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

Turn Around Now, Shvitz

Boy, that escalated quickly [1]. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.

It jumped up a notch! [2]

I've been home for quite a while now but even after a refreshing shower, I'm still shvitzing. Sweaty Shea felt that much more humid given the deficits — 3-0, 6-2, 7-4, 8-7 — that had to be surmounted along with the sense of endlessly impending disappointment that hung over The Flushing Baths all night. All parties sweated this one out. As we concurred continually throughout the four hours and twenty-eight minutes of action and conversation, this crept determinedly from “oh well, whaddaya gonna do?” to “what an absolute bitch! this will be to lose” to “ball four — yea!”

Given what today is the first anniversary of [3], it is indeed apropos to say the Mets won the damn thing by a score of 9 to 8.

We've certainly blown our share of damn things this season: Opening Day; Friday night in Pittsburgh; at least two Subway Series fiascos; more Braves boners than I care to remember; so on and so forth…but we haven't had a lot of victories snatched from the jaws of certain defeat. This was that, at long last. Maybe things have turned around now and switched to our side. Or maybe the Brewers really are as bad as the Brewers appear to be.

By the way, I own them. 8-0 against Milwaukee since they started coming to Shea in 1998. And 4-0 since reviving the ice cream cap the night after the break. Funny that I even bothered to worry about the outcome. (Yeah, hilarious.)

Still, that's quite the lineup the Brewers trot out there. Carlos Lee, for whom my undying devotion for hitting me a foul ball in Comiskey six years ago [4] pretty much evaporated Tuesday night, is a serious monster. Geoff Jenkins has been bad news since Brett Hinchliffe's calamitous cameo [5]. Weeks looks like a player. Overbay is underrated. Jose Hernandez…wait, he's not a Brewer anymore, but it felt like he was lurking in the on-deck circle all night. On the other hand, Tomo Ohka couldn't hold a lead and their bullpen was no bargain.

Not that we have a lot to brag on in terms of starting pitching. Or was that BP? Are you there God? It's me, Victor. I don't know why these things happen to me. I pitch beautifully and they don’t score for me. I pitch dreadfully and they hit all night. I'm a good pitcher God. Why do you make me feel like a Devil Ray all the time?

The Mets overcame Zambrano's uncharacteristic gopheritis thanks to a team effort. Everybody contributed. Yeah, everybody, even the centerfielder Shea was dying to embrace in response to Yahoo City, TX's treatment of him. And Carlos did drive in a run, one run being the margin of victory, so don't sneeze at it. But he also batted six times and produced eight outs. Ouch. I thought he'd foster a new era of Mets baseball. Instead, he's merely Foster. A little, anyway.

On the other hand, the rightfielder showed why Boston was interested in him. Maybe if the Red Sox had offered Ramirez and Ortiz, we would've thought about trading them Cameron, but sorry, no deal. Like Sandra Bernhard, Mike Cameron has defiantly announced, “I'm still here, damn it,” [6] and is playing like it. Four hits including that tie-it-at-eight homer in the ninth and the just-sharp-enough liner Bill Hall couldn't handle in the eleventh. Welcome back Cammy. Glad you never left.

We can feel good about Mike C. and Mike P. and his pinch-hitting brethren and the pen that erased all of Victor's turmoil and Mister Koo getting to celebrate his birthday without being asked to pitch and Ramon Castro staking his claim to the starting job for 2006 (interesting idea you presented there). Still, not an awesome display of baseball. The teams combined to leave 26 men on base. 26 LOB! If this evening of August Angst had been March Madness, the Mets and Brewers would have been the play-in game. Having barely survived and advanced, our reward would be to take on St. Louis in a 1 vs. 16 mismatch.

But let's not be too cynical. How about that guy DiamondVision fixed on at the right field edge of loge holding up the I BELIEVE sign? If you can swim in your own perspiration, avoid drowning after being submerged on the scoreboard four separate times and come away soaked in glory, why the heck not?

Believe, that is.