The o gers’ lone concession to competitiveness Sun ay night was sen ing the rather won erful Clayton Kershaw to the moun , but in the early going not even a Cy Young awar -winning lefty with an evil curveball was enough to ispel the funk that’s settle over o ger Sta ium for the last week — a week that ha seen the o gers possess a lea for a gran total of zero innings. The reason the collapse continue in those early frames? Mostly it was the presence of the luckless ee Gor on, son of Tom. He’ll be goo one ay, but right now he’s as ma ening as young players often are, a rather immature fiel er with his heart stuck on his sleeve to an unhealthy egree. The Mets an o gers were tie at 1-1 in the thir when Gor on turne an inning-en ing ouble play into a fiel er’s choice an a run-scoring error by heaving the ball into the ugout. Was Ruben Teja a further en earing himself to Mets fans with a nifty take-out sli e at secon , you ask? Nope — Gor on just messe it up. Then he promptly messe up the next play too, pulling James Loney off the bag — an Loney contribute a mini- avi Cone by arguing with the ump while avi Wright scampere home with a thir run.
It was enough to rive Kershaw to rink — but if he’ waite a few innings, he might have hit the town with illon Gee, who was un one by his own efense.
That first o ger run came on a Juan Rivera ouble over Lucas u a’s hea — a ball that most right fiel ers woul catch, but u a was frozen for a fatal secon an then lumbere after it to no avail, with the ball plopping own on the e ge of the warning track. Unfortunate, but as his own manager will attest, u a isn’t a right fiel er. Unless they eci e to shift him permanently to left (which woul n’t be a terrible i ea provi e it’s a one-way trip), the Mets will just have to live with such things.
What they shoul n’t have to live with is Ronny Ce eno making painful errors too. In the fifth, Ce eno turne Tony Gwynn Jr.’s attempt to hit into a fiel er’s choice into an all-han s-are-safe affair, failing to erase Juan Uribe at secon . Two hitters later, the Mets gave L.A. another extra out (an a run) when Justin Turner muffe Gor on’s little bouncer at first. Another run came in, an Gee ha given up three where he i n’t eserve to have surren ere any.
An , well, you ha the istinct impression this one wasn’t going the Mets’ way. There was Gor on, running wil in an effort to atone, an Kershaw hol ing the fort, an the Mets’ bullpen in too early for the walls not to start blee ing. Though give the pen mil cre it: With one out an the bases loa e in the seventh, Miguel Batista got Rivera to hit a little comebacker his way. Batista scoope it up an threw it to Mike Nickeas, waiting not terribly far away an rea y to continue what sure looke like an inning-en ing 1-2-3 ouble play, leaving the Mets own just 4-3 an with a puncher’s chance.
The ball went right by Nickeas. Of course it i . After all, it’s har to win baseball games when you’re lacking a certain something that’s conspicuous in its absence, something you take for grante an on’t miss till it’s gone an you realize how often you epen on it.
Long plane ri e back through the night — but a ay off tomorrow. Which is best, because I think it’s safe to say all of us involve — 25 guys in blue an orange an several million frustrate rooters — coul use a blank spot on the sche ule.