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

And Yet Somehow They Didn’t

I began Sunday’s finale against the Marlins annoyed about Peacock, which my wife had already forked over $5 for (complete with a calendar reminder to cancel the subscription 25-odd days from now). But Peacock’s broadcast was fine, other than the absence of our home announcers. Jason Benetti handled play by play ably, Tommy Hutton told amusing stories about never getting hit by pitches and hitting the tar out of Tom Seaver [1]‘s pitches, and Cliff Floyd [2] was entertaining throughout and quarterbacked an excellent interview with Miami’s Jazz Chisholm Jr. [3]

So that part was unexpectedly fine. The part that was unexpectedly not fine was the Mets reverting to their pre-2022 selves and proving inept with runners in scoring position: 1 for 13, if you’d like to relive the sordid details. What looked like a first-inning statement of purpose fizzled, the second inning came to naught, and even a two-run third ended with lost opportunities. Then the Mets had J.D. Davis [4] on second with the game tied and nobody out in the ninth … and couldn’t convert that.

Honestly, it’s a sign of how satisfying this season’s been that we were all dumbfounded by what didn’t happen — over and over again, it felt like the Mets were about to bust out and score a bushel of runs, or at least push one across when it was really needed, and yet somehow they didn’t.

Everything else was fine — David Peterson [5] pitched well, Luis Guillorme [6] flew through the air with the greatest of ease — except for the fact that the big hit got erased from the script. Or rather, it got penciled in on the Marlins’ side: With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Adam Ottavino [7] left a slider hanging in the middle of the plate for Nick Fortes [8], who blasted it over the left-field fence, one of those drives so obviously gone that the fielders are trotting in even before the ball lands.

Beaten by a rookie backup catcher! It happens, and honestly baseball is wonderful for the fact that it does. Except when it happens to you, on a day when everything is so obviously engineered to turn out differently but inexplicably never does [9].