Livan Hernandez, being a student of baseball history, was not going to let the 40th anniversary of Tom Seaver's fateful encounter with Jimmy Qualls go by unheralded. No, Livan Lacking offered Tom Terrific a ballfield tribute: To celebrate Seaver recording 25 outs before Qualls' clean single, Livan decided to pay homage to a Hall of Famer, recording no outs before allowing a Rafael Furcal ground-rule double, then a bunch more mess as the Mets staggered to an 11-2 loss.
This game, in addition to being dull and thoroughly depressing, lacked even the lowest-common-denominator pleasures of white balls arcing over green fields. It seemed to last about five weeks. After Ryan Church hit into a double play and Omir Santos popped one up, I dragged myself upright to turn off the TV, annoyed but mostly relieved that it was over. But no Dodgers shook hands.
Wha? Talk about hubris, you smug L.A. bast — oh, fuck me, that was only the 8th. NOOOO!!!!
I can't even tip my hat to the die-hards who stuck it out down nine runs on an unseasonably cool — heck, downright cold — July night that featured hit-allowing by both Livan Hernandez and Tim Redding. You all really had nothing better to do? If Moonlight Graham had been playing in this mess, he would have stepped over the foul line around the fifth inning so he could morph into an 80-year-old and shuffle the hell away from it.
When Gary Sheffield got ejected, I half-wished that Marty Foster would pop out of my TV and eject me. No more TV for you, Fry, and don't let me catch you sneaking a listen to the radio or I'll file a report with the league office. Oh, if only. The Livan Death March had miles left to go, before I could drop exhausted by the trail. Which, I suppose, makes it a microcosm of 2009.
Join us for the first of Three AMAZIN' TUESDAYS at Two Boots Tavern on July 21, a Mets night devoted to reading, rooting and Rusty Staub. Get all the details here. And get your copy of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.