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Land of 10,000 Runs

When I was in junior high, I’d carry a Bic pen in the front left pocket of my jeans and, at some point in the course of the school year, the pen would explode. Several points, actually…and a whole pack of pens. I never understood that. It was just hanging around during one class, then making a horrible mess of things the next (similar to my grades some semesters).

The Minnesota Twins must have felt like my front left jeans pocket c. 1977 on Wednesday afternoon. All the ink pent up in the Mets suddenly went KABOOM all over them. Once they realized what hit them, there wasn’t nearly enough Bold, Cheer or Cold Power in the house to scrub that stain out.

Meanwhile, the Mets, in the role of the pen, were quite pleased with themselves, flicking their proverbial Bic all over Minneapolis. They were trailing in the middle of the seventh inning, 3-2, and came away blowout winners [1], 14-4. They romped so hard, I hear the Twins are considering changing the name of Target Field to Romper Room.

We were treated to both a passel and a plethora of offense from the Mets, whose general level of play we found so offensive as recently as just after the All-Star break, which — you’re not going to believe this — was less than a week ago. But we were so much older then; we’re younger than that now.

We’re certainly hotter, having won four in a row, all on the road, for the first time anywhere in nearly two months. Not too many 14-run outbursts in our carry-on bags until the Minnesota finale, though. The Mets took a good, tense bullpen duel [2] on Tuesday night and didn’t overly overwhelm the Marlins when they commenced their recent winning ways. Those were the Marlins, the lone National League team the Mets were able to look down their noses upon. These, on the second leg of the trip to unexpected success, were the Twins of AL Central first-place elevation. You’re not gonna come out of nowhere and lay a dozen runs on the first-place Twins over the final three innings in their home ballpark.

Sure, you are. It’s what the Mets did. After hanging in admirably through six-and-a-half (Jason Vargas [3] being a totally quality starting pitcher: 6 IP, 3 ER), the Metsies got all Twinsie on their opposition. The biggest hit, the one that put them ahead when it was still a ballgame, was Dominic Smith [4]’s three-run pinch homer off Trevor May, scoring Amed Rosario [5] and Adeiny Hechavarria [6] in front of him. Rosario (not to be confused with the Twins’ version) had gotten the Mets going in the second with his tenth home run of the year. Ten home runs for a shortstop never touted for slugging, even in homer-happy 2019, is pretty impressive and a reminder that there’s likely a plethora/passel of talent embedded somewhere within that occasionally frustrating shortstop.

Amed ended the day with four hits. Dom wound up his third-of-a-day with four RBIs. In August of 2017, we applauded the promotion of each budding prospect to the big leagues. Intermittently since, we’ve set one or both aside in favor of the light given off by newer and shinier objects of our affection. Smith is 24. Rosario is 23. It’s fun to think that afternoons like this one might be a template for their continued development.

Of course if fun is your thing, dwell for a spell in the eighth inning. The Mets were still ahead, 5-3, thanks in great part to a young man from the Dominican Republic named Jeurys Familia [7]. Heard of him? He came on and threw a scoreless inning to preserve a lead. It’s almost like he’d done that before. We should really check this guy out. Anyway, it’s 5-3 going to the eighth and the Mets are trying to do more than cling to their edge. They’re trying to enhance it. Robinson Cano [8] walks to lead off. Rosario (again, ours) singles with two out. Hechavarria lofts a long fly ball to left. Deep, but not deep enough. It comes down on the glove of Rosario (theirs this time).

Did I say “on” his glove? Yes, because the ball did not land securely in the pocket of Eddie Rosario’s glove for a third out. It chose instead to clank off of it. With the ball roaming free with wild abandon, in came Robbie, followed closely by Amed, who has renewed his habit of running hard since somebody noticed he briefly paused it.

And would ya look at all that ink? What a shame for the Twins and whoever does their laundry.

Pen exploded, the Mets created a signature inning. A double for Jeff McNeil [9] to drive in Adeiny. A single for Dom to drive in Jeff. And Pete Alonso [10], America’s home run heartthrob, reminded us how close 474 feet from home plate can be in the hands of the above-average Bear.

FOUR-HUNDRED SEVENTY-FOUR FEET…WHOA! Y’know? Yeah, Polar Pete powered a pitch from Matt Magill so high above the Twin Cities that it took out a heretofore sturdy television station transmitter and knocked WJM off the air. In his typical oblivious fashion, local anchorman Ted Baxter continued to read the news as if nothing had happened.

The score by this point, as if one needed to be kept, was Mets 11 Twins 3. After Chris Mazza [11] threw a serviceable inning of relief in very sharp striped socks, Minnesota answered by sending forth Ehire Adrianza to mop up. Don’t feel bad if your pre-Interleague series bullpen research yielded no usable intelligence on Adrianza. Ehire is a shortstop usually and served as Rocco Baldelli’s white flag on Wednesday. The first-place Twins were crying “UNCLE” in the face of the fourth-place Mets. Good luck holding off the Indians with that attitude. Three more runs on five more hits ensued. I’d say a position player’s presence on the mound made a mockery of the game, but the game already included the use of designated hitters, so why not go all the way?

The Mets are going all the way to San Francisco on a four-game winning streak. Pack a fresh set of pens, plant them in the Giants’ pockets and keep an eye out for what might happen somewhere between Spanish and Algebra.