- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Into the Night

Why do I love 7:10 starts? Because my team can play an 11-inning grinder [1] and it's not the middle of the night.

Great game — I kept expecting Harvey Haddix to walk out of a

cornfield, or Bambi Castillo to emerge from the dugout and win it.

(Remember that? The 80-degree day in March?) Was that really our team?

Ishii only walked three, Wright struck out three times, and the bullpen

was great. Oh wait, Jose Reyes swung at ball four — that was

our team. (And thank God he did.) I think my favorite part was the

crowd getting behind Looper: All is forgiven, Braden, at least until

tomorrow. (Hey, it's New York. That's as forgiving as it gets around

here.)

This was one of those games you keep expecting to take on the template

of “significant early-season game,” which means some time-honored

ending that you gnaw your fingernails trying to predict. First I

assumed Vizcaino would be the death of us, because he a) was

pinch-hitting for the Antichrist and b) is Jose Vizcaino. (My new

theory: Jose has held a grudge since Steve Avery nailed him in the knee

and Bobby Jones didn't retaliate. Which means if Bobby Jones isn't such

a wuss, we win the 2000 World Series. It's all so clear. Damn Bobby

Jones.)

That didn't happen, so I had to look for another template. Piazza

beating Chad Qualls seemed unlikely — anyone named Qualls has us over

a barrel, after all. Then I was sure Luke Scott would beat us, probably

with a two-run single between Matsui and Diaz, because those

who-the-hell-are-you guys are always the ones who kill you. As for John

Franco collapsing, it seemed a bit too easy and was.

I'll freely admit I didn't think to diagram Reyes refusing to be walked

and punching a little nubber up the middle, Manny Acta waving Diaz

around third, and poor Chris Burke's throw home barely clearing the

mound. No classic ending, just a head-shaking mess. Good by me.

Confession time: I couldn't get hyped up about the Antichrist beyond

reflexive bristling. You know what? It's starting to be a long time ago.