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Nothing Wrong With a Ho-Hum Win

The Mets won a game tonight that was a little snoozy [1], frankly.

Jacob deGrom [2] was pretty good, being more inclusive with the change-ups he’d left out of his repertoire in his last two starts. Kevin Plawecki [3] came out during the game’s key at-bat by gigantic Orioles slugger Chris Davis [4] and gave deGrom a little pep talk, after which everything went well. (Though deGrom kept missing his location rather thoroughly.) Dilson Herrera [5] hit a home run. Daniel Murphy [6], our own Swobodan avatar of chaos, got between a runner and his route back to third base and everyone decided it was fine.

Oh, and Juan Lagares [7] made a nice play in center. But honestly I could have that one on a hotkey.

That was really the entire game. One weird play by Murphy, just enough good hitting, the usual Metsian good starting pitching. Not a lot to wax poetic about, or that we’ll remember very long.

And you know what? That’s just fine.

willie-zestThe Mets 11-game run of glory was exhilarating. Their 3-7 stumble while neither fielding nor hitting baseballs was deflating, to use a word much in the news today. The immediate proximity of these two states was exhausting — and it’s a long season. Too long to spend alternating laughing-gas euphoria and hide-under-the-bed despair. If that keeps up we’ll all look like end-stage Howard Hughes by Independence Day.

An unmemorable 5-1 win? I’m fine with it. Just like I’d be fine with some 3-1, 5-2 and 4-1 snoozers, games you can watch with one eye half-open and a bit of drool on the pillow.

Though if they want to bulldoze the Great Philadelphia Tire Fire this weekend, I’d be fine with that too. Whatever works.

* * *

By the way, Willie Montanez [8] got mentioned during Jim Breuer’s entertaining appearance in the booth tonight, which reminded me of the Montanez card I didn’t know existed until a few months ago.

That’s Montanez’s 1978 Topps “Zest” card. What the heck’s a Zest card? Well, in ’78 Topps was trying to market itself to Spanish-speaking baseball fans, and it chose to work with Procter & Gamble with a promotion tied to Zest soap. Send in (to Maple Plain, Minn., inevitably) two labels from Zest bars and an order form and you’d get (in six to eight weeks, inevitably) a pack of five baseball cards. (Here’s a bit more [9] on the set.)

The players were Joaquin Andujar [10], Bert Campaneris [11], Manny Mota [12], Ed Figueroa [13] and Montanez. Other than bilingual backs and different numbers, the cards looked the same as regular ’78s. Well, except Montanez was a newly minted Met. He’d been a Brave in the regular ’78 set, but for Zest he was remade as a Met, with a much better photo. (O-Pee-Chee also had him as a Met, though they kept the Brave photo.)

Great card, ain’t it? I’d go so far as to call it a cardboard classic. Nearly 40 years later, the Zest cards remain both plentiful and pretty cheap. Get yours today! Odds are you won’t even have to send money to Maple Plain or wait six to eight weeks.