So Reyes, hearing Cameron's footsteps in the leadoff spot, goes three for five with two runs scored and Bieseresque havoc created. Mientkiewicz, hearing Daubach's footsteps at first base, blasts a double and a homer and scores two runs of his own. Daubach, hearing Minky's footsteps possibly returning to first base, hits a pinch-hit homer to approximately Delaware. Nothing like the prospect of a hanging to concentrate the mind, they always say.
Kudos to Ring, Roberto and Looper for timely relief, particularly Ring, who was terrific. Perhaps if he stays this terrific it'll keep Mister Koo the hell away from the mound. As for Looper, he was resilient and kept getting ground balls, shrugging off the fact that bad things kept happening and that he was facing a sea of lefties, who are hitting approximately .500 off of him. Abreu, who came up as the tying run, was a you-gotta-be-kidding-me 9 for 16 off Looper. Ulp.
Then again the whole ninth inning was one big ulp. First Lieberthal, the only righty Looper's likely to see, doesn't bother moving his elbow out of the way of an inside pitch. Not your traditional leadoff walk, but still a Really Bad Omen. Endy Chavez flies out, the first time in living memory he hasn't beaten the pulp out of us. That's good, right? Rollins hits a potential double-play ball to Reyes — that hits the lip of the infield grass and bounds over Jose's shoulder. Ugh. Now I'm gnashing my teeth and trying to figure out a way to blame it all on Gerald Williams. The despicable Kenny Lofton hits another grounder to Reyes, who's forced to take a weird route to the bag and avoid Marlon Anderson, who's trying his hardest to get in the way. Two out, but gawd, the dugout looks like a POW camp. And who can blame them? There's Abreu, ready to kill us. I can just imagine the ball lofting up and over the right-field wall, the replay of Looper turning around and looking up, then the replay of Willie trying to do his best Torre in the dugout and remain expressionless. Then Looper will strike out Thome on three pitches (because that always happens) and I'll have to endure at least two Ice Williams “at bats” before we lose, 10-8, sometime after midnight.
Only Abreu hits yet another grounder. But wait! He's hit it to Wright, who is backing up on the ball. You can practically see the sprockets and gears jamming and flying out of his ears. Ack, David, stop thinking! Wright seizes the ball like a drowning man and flings it toward first — low! In the dirt! Scooped out by Mientkiewicz! (No way Daubach, Woodward or anybody else makes that play, by the way.) Mets win! I still feel vaguely like throwing up, but Mets win!