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

Caught in a Webb of Minutiae

Brandon Webb was real good Friday night. The players who played for the Mets were less so. Guess what happens when you plug that formula into an actual game.

Bingo [1].

A lineup chock full of future obscurities and curiosities was perfect for me and my companion for the evening, the one and only Mark from Mets Walkoffs and Other Minutiae [2]. Bloggers like us, we thrive on obscurities and curiosities — except when they predominate on the immediate bill of fare.

Because David Wright had back spasms and Carlos Beltran's knee is healing from a bruise and several other featured performers have been long lost track of, Damion Easley batted third. There it was on the scoreboard: 3 2B. Though he's still tied for second on the club in homers with seven, I haven't been as startled by such a non-September notation since another Friday night in the same ballpark a quarter-century ago when 10 RF was batting third. That was Rusty Staub, far past the point when right was his thing. Hitting third, however, always was. Rusty went 2-for-3 with two ribbies in an 8-4 win over the Phillies.

See what I'm doing? I'm talking about the Mets but not the Mets who lost Friday night's game. That's what Mark and I did as Webb mowed down Met after Met and Maine couldn't quite keep up. We would have been happier to have drilled deep into the likes of Gary Kroll [3] and Gary Nolan [4] with Beltran and Wright keeping Reyes and Delgado and Lo Duca company, without Easley batting third, without the unlikely corner outfielders of David Newhan and Ben Johnson and without surprise third baseman Julio Franco taking on the defending National League Cy Young winner. But that — like success — was not an option.

Brandon Webb: eight innings. Brandon Lyons: the ninth inning. I'm thinking it's the first time the Mets have been beaten by two Brandons. I'm thinking that way because I've made a habit of reading Mets Walkoffs.

Two of the three previous games I'd attended prior to Friday were supercharged walkoff wins, the kinds of affairs that bring Mark and his sensational site to mind. When the Mets came back with five in the ninth two weeks ago to beat Chicago, I called Mark's voice mail and told him “I have a new No. 1 for my Cubs list [5],” code for “I'm hopeless, as are you.” When the Mets fell behind the Giants in the twelfth on Tuesday night, I took solace in something Mark had written about games against teams led by Barry Bonds [6], a pattern he detected, a pattern that proved out in the bottom of the inning. All of this is to say I really enjoy this man's work and it was a pleasure to swap stories and stats with him last night even if it was a pain to consider the Mets of Newhan and Johnson and third baseman Julio Franco trying to solve the Diamondbacks of Brandon Webb.

Sometimes you don't get a walkoff win. Sometimes you just settle for reveling in the minutiae.