I don't want to say winning in Arizona is getting too easy, but come on.
How did we not lose last night? Mind you I'm very happy we did not lose, even happier that we won our twelfth in a row at Home Away From Shea Stadium, but that thing had streakbreaker written all over it.
• There were bad calls: at second on Reyes stealing in the fifth; in left where Chavez was robbed by a smug kid with popcorn in the eighth.
• There was bad coaching and baserunning: Green thrown out at the plate in the seventh with Sandy Alomar lethargically waving him home.
• There were mental hiccups: Beltran picked off in the first with Wright up springs to mind.
• There was good if not customarily great starting pitching: Maine looked like his shirt had too much starch in it.
• There was Burgosian mischief: Orlando Hudson should not have been awarded a home run, given that Endy kept his buttery ball in play, but Hudson sure did hit it hard.
• There was scary limping: Endy! Get up!
• There was that surest sign that all was about to go to hell: Billy Wagner walking the leadoff hitter in the ninth.
But nope. Little of it materially helped the Diamondbacks and none of it penetrated the Mets' bulletproof exterior inside Chase Field. Even the intangibles, the stuff you can feel is going to backfire, never came back to haunt. You know those voices you hear in your head? The ones that recap the game with lines like “…in the loss, Julio Franco became the oldest man to…”? That voice was silenced. Julio Franco became the oldest man to homer, oldest man to homer into a pool, oldest man to homer and steal in the same game, oldest man to homer off the oldest pitcher to give up a homer to the oldest man ever to homer…and the Mets won.
The Mets touched if not roughed up Randy Johnson pretty good and Johnson never got off the hook. That was another one I suspected. Beltran driving in the first run off Johnson was delicious for reasons rapidly becoming obscure. Franco teaching his junior a lesson was of course delectable. Lo Duca, who doesn't much go deep, going deep off the middling Unit was also a treat. But the future Hall of Famer, who always seems to have trouble with the Mets, avoided defeat when… Didn't happen. All the setups that seemed so trap-laden never opened to swallow us or our streak.
Twelve in a row at the ol' BOB & Chase. Neither of this year's contributions to the streak have been as tense as the 1-0 Glavine/Matsui/Open Roof triumph that sparked this sensational skein three years ago nor have they been as decisive as the accumulated ass-kickings of 2005 and 2006. They've been two exciting ballgames that have tilted, once late and once early, in our favor. I was convinced Thursday night would go against us. It didn't. I just waited for last night to turn foul. It wouldn't. Seems waaaaaaaaaaaay too good to be true.
Tonight it's National League Cy Young Award Winner Brandon Webb versus New Orleans Zephyr Jorge Sosa. If that adds up to a thirteenth consecutive Mets win in Arizona, then maybe I'll just lie back and enjoy.