I’m sorry it went down like this
But someone had to lose
It’s the nature of the business…
—Glenn Frey, “Smuggler’s Blues ”
My premonition called me in the middle innings Wednesday night from the Molly Pitcher rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. He used a pay phone. He runs a very old-school operation.
“The Mets,” he said over a not-so-clear connection. “They’re gonna get it. At the end.” Then he hung up.
Wait, did he say “at the end” or “in the end”? Either way, it didn’t sound too good.
The premonition wasn’t very specific about what was gonna happen, but he left me clues.
Home runs overturned to doubles because some jamoke sticks a glove over the wall from the wrong direction.
A runner on third with nobody out not scoring.
Colon (helluva guy) swinging at outside breaking stuff to the point where it wasn’t amusing.
A ball that just kept carrying that winds up tying the game for them.
A leadoff double from the d’Arnaud kid, who’s maybe finally heating up, going to waste for us.
A double play not made.
Back-to-back home runs that built no momentum.
Strikeout upon strikeout against a bullpen stocked with palookas nobody’s heard of.
Seventeen freaking strikeouts in all.
Their old, used-up catcher Ruiz, who word on the street had it was retired and living with a full-time nurse in Clearwater, gets three hits, or almost as many as Walker, who got four, but scored only once, which makes sense, ’cause the Mets got 14 hits but left 12 on and with runners in goddamn scoring position batted 2-for-14, one of which was the home run by Cabrera that replay review said was a double, and Cabrera winds up being the guy who gets left on third with nobody out.
Yeah, there were clues. Yet somehow the Mets led the Phillies, 4-3, in the fifth, in the sixth, in the seventh…but the premonition had been emphatic. It was gonna happen in the end. Or did he say at the end?
Sure enough, the Phillies tie it in the seventh. Blevins, who never gives up a thing to lefties, gives up a double to a lefty, Lough. Reed, who often gives up something when there’s a runner on base, gives up an RBI single to Bourjos. Bourjos was batting ninth the whole game. He’s not a pitcher. The last time the Phillies sent out a lineup with a non-pitcher batting ninth , the hitter who went last was named Bud Harrelson .
I told ya there were clues.
Even still, when Bastardo threw two shutout innings and we got through nine and it was 4-4, I thought maybe the premonition was putting me on. We hadn’t gotten in or at the end. Then I remembered: extras. Extra innings. They play those goddamn things in Philadelphia like they don’t play ’em anywhere else. They played ’em last year . They played ’em the year before that . They played ’em again Wednesday night.
Top of the tenth, another double for the d’Arnaud kid. Didn’t matter. The Mets left him on second, again, when Flores hits a tricky grounder that doesn’t fool Galvis, and Galvis throws out Wilmer. Bowa…Rollins…Steve Jeltz …Kevin Stocker …what is it about Phillie shortstops besides Bud Harrelson that makes an otherwise upstanding citizen wanna commit antisocial behavior?
Bottom of the tenth, that Henderson guy works out of a little trouble. Good to see. Maybe it’ll mean something in the eleventh.
Top of the eleventh, Granderson starts to get his kinda game in gear. He walks to lead off. Wright, who owns the joint, crushes one to deep center. I mean deep. So deep you won’t gotta review nothin’. Then the freaking ball dies at the track. Earlier there was that ball Galvis hit that just kept going. It became a two-run homer. This one didn’t and wasn’t. Nevertheless, Granderson tags and moves to second, which is so heads-up I could look past that funny business about what he puts on his feet . Bad break for David, but Curtis just did something good. But then Conforto strikes out looking and Cespedes — like Duda, so hot lately — strikes out swinging.
Bottom of the eleventh. Ah, I don’t wanna talk about the bottom of the eleventh. Robles in. Galvis all Rollinsy. A screwy intentional walk. A freaking wild pitch. A foul pop the Captain misses by six inches. Then Bourjos, the nine hitter, poking a ball Wright gets to but can’t do anything useful with. Freaking Galvis crosses the freaking plate and the Mets lose, 5-4.
Let’s just say the premonition wasn’t kidding. The Mets, they got it in the end . The wrong end. Sometimes you just have a premonition that that’s how it’s gonna go down.