Some might call me fickle. Others might call me faithless. I am certainly not fair weather. Call me whatever you’d like. But I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one to leave Citifield before the end of the game last Tuesday night. Those who stayed saw the Mets score six runs on so many clutch hits. Those hearty fans experienced a remarkable and improbable 8-6 comeback win against the Nationals.
I couldn’t decide whether to go to the game Tuesday night. It was cold and damp with rain in the forecast. The Mets offense has returned to being anemic. They have become painful to watch. But I find that it is easier to watch them in person than on TV. At Citifield I get lots of fresh air and I can walk around the Stadium as much as I want. This uses up a lot more nervous energy than lying on the couch at home while eating a box of cookies.
Due to my indecision I didn’t set off for Citifield until the stroke of 7:10 PM. I heard the first pitch in the car even before I backed out of my driveway. Nyjer Morgan was retired. It went downhill quickly. A walk to Christian Guzman and a single by Ryan Zimmerman followed. When Adam Dunn hit his three run home run on a 3-0 meatball, I had my first decision to make.
I was still on the L.I.E. by Glen Cove Road. I contemplated turning around and returning home. I’ve actually done just this several times over the years. I decided to continue driving west. In the bottom of the first the Mets were retired in order. As I approached Citifield in the top of the second inning, the Nationals had loaded the bases. I pulled over, just outside of the parking lot. I had made my decision; if the Nationals scored I would go home. When Zimmerman grounded out, I parked the car and headed into the Stadium.
As I entered through the center field bullpen gate, I could see the scoreboard and large TV screen which faces the Shake Shack. The Mets had runners on 1st and 2nd and no out I thought that I would soon be receiving my reward for staying. Unfortunately, I immediately saw Ike Davis hit into a double play. Jon Niese settled down on the mound and retired the Nationals in the 3rd and 4th inning. In the bottom of the 3rd Niese led off with a single but was quickly erased on Angel Pagan’s double play grounder. In the 4th, a 1st and 2nd rally fizzled when Davis and Francoeur struck out.
Still, we only trailed 3-1. While I was discouraged and remained pessimistic, something told me I should stay for the reward.
Jon Niese had nothing in the 5th inning. A double and two walks loaded the bases. Ivan Rodriguez wasted no time by lining the first pitch for a two run single. As Jerry Manuel walked to the mound, I headed for the exit. I got to my car just in time to hear Manny Acosta give up the 6th run. I steadfastly headed home with the Mets trailing 6-1. I never looked back.
Did I make the right decision? Absolutely! I heard Howie Rose and Wayne Hagen call another failed Mets rally in the bottom of the 5th. Reyes and Bay made outs with the bases loaded. By the time I arrived home the Mets had scored to make the score 6-2, in no way an insurmountable deficit. But for these Mets mired in one of their many clutch hitting slumps, the odds were not good for a comeback. Through six innings the Mets already had 9 hits and had hit into two double plays. They were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Mets pitchers had already walked six batters.
I was already home when the Mets came to bat in the 7th inning. I was opening my box of chocolate chip cookies when Alex Cora walked. Angel Pagan followed with a single. Our good guys were coming up. How could we not at least score a few runs. I watched in disbelief as Luis Castillo bounced into a rally killing double play.
Were any MMO fans at the game Tuesday night. If so, I’d like to know where you were when the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the 8th trailing the Nats 6-2. Or if you were home all night on your cozy couch in your warm den, how many of you still had faith in the Mets after Jason Bay singled and David Wright doubled. What were the odds that these in the clutch, offensively challenged Mets, would follow with six straight batters reaching base once the bases were loaded. Wow, a six run fun 8th inning. And K-Rod pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning.
Thanks Scotty Naro-Norman for the inspiration for this post. And there’s no doubt that you would have stayed until the end. Way to go. And welcome to MMO.