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Ducking Karma

On Saturday night, in the second inning, Dillon Gee [1] lofted a fly ball to left with Dilson Herrera [2] on third and one out. Donald Lutz [3], a German citizen playing on German Appreciation Night, settled under the ball and caught it. Tim Teufel [4] told Herrera to stay put and Herrera did. The Mets didn’t score — not in that inning, and not in any remaining inning. In the ninth, their rally against Aroldis Chapman [5] fizzled when Eric Young [6] Jr. failed to do the only thing he’s still paid to do [7], popping up a touch too hard off third on a double steal and being called out (properly) after a lengthy replay review.

So today, you could feel Karma putting extra bullets in the revolver for the afternoon’s game of Mets roulette. In the bottom of the fifth, with two out and no score, Skip Schumaker [8] singled up the middle off Zack Wheeler [9]. Enemy pitcher Mat Latos [10] took off from second, reached third … and kept going. Juan Lagares [11] uncorked a very un-Lagaresesque throw, and Latos was safe. The Mets would catch up and then go ahead, but squander a few golden opportunities, as they so often do. Then Jenrry Mejia [12] came in and was discombobulated, and suddenly those Reds in the rearview mirror were closer than they appeared. Todd Frazier [13] was called out at first for the presumable end of the game … except there was another lengthy replay review.

Mejia had already performed his trademark stomp of triumph; now he had to stand around for three minutes while the umpires compared angles with their brethren in New York, discussed tax shelters, asked about football scores, opined on whether candlesticks were really an ideal wedding gift, and, I dunno, regretted not being able to go to London to watch Kate Bush return to the stage. Whatever it was, it took quite a while. When it was over, Frazier was awarded first (properly), and Mejia had to take the mound post-stomp, with Kris Negron just 90 feet away as the tying run and superfast Billy Hamilton [14] just a single away as the winning run.

Gulp.

The Reds had played execrable baseball. First Hamilton dropped a catchable fly ball in center that led to three runs, one on a Curtis Granderson [15] single and two more on a laser-beam homer by Anthony Recker [16], whose every hit is so highlight-worthy that one feels bad about pointing out that he needs a lot more mundane ones to not be hitting .188. Not to be outdone, Jack Hannahan [17] dropped a foul pop-up in the eighth. That gave Granderson extra pitches, the fourth of which he hammered into the right-field stands for a run that looked cosmetic but turned out to be anything but. Meanwhile, Wheeler, being Wheeler, was variously wild and on point, saving his best work for a no-out, bases-loaded jam of his own making: Frazier chopped a ball to the right of the mound, which Wheeler snagged gracefully and then shamed his fellow Mets pitchers by throwing into his catcher’s glove, rather than at a hot-dog guy in the mezzanine, an imaginary Red 10 feet to the right or a distant 747.

But still, there we were in the ninth, with Mejia having had three minutes to consider the noose he’d knotted around his own neck as Devin Mesoraco [18] came to the plate.

Like I said, gulp.

So of course Mejia fanned Mesoraco on three pitches, leading to an even more emphatic stomp — and leaving me to laugh at the absurdity of it all [19].

Baseball, man. You never know.