- Faith and Fear in Flushing - https://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Crazy Eights

Once upon a time the Mets were down six runs in the seventh and with my eyes on bedtime I composed a minor recap I knew wasn’t a classic but thought did its duty well enough, particularly grading on the curve for West Coast night-owl duty. It was called “Ten Commandments for a West Coast Loss,” and it was mildly melancholy and warmly philosophical and other things you can probably guess.

And then all hell broke loose and the backspace key and I spent some quality time together.

In the eighth the Mets scored seven runs on eight singles and a triple, sending 12 men to the plate yet somehow only seeing 38 pitches. They didn’t need to work deep counts because slapstick reliably ensued — fielding miscues, balls sneaking through holes and pretty much any other form of mayhem one might imagine. When the dust settled some time later — 40 minutes? a week? — that 8-2 deficit had become an 11-8 lead, Stephen Nogosek [1] was in line for his first career win after doing yeoman work in a seemingly lost cause, and the entire dugout was exchanged dazed grins.

Ah, but innings feature two halves. Drew Smith [2] retired the first two Giants and it looked like San Francisco would slink off to think about what they’d collectively done, but then Smith allowed a single and a walk and Joc Pederson [3] hit his third home run of the game, a cruise missile that came down in McCovey Cove. The Giants settled for sending nine guys to the plate, collecting four singles and that homer on 36 pitches, and the game was tied.

So of course Dom Smith [4] tripled to lead off the ninth and of course he scored and somewhere in there I told my kid, “Pederson is totally coming to the plate as the potential last out.”

And of course Edwin Diaz [5] came out and looked shaky and got a double play and walked a guy and allowed a single and holy cats there was Pederson again, with a muse singing of his rage. Would he hit a fourth home run? No, but a bolt of a single up the middle was enough to tie the game (and give Pederson an eighth RBI) and before anyone could get done being mad at Diaz Brandon Crawford [6] had spanked a single to left and there was going to be a play at the plate on Darin Ruf [7], recently seen caught in the netting like a crew member doing pre-viz for The Hobbit, and I allowed myself a brief bump of hope before realizing that the throw was coming in a half-second too late, which was correct and the Mets had lost [8].

I mean, that was madness. It was bonkers. You could have had both teams play in zero gravity and do Whip-Its before each pitch and it wouldn’t have been much nuttier. And somehow these two teams will be expected to play tomorrow, instead of sleeping for three days and then starting therapy.

Yes, tomorrow. Which, for those of you who aren’t lunatics, means today. Late-afternoon matinee New York time, Thomas Szapucki [9] reporting for circus duty. As I now don’t need to tell you, anything could happen and probably will.