, and Jose Reyes hit a weak grounder to end it.
Sure, Ollie P. blew it by letting the pesky Cardinals back in the game, but the rest of the Mets did everything possible to give this game away, and they did nothing to gain any of my confidence back. I wrote last week about my worries only 7 games in and I’m still worried 13 games in as the Mets sit at 6-7, 4.5 games behind Florida.
It just seems like every opponent wants to win more than this Mets team does, and they all do the little things better. Am I wrong?