Playing the Yankees is one of my least favorite parts of the season. The same goes for West Coast trips.
Yet over a stretch of 30 hours or so, both turned out pretty nicely.
I mostly missed the Mets’ marvelous, off-the-deck mauling of Mariano Rivera, as I was away with friends in Vermont in a place where no, Verizon, I couldn’t hear you now. I noted Dickey’s no-hitter gone by the boards, the Yankees’ tying it, the Yankees going ahead, and then that the Mets had won. But every byte was hard-fought and frankly I had lakes to swim in and interesting conversations to have, so I let go, contenting myself with noting that the Mets had tied it in the ninth, and oh, that would be some video to check out. As indeed it was.
Tonight I was back on station, a little bleary-eyed but happy to have the Mets front and center. Thing is, the Mets looked a little bleary-eyed themselves: The rather fantastically named Rubby De La Rosa seemed to have them off-balance, and Chris Capuano was pitching capably but not flawlessly on the other end. And of course this was Dodger Stadium, site of horrific errors and missed bases and injuries that were unavoidable and injuries that were most definitely avoidable, and it was getting on towards the middle of the night, and I had my usual reaction, which was to wonder if this trip to California had really been necessary and to think about how annoyed I was going to be about staying up too late watching the Mets lose and possibly have something awful happen to them.
But that didn’t happen. Rubby (let’s trot out Annie Savoy to note that you need a nickname, honey) lost his chance at immortality when Ruben Tejada wrecked the no-hitter in the sixth, the beginning of a very satisfying three-run inning that saw patient at-bats bear fruit and the Mets uncharacteristically make a young pitcher more and more frustrated. James Loney couldn’t quite corral balls down the line, and then Jason Bay made a very nice catch in the bottom of the sixth, chasing down an Aaron Miles liner and bouncing his face off the scoreboard. It was too close to where Bay’s 2010 had gone from star-crossed to full-on disastrous, and you could almost hear Insomniac Mets Nation give a little whimper of horror and disbelief. But Bay was apparently OK (let’s please shine a flashlight in his eyes tomorrow anyway) and there was Jose Reyes laughing in the dugout, and R.A. Dickey proclaiming himself not feeling too poorly, and no word that David Wright or Ike Davis had been moved to an iron lung or had a limb removed.
So perhaps things weren’t all bad, even out there on the other side of the continent in the middle of the night.