Well, that wasn’t so bad.
I mean, the Mets lost. To the Yankees. Because Alex Cora inexplicably threw a ball to Jose Reyes’s invisible twin brother on the edge of the outfield grass, and because Elmer Dessens was Elmer Dessens. And because they couldn’t hit, not even against Javier Vazquez.
How is that not so bad?
Because I’d expected much worse.
This is what we’ve been reduced to by a front office that thinks Plan Bs are false hustle, by the starting rotation’s entirely predictable descent into wreckage, and by every night bringing at least one inexplicable managerial decision. (Is Luis Castillo with a bone bruise really so much faster than Ike Davis? What if the Mets had tied it? At least David Wright’s game-ending groundout eliminated any chance of watching Fernando Tatis go 0 for 3 before Jeter won it in the 16th by coaxing a bases-loaded walk from Jenrry Mejia.)
Give the patchwork Yankees their due. Vazquez looked great, except for the small detail of not putting his index finger between the ball and the bat when bunting, as David Cone once did to his and our lasting regret. A lot of the Yankee fill-ins looked awfully solid, in fact: Someone named Kevin Russo collected his first big-league hit and then a much more memorable second big-league hit, while Francisco Cervelli plays a pretty mean catcher and did the Great Gazoo helmet proud. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira weren’t factors and A-Rod had a cosmetic double, but the JV Minions of Satan were up to the task. Maybe that’s what happens when you have a front office that knows how to construct a roster.
While we’re on the subject of debacles, why in God’s name would you bring back the 2000 Mets to be honored in front of a crowd that’s about 40% baying mooks who root for the team that beat them? To be a Mets fan during the Manuel-Minaya-Howard-Wilpon regime means a high probability of nightly indignities. Why must the people who take our money create more of them?
On the Mets’ side, Hisanori Takahashi was as good as anyone could have hoped. Yes, he’s got that funny little hitch in his delivery, but the man can pitch. His confrontations with Jeter and Nick Swisher were Madduxian pitching clinics: changing speeds, hitting corners, moving feet, expanding the strike zone, burying pitches in the dirt, not burying pitches in the dirt. Wonderful stuff. Jason Bay looks like he’s just a beat off where he needs to be, Ike Davis is Ike Davis, and Cora had a pretty good game except for, well, the play he made that lost it. Last night against Washington, I said to Emily that Cora makes himself the best player Alex Cora can be, and it wasn’t meant as an insult even if it is damning with faint praise.
So there’s that.
But that isn’t nearly enough. We lose 2-1 on a hideous error and think we got off easy. Hooray for 2010.