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Dumb Fun

That might have been the dumbest baseball game I’ve ever seen.

It wasn’t exactly what any of us expected from Jacob deGrom [1] vs. Carlos Martinez [2], as neither ace’s location was what it needed to be. The result was basically an Adam West-Burt Ward Batman caper, with the principals milling around for a bit until it was time for more WHAM! and BIFF! and SOCK!

You could hear the Neal Hefti music as the Mets loaded the bases against Martinez with none out in the first, but nothing’s less dangerous than the Mets with the bases loaded. Jay Bruce [3] struck out, T.J. Rivera [4] drove in a run by getting hit by a pitch, and Lucas Duda [5] lined out to Randal Grichuk [6], who threw Asdrubal Cabrera [7] out at home by a time zone. Uninspiring, but hold your sighs, as it was a night for anybody and everybody to get a second chance.

(Well, except poor Cabrera. He repeatedly hit balls that could have doubled as SWAT team door-knockers, only to wind up 0 for 4. As always, it’s an unfair game.)

Back to second chances, with the momentarily revitalized Jose Reyes [8] clubbing a homer to lead off the top of the second, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. (Trade him! Trade him now!) But then the Cardinals went back to back to start the bottom of the inning, tying the game on homers from Grichuk and Paul DeJong [9]. DeGrom stalked around the mound looking understandably perturbed, which was nothing compared to how he looked when the Cardinals did it again to start off the very next inning, with Dexter Fowler [10] and Jedd Gyorko [11] the new doers of dirty work. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before; I’ll scoot out on this here limb and guess deGrom hopes to never see it again.

At that point in the game deGrom had given up four hits, each of them a solo homer, and surrendered home runs to four of the last seven batters faced. Yes really. Yet somehow the game was tied, as the Mets had kept battering Martinez. Yes really redux.

Oh, and then Bruce — the same Bruce who’d fanned with the bases loaded in the first — smacked a home run in the top of the fifth to give the Mets the lead once again. The good guys would add another run in the seventh on a T.J. Rivera [4] double that drove in Yoenis Cespedes [12], who’d hit a little grounder right through Matt Carpenter [13]‘s legs. (The run came off Elon University alum John Brebbia [14], which isn’t important except Elon was also the alma mater of Bill Graham [15], a momentary Met whose story is worth reading again [16].)

Anyway, Rivera’s RBI would prove important, as the Cardinals went to work against a forebodingly velocity-free Jerry Blevins [17] and Paul Sewald [18], then faced Addison Reed [19] in the ninth. Handed a one-run lead, Reed recorded the first two outs on two pitches, but both were rockets to dead center that threatened to leave Curtis Granderson [20] undressed with stars orbiting his head, a la Charlie Brown. That didn’t bode well, so of course Reed then struck DeJong out in a nine-pitch battle, and the Mets had won.

DeGrom won despite giving up four homers, a feat previously recorded (or perhaps the word I’m looking for is “endured”) by Rob Gardner [21] in 1966 and Johan Santana [22] in 2009. And the Mets won despite being trapped in a farcical affair that couldn’t have been more ridiculous if it had featured actual superballs instead of the nope-definitely-not-different modern MLB version. A win’s a win, so I suppose it was fun, but it was dumb fun — the equivalent of deciding fuck it, dinner will be this leftover slice of pizza, a bag of Doritos and a dozen hits from a can of Reddi-Whip that I forgot was behind the milk. We won, but if every baseball game was like this one I’d just play videogames instead.