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Petco Time, Petco Math

If you’re ever in San Diego, definitely take in a game at Petco Park. I’ve been a couple of times [1], and it’s an underrated stadium. Petco has good food (the fish tacos in particular); some winning departures from the standard New Ballpark sample book, such as the white and buff colors and hanging gardens; the grassy hill beyond the outfield fences is a fun addition that doesn’t try too hard; and the park is unmistakably part of the surrounding cityscape instead of faking it the way Citi Field does.

Just don’t go when the Mets are in town.

The Mets are not actually 0-42 at Petco Park, though it certainly feels that way. Still, 14-28 is bad enough. And somehow every game here feels the same, at least to those of us back home with toothpicks separating our eyelids:

Dodger Stadium never feels this way even if the Mets are getting pounded. Whatever the Giants’ park is called now never feels this way even if terrible things are happening. Petco always feels like this, even if things are going well. Except two-thirds of the time they’re not.

Honestly, the above should suffice, but I’ll honor the grisly historical record by at least feinting in the direction of specifics.

Noah Syndergaard [2] wasn’t bad by any means, though due to the Petco Effect it somehow felt like he gave up six or seven runs in 2 1/3.

The Mets seemed morally opposed to getting a hit for the second befuddling night in a row [3], with added sting coming from watching them once again drive a handful of balls at decent velocity directly into Padre gloves.

One attempt at a Met comeback was short-circuited when Tim Teufel [4] sent Asdrubal Cabrera [5] homeward on a rather perilous play. Let’s give Teufel the benefit of the doubt since a good 80% of us were equally desperate for something to happen, but Cabrera was nabbed rather easily at the plate.

And yes, he was nabbed. I know there was a brief kerfuffle over whether Derek Norris [6] dropped the ball very late in the play or in the transfer, but I honestly didn’t care about that or whether or not Cabrera touched the plate, should have touched the plate, should touch the plate next time, or should do some vaguely defined something differently in some head-spinning future perfect subjunctive.

I’m not against replay, but it still needs some calibration: it should exist for getting boundary calls right and eliminating gross injustices, and not for subjecting routine plays to nitpicky NFL bullshit. Cabrera would have been out when the Cincinnati Red Stockings were taking on local nines before a crowd of still-youngish Civil War veterans; he would have out when crowds were encouraged to buy war bonds and plant victory gardens; he would have been out the first time the Padres dressed like psychedelic tacos; and he was out last night.

The Mets mounted another attempted rally in the ninth and actually had a chance when Fernando Rodney [7] threw a narcoleptic change-up to Yoenis Cespedes [8]. Cespedes missed it. It happens. Rodney then found his feel for the pitch and used a steady diet of them to dispatch Cabrera and last hope Alejandro De Aza [9].

And so the Mets vanished into the night [10] and we vanished into our beds, plagued by the disquieting thought that this series is only half over. Meaning that we have 10 more hours and 36 or 37 enemy runs yet to endure.

Or at least it feels that way, doesn’t it?