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The Rainy Season

The deluge prior to Tuesday night’s game between the Mets and their infrequent visitors from the north rattled trees and plans. The deluge during the affair, on the other hand, was an offensive blessing. Runs rained down on Citi Field, almost all of them in the bottoms of innings, which is how we prefer they land upon our soggy but efficiently draining home turf. The weather kept the show from starting until nearly an hour-and-a-half had passed beyond its originally intended curtain, but the Mets’ suddenly lively bats made the delay worthwhile — while the atmospheric commotion did not disturb in the least the Toronto Blue Jays’ established migratory patterns.

The Jays come to Queens, the Jays lose in Queens. Tuesday the Jays gave up twelve Mets runs and lost to the Mets in the greater Shea area for the twelfth time since 1997. You’d think somebody would arrange to schedule these guys more often, but no point in putting too much stress on the Blue Jay that diplomatically lays its golden egg in our nest.

After such a scary late afternoon and early evening of thunder and lightning and assorted precipitation-related mishegas, we got a beautiful night, both in terms of calm skies and busy basepaths. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend an 8:36 PM first pitch, but there was something almost civilized about the improvised start time for this ticketholder. I took a later and mellower train than normal; I ogled a rainbow in the vicinity of Woodside (every sophisticated New Yorker whips out a phone and records the phenomenon for posterity); I found security delightfully less handsy than I’m accustomed to. When I climbed the steps of 509, my choice of rows awaited me. Every seat was damp, but I had the foresight to pack paper towels.

The Mets had the foresight to pound out sixteen hits, several of them in bundles, leading to multiple clusters of runs. The Mets really did score twelve and they really did give up only two. That adds up to winning baseball [1] across leagues, across borders and at home for a change. The Mets hadn’t won in their own ballpark since April 17. They hadn’t won in front of this particular fan since last September. We all got what we came for. Maybe not the Jays, but they’re welcome anytime anyway.

It was good to stand for “O Canada,” something I don’t think I’ve done in public since the Expos ceased to exist. It was good to notice the Maple Leaf flying, however limply, from one of the right field flagpoles. It was good to see Curtis Granderson [2] once more. The Mets played him a returning-hero video and we gave him a couple of richly deserved standing ovations. I don’t know how the Blue Jays felt about seeing Noah Syndergaard [3], the pitching prospect they gave up in 2012 in the name of Going For It. We gave them R.A. Dickey. Dickey was pretty decent for them, but Thor was young and limitless. He still has potential, some of which has yet to be delivered upon. You looked up in the first and Noah struck out the side. You looked up in the fifth and Noah was past a hundred pitches. Whatever the context of his remarks passed along by the Post’s Mike Puma, Dave Eiland wasn’t altogether off base when he suggested Syndergaard has “yet to do a whole lot at the major league level”.

No doubt the Jays prefer Noah was doing it for them. Even with their former minor league pitcher still grasping for optimal efficiency in 2018, they only reached him for two runs in five innings. The Mets were altogether on base the rest of the time, giddily rounding many of them in rapid succession. A five-run fourth; a three-run fifth; a three-run eighth. Yes, the Mets.

Everybody did something that made coming out in the rain the wise choice. With Michael Conforto sitting versus lefty Jaime Garcia and Yoenis Cespedes’s quad/hip flexor floating unmoored within the mysterious confines [4] of Mets injury protocol purgatory, Juan Lagares [5] emerged from under wraps to knock out four hits, including a triple, and drive in three runs. He even stole a base, which is something Mets are usually too polite to try. Former and perhaps future phenom Amed Rosario [6] was legitimately phenomenal, chipping in three hits, featuring a double that was nearly a homer, but whatever didn’t go out on Tuesday simply kept the carousel spinning. Devin Mesoraco [7], he of the Devin Mesoraco Trade, homered and scored four times. Luis Guillorme [8] notched his first career RBI. Noah drove in a pair of runs, or as many as he allowed. Seth Lugo [9] didn’t drive in any runs, but he was nearly perfect for three innings of relief.

Baseball should always be so civilized.

The only drawback to the late hour was it eventually cost me my compadres. This outing was organized by Met Maven First Class Matt Silverman [10], but he had to bolt after seven innings, as he lives about as far as a Mets fan can live from Citi Field while still saying he lives somewhere remotely in the vicinity of Citi Field. The other half of our contingent was the intrepid Uni Watch [11] team of Paul Lukas and Phil Hecken (credit to them for noticing the Mets’ starting infield of Flores, Cabrera, Rosario and Reyes represented four shortstops manning four different positions). They were gone by the fifth in deference to Paul’s stubborn head cold. For a moment, around the eighth, left to my own devices in a mostly deserted Promenade, I thought, well, should I go, too?

Then I realized my own devices are set to being at a Mets game, especially when the Mets are wining by a lot and in the process of adding to their advantage. Of course I stayed. I stayed until Jacob Rhame recorded the final out and Ace Frehley confirmed we were back…BACK in the New York groove, a helluva place to be. The Blue Jays may beg to differ, which would explain why they come around so rarely.