No Braves. No balk. No lead blown. No comeback dashed. No sense of drama, really, until the ninth, and then no drama. Nothing like Thursday night’s manic Holy Hellfest, so named per what I just kept muttering to myself over and over and over as I pieced together what happened to K-Rod by intermittent earbud and to Carrasco by underground Droid. “Holy hell. Holy hell. Holy hell. I can’t believe they lost. Holy hell.” Thursday night was, in baseball terms, a disaster, a debacle, a disgrace, made all the more disdainful because the Mets have been playing such fiery baseball of late. They don’t have the barrelful of wins to show for it that a really good team would, but they used their jaunt to Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Atlanta to earn our full attention, support and respect. Thursday night, when they couldn’t close the deal in Atlanta…holy hell.
Friday night, against some American League team I used to kind of like, the Mets played with torpor instead of fire. They were all out of position in the infield, all out of sorts at the plate. They forged exactly one moment when the 2011 Mets as we’ve come to admire them — the incarnation that dates back to approximately June 2 and the seven-run comeback versus the Bucs — materialized from thick, soggy air to raise our hopes. That was the bottom of the ninth, Mets down 4-3. Jose Reyes’s sheer determination won him a walk. Jose Reyes’s unmatched talent stole him a base. Justin Turner refused to not join him on the paths. The Los Angeles Angels’ kid closer, Jordan Walden, faced two on, none out, and what passes for the heart of the Met order. Unofficially, Jose Reyes is the heart of the order, but in traditional terms, we had 3-4-5 coming up: Beltran, Murphy and Pagan.
And there we were waving Beltran, Murphy and Pagan goodbye, each stranding the tying and winning runs, all striking out against Walden’s heat. Back into the humidity and the torpidity they went. Appropriate ending to a decidedly imperfect game. Chris Capuano was good enough to win for a team whose offense could forgive a lack of sharpness, not really good enough to win on merit. Manny Acosta seemed quite effective, or perhaps the Angels were tired by then, too.
I was at this game and I barely remember its contents. I’m glad, I suppose, that it wasn’t more holy hell. It was barely heck. Not all one-run losses eat you up inside.
Which is good, if not particularly interesting.
Thanks to the Spencers of the U.K. for arranging to meet Stephanie and me during the pregame rain delay. Brian and Chris (or Kris; didn’t get a spelling) are visiting America on one of their periodic ballpark jaunts, and Brian happens to be a FAFIF reader, to boot — which, I learned, is what the British refer to as the trunk of a car. Their hood is a bonnet, and their scallions are spring onions, though they used to be known in England as scallions. Fascinating stuff. If only the ballgame that followed it was as intriguing as the linguistic discussion that preceded it.