Put It (a Completely Un-Mets-Like Win) in the Books!
- Updated: April 27, 2011
No, the Mets didn’t mount a 14-run ninth-inning comeback. But, for fans of this team, one could make the claim that the series of events that took place tonight, though normal for some teams, was borderline surreal. There were so many elements of an all-too-familiar script that has a very consistent ending — heartbreaking loss. Only it didn’t happen. The Mets flipped the script and won 6-3.
It may be forgotten in days with a few losses. And, no, this doesn’t change the fact that this is still a mediocre team with an under .500 record. Still, it was impressive…if not downright shocking.
This is how it looked for this Mets fans:
– A well-pitched game by R.A. Dickey predictably translated into a 2-1 Nats lead heading into the 8th. Mets faithful are already bemoaning the end of the streak, questioning why Terry Collins had Justin Turner, Scott Hairston and Mike Nickeas were in the starting lineup to begin with.
– Tyler Clippard, who made the Mets look foolish earlier in the season, is in the eighth and has retired Josh Thole to start the inning on a harmless pop-up in foul territory.
– Reyes then follows with an electric triple. The kind of play that gets you off your feet and believing again…or at least wanting to. Except that the third base umpire made a putrid call and punched Reyes out for coming off the bag (in his imaginary world). So, instead of a man on third with one out and only a sac fly needed to tie the Mets were back to nothing.
– This was the first time something very strange happened. As I fumed on the couch, I turned to my wife and said: “Now, Murph just needs to hit a home run.” It was the kind of thing Mets fans say while never taking themselves seriously for even a second. Because those things don’t happen for “our team.”
– And, then, Daniel Murphy launched a home run to rightfield. Game tied 2-2.
– So, we moved to the bottom of the eighth. The Mets then proceeded to be the Mets returning everyone to reality. Jason Bay made a valiant sliding attempt on a flyball that popped out of his glove (for a LaRoche double). Thole then let up an inexcusable passed ball. A sacrifice fly and the Metros were down 3-2 heading to the ninth. And not one Mets fan was surprised. In fact, the sequence of events was entirely expected.
– Which takes us to our second string of paranormal happenings. Jason Bay hits a ground ball up the middle that is gloved by Espinoza who is unable to make a play. Infield hit, Bay. Hope? Ike Davis then hits a sinking line drive that looks as if it’s caught but is trapped by Bernandino. In past years, Bay, who’d frozen in between first and second, would have been forced at second. He almost was. It would have been fitting. Instead, he slid in safely. First and second, no out.
Still, I anticipated a painful ending. Willie Harris then bunted, and the Nats played it poorly into a hit. Bases loaded, nobody out. Now, fatalistic Mets backers were waiting for the epic letdown. Somehow the Mets would fine a way to lose. Even with bases loaded and no outs. They are famous for finding ways to fail where no such avenues seemed open. But they didn’t fail. .091-hitting, little-used Chin-lung Hu hit a deep sac fly that advanced all runners. Tie game. Possibilities.
Josh Thole followed up with a ground ball against a pulled in infield that brought home another. 4-3 Mets. It is at this point where Mets fans rejoiced in everything they received and expected nothing else. But wait, there’s more! Daniel Murphy again comes through doubling home two more. 6-3, Mets!
– In the ninth, K-Rod didn’t even walk anyone. No runs score. Put it in the books.
I should be more eloquent, but I can’t be. Sure, we’re only 11-13. But this was no average Mets win. In fact, it wasn’t even close to normal. That’s a very good thing.