You seek wisdom in silly bumper-sticker things like that when you're beginning something big and hugely important that's gonna take a while and has to be done right each step of the way, even though you're desperate to know how it all turns out and want to hurry along. Like, say, a seven-game road trip to Arizona and then to California, the time zone where so many Met dreams have died.
I sensed as early as this afternoon that the scorecard for this one would have a few WWs on it, and indeed had no sooner put the kid to bed than I faceplanted onto my own pillow, pretty sure I was going to miss some or all of the game but helpless to prevent it. Woke up through sheer will to find it was sometime after 10:30 and dragged myself upstairs to turn on the set. It's an odd feeling flipping on the TV knowing it'll be the third or fourth — there's always that moment in which you're desperately processing information. Is that a “2″ for us? Is that a “0″ for them? So 2 is more than zero, so we're ahead! Yes! I did a worse job than usual, seeing how I was only vaguely awake — it took me two or three innings to grasp that Mike Jacobs was playing first (guess Jose Offerman needed an extra coat of shellac to hide his continuing decomposition), that Kaz was in the starting lineup, that that was DiFelice and finally not Castro and all the other things one would normally have taken care of by the time first pitch rolled around. I heard Heath Bell was up and never did figure out who was down.
Still, I was awake enough to grasp that Tom Glavine threw a terrific game and that Braden Looper redeemed himself, though I almost assaulted the television when Looper walked Tony Clark when it wouldn't have particularly mattered if Clark had hit one to Saturn. I think the best part of that ninth was how the double play unfolded: Wright didn't retreat on the ball, Matsui moved quickly and fearlessly on the pivot, and Jacobs made a nice stretch and held the bag. Not so long ago Wright might well have backed up and risked losing the double play or maybe the chance to get even one out, and/or Offerman/Woodward/Cairo/Anderson would have dropped the ball or let it skip past. Progress!
At the risk of jinxing the whole thing, I think we've collectively come around on Glavine. At least I have. His superb numbers since the break help, of course — good stats are always the best personality trait — but it's also that he finally yielded to the reality that the old Glavine formula wasn't working and became receptive to finding a new way. That option now looks like a lock, and to my surprise I find myself wondering if I'm not kinda sorta glad to have him. At the very least I'm willing to retire the TMB nickname in favor of something else.
So. Meet Tom Glavine, a.k.a. TEM — The Eventual Met.