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

The Dog That Didn't Bark

So. Whew.

I know we're all in this together, but forgive me: I needed that one. Me. Jason Fry.

Because yesterday sucked.

The silver lining of Day 1 of unemployment turning into a Shea Stadium matinee turned out to be a downed power line. And it had been a lovely day — the game got off late and it drizzled early, but then the sun came out bright and strong, without the usual August humidity. My seatmates were civilized. David Wright hit his 120th home run and Robinson Cancel hit his first. Pedro, until he got tired and his location drifted, looked like the Pedro we hoped he'd become — no longer physically more talented than his opponents, but so much smarter that it didn't matter. I enjoyed the goofiness on the Diamondvision, the speedy little swifts chasing each other around the concourse, the occasional thrums of saws from Citi FIeld, and of course the game.

And then the bullpen did that, right in the punchbowl.

Regarding our bullpen's execution, I had to say I was in favor of it. Smith sucked. Feliciano sucked. Sanchez sucked. (I know the box score suggested he didn't, but they hit rockets off him.) Heilman sucked. Schoeneweis sucked. The Pirates have been stripped of Jason Bay and Xavier Nady; what took the field wearing their uniform resembled a minor-league team and sure played like one in the early going. But a minor-league team against our bullpen is a fair fight these days.

So, another night, another supposed pushover team. Only this time it was worse, because it was Johan turning over another perfectly fine pitching performance (not a dominant one by any means, but a brave scuffling) to Vandals & Failures Inc. When we were tied, I told Emily and our friend Jeremy (an Oriole fan by trade, so not unacquainted with disaster and dismay) that we'd lose in the 10th on a bloop. When we took the lead, I debated projectile vomiting immediately to get it out of the way. When Joe Smith walked Kearns, I knew we'd lost. When Kearns stole second while various Mets slumbered, I knew we'd lost in humiliating fashion. At least this time Johan had had the good sense to hide in the clubhouse, where his agonies would be private.

Except … we didn't lose. Smith righted himself and dismantled an overeager Lastings Milledge and Jesus Flores with sliders, then got Ronnie Belliard to ground out. Pedro Feliciano showed a worrisome aversion to the strike zone, but got Harris, Nieves and Bonifacio without incident. I still don't quite believe it, but the box score swears it's true [1].