Friday, September 26, 2008

Alive

Well, I didn't see that coming.

If the Mets are still standing on Monday morning, it will be because of one of the ugliest plays in baseball you could ever hope to see. I don't know how Ryan Church evaded Koyie Hill's tag and I don't want to know. I will simply choose to think of that play as a small sign from the baseball gods that maybe, just maybe, this team isn't dead yet.

It's the type of play that becomes part of a franchise's folklore, something that fans flash back to years later when recalling their memories of a particular season. And of course, because these are the Mets, it has to be said that the play never should've happened in the first place.

Church brainlocked earlier in the inning and didn't follow Carlos Beltran on the back end of a double-steal attempt. Instead, Church had to try to score from first on Robinson Cancel's double and by all rights should've been a dead duck.

That's the Mets for you - why do things the easy way if there's a more difficult and agonizing path to take?

Church blows the double-steal and Luis Aguayo sends him around third base even though the throw home beats him to the plate by 15 feet. Somehow it works out. Daniel Murphy brain-locks in the ninth and tries to bunt three balls out of the strike zone, one of which was on a 2-2 count while Jose Reyes gets a tremendous jump on a steal attempt. Somehow it works out.

These are the games the Mets have been losing for the last two weeks or so. Last night they finally reached a point where, as hard as they tried to bumble away another desperately needed victory, they simply could not close the deal. For once, we can be glad about that!

So three games to go and the division is still realisitically in play. The Phillies are playing the Nationals and there's no reason to believe they won't take 2 out of 3. The Marlins are back in town to finish the regular season against the Mets and itching to play spoiler again. Everyone remembers how 2007 ended; the Mets have a unique chance at redemption against the team that delivered the final blow last season. Win all three games and the Mets clinch at least a tie for a playoff berth, and since I don't see the Brewers sweeping the Cubs this weekend, it will guarantee at least the Loser's Reward.

I'm supposed to have tickets for tonight's game, but I have little hope it's going to actually get played. From what I understand of the weather pattern, tomorrow's game is in jeopardy as well, which threatens the commissioner's office mandate to finish the regular season by Sunday night. Maybe Saturday's game turns into a 7:10 start and they play a single-admission doubleheader on Sunday?

It's been terrible rooting for the Mets for the last two weeks, but at least we're playing meaningful baseball this weekend. That's more than I can say for the guys on the other side of town!

4 comments:

tim said...

You know, you are the one who doesn't deserve playoff baseball. Who cares about the bumbling? They won two of four from the Cubs, even if the Cub lineup was a shell of itself last night. You seem to have to find every little pessimistic detail to harp on. Enjoy the Met's Magic. Embrace it.

James Allen said...

Jack, you have to put up a screen shot of Church right after Hill caught the ball. He is so far from the plate, and Hill is basically right in his path, that is just boggles the mind he ended up being safe without the catcher dropping the ball.

If he's out, the third base coach would be getting roasted for it (as well as that great ninth inning bunt signal confusion.)

But they won, and winning is one hell of a soothing balm.

go Mets. Woo.

James Allen said...

Gee whiz...

I wish the guys on this team came out with at least half the intensity of Hanley Ramirez. It sure as hell didn't take long to drain all the juice out of the joint. Before the Mets seemed to realize they were actually playing a game, Ramirez had singled, stole second, and scored. After that, at least from my TV watching vantage point, the crowd sounded like it had all the energy of a dentist's waiting room.

Naturally, the offense followed suit. The pen doing the usual is hardly notable anymore (Manuel might as well start using a Magic 8-Ball when choosing relievers), as they weren't going to come back anyway.

As much as I hate games like Wednesday's, I hate games like this even more. Coming one hit short too many times is a hell of a lot bettter than looking completely listless.

P.S. Regardless of what might happen the rest of the way, can I not have to look at Marlon Anderson ever again?

James Allen said...

BALLS

No matter what happens tomorrow, I saw a guy do all you could ask and more in the last five days. Johan Santana, I salute you. Too bad your grit couldn't rub off a little more on this team the past couple weeks. Maybe it can at least rub off on Ollie Perez for tomorrow.

go Mets. go Cubs. go Nationals. woo.