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When I Find Myself in Times of Trouble, R.A. Dickey Comes to Me

When the Mets score eight to win by eight and give me my personal-record eighth victory in a row, you know what that means?

I don’t know. But it sure feels good. I’ll take serene eights over the crazy kind any day.

When last we saw the Phillies in New York, they were no help whatsoever, ich bin eining [1] us against each other en route to shoving us into yet another November of discontent. [2] And the last time we saw them in our neck of the woods, we were subject to those saddest of possible words: Bruntlett to Bruntlett to Bruntlett [3].

Feh on 2009. Everything sucked then. Everything’s great now. Great may sound like an overstatement for a team that just reached .500 for the first time in ten games, but I’m going with the feel, and there’s a feel in the air [4] that it’s fun to be a Mets fan until it isn’t. That moment could come any second, so let’s just let it be.

Hey, has it really been only ten games since we owned as many wins as losses? Is that all? Seems like we were buried about a hundred below and a thousand out as recently as the last road trip, but you inject an R.A. Dickey into your life, everything looks better. The whole year looks better. Goodness knows the rotation has a certain spin only an effective knuckleballer can put on it.

This is no average knuckleballer, this R.A. Dickey. This guy is fearless. We know he’s ligamentless. We know he doesn’t mind sacrificing a non-pitching elbow as necessary, per Ryan Howard’s hot liner that never saw the outfield. That may be the best sacrifice executed under the auspices of Jerry Manuel since Spring Training.

Do we have problems? No, not tonight, not after a rousing 8-0 win [5] when the weather was perfect, the Blue Point Toasted Lager was sublime and my wife made another unlikely Tuesday appearance [6] at Citi Field (we were there along with dozens of her colleagues…best workplace outing ever). There were Phillies fans in attendance, but the Fightin’ was sapped out of them early and nobody sitting anywhere near us in red could even work up a good vomit [7].

And how about that Raul Valdes? Not to jump around, but that guy is to relieving what R.A. Dickey is to starting, which is to say excellent. Wayne Hagin mentioned something about 16 starts between John Maine and Oliver Perez and one win registered by the two of them. Well, nine innings Tuesday night between R.A. Dickey and Raul Valdes and the Phillies still haven’t scored. And I still haven’t lost, as a spectator, since the grim late afternoon reaping of Willie Harris [8]. That seems longer than 6½ weeks ago.

Eight in a row. I’ve never been in on eight wins in a row in my life, a life which now spans 461 games and two home ballparks. I’ve gotten comfy at Citi Field. Maybe it’s the Blue Point Toasted Lager [9], available only from the Catch of the Day stand (all Met dingers, not that we seem to generate them all that often, need henceforth be known as Blue Point Blasts). Maybe it’s that Stephanie, who likes a good walk the way Oliver Perez can create a bad one, has room to roam. “You want me to get you that Blue Point?” she asked as she and one of her social worker friends got up to amble a middle inning away.

Why yes, I would like that very much.

Sure enough, my wife came back with the beer (a phrase I’ve never written, said or thought in my generally temperate life), I flagged down a pretzel vendor and the rest was a Met run here, a Met run there, the Phillies and their unwelcome battalion of would-be vomiters left scoreless and silent. Let ’em choke on our eight runs, our thirteen hits, our delicious Long Island microbrew and our pitchers nobody was counting on when the season began. Let the Mets continue to peck away in Build-A-Run Workshop fashion at opposing pitchers whose careers began [10] when Reagan was president, the first Cuomo was governor, Koch was mayor and our first baseman wasn’t quite yet an embryo. Let Darryl Strawberry, who always hustled and never dogged it (ahem), preach the Strawberry Way [11]anytime, anywhere, to any current Met he likes. Let Frankie Rodriguez remind Randy Niemann [12] which ’86 Met did the least and celebrated the most. Let John Maine deny his pitching arm is a problem except when he tries to pitch [13].

The Mets have just taken three straight from last year’s World Series. The Mets have just given me eight consecutive in-person wins. The Mets have Blue Point Toasted Lager. The Mets have R.A. Dickey. The Mets have Raul Valdes. The Mets have it goin’ on at least until the next torrent of sniping, aching and whatever usually goes wrong with them.

Let it be.