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The Human Condition

Simple explanation for Tuesday night’s loss in Los Angeles: Matt Harvey was retroactively switched with a human baby (not the Bucks’) and the human baby was incubated in a lab for more than 24 years before being smuggled into Mets uniform No. 33 and being hit hard by the Dodgers.

Just like a human pitcher.

We all know Matt Harvey ain’t human, so when a performance is rendered as such in his name, there has to be a reason. That’s the one I’ve got.

As for the rest of the Mets, they’re just regular people who are sometimes polished at their craft, sometimes overmatched by more highly skilled professionals. The Mets of August — no Wright, no Parnell, suddenly no Flores, not even a crazy Valdespin [1], author of the only Met RBIs to put away the Dodgers thus far in 2013 [2] — took the field against a team that had lost all of eight times in its previous 46 outings and measured up as you might expect, which is to say not very well. Baseball doesn’t necessarily work so neatly. Heading into Tuesday night, the Houston Astros, the inversion of the Los Angeles Dodgers, had won only seven of its last 38 contests, yet they went on to beat the Oakland Athletics, a club whose record was 30 games better.

That type of books-balancing will happen periodically in this sport, but it didn’t happen in L.A. Instead a team that’s been twice as hot as its opponent ever was this season doubled that opponent’s score for the second night in a row, with one 4-2 Met loss [3] following another 4-2 Met loss.

This 4-2 loss wasn’t as close as the 4-2 loss that preceded it, however. There was no squinting umpire to blame [4] for Harvey being lit up a little, maybe not even time-traveling babynappers. Manful Matt took it upon himself to shoulder the responsibility — calling himself “inconsistent,” finding he “couldn’t locate anything” and (in a partial quote begging to be taken out of context) admitting “I was yanking it a bit” — but this was a team effort. Everywhere you looked if you weren’t looking at Harvey and giving him the benefit of occasional imperfection’s doubt, you realized the Mets have reverted to fighting their battles with little more than paper clips and rubber bands. That might work in the creepy world of W.B. Mason, but it’s insufficient for taking down the likes of Hyun-Jin Ryu.

And it doesn’t make West Coast start times go over any easier. We accept that the Mets are probably going to suck every now and then as they play out another sub-.500 string. But do they have to do it at midnight? Do they have to turn Danny DeVito giddy [5]? When DeVito first came to America’s attention as Louis DePalma, he had this to say [6] about matters of the heart:

Love is the end of happiness! The end. Because one day all a guy’s got to do to be happy is to watch the Mets. The next day you gotta have Zena in the room watching the Mets with you. You don’t know why. They’re the same Mets, it’s the same room…but you gotta have Zena there.

Now it’s goodbye Zena, goodbye Mets, hello sweet embrace of Nick Punto [7], hello thoroughly human [8] Harvey, and whatever happened to our twin pursuits of second place and the best record in New York, each of which seemed within our grasp just days ago [9]?

Oh Louie. Oh Matt.