So, for 8 innings last night, it seemed like the Mets had failed to show up for the biggest game of the year (and at this point in time, every game is the biggest game of the year). They couldn't field, they hit into double plays every time there was a man on base, Glavine was horrendous, there were fielding mistakes, mental mistakes and the team looked lifeless and staring at yet another total embarrassment at the hands of the hideous Nationals. How bad was this game? El Guapo and I were exchanging text messages throughout:
El Guapo: Last 6 games, here we go. Make sure you have some booze handy.
Mets2Moon: I'm shooting heroin right now.
El Guapo: Probably a good idea.
El Guapo: Let's see how many runners in scoring position we can strand in one game.
Mets2Moon: How about how many times we can no-show the biggest game of the year.
El Guapo: 2 big blown chances at the plate and failing to cover 2nd in the 7th. That's the ballgame.
Mets2Moon: Here comes the DP. I want to die.
El Guapo: Phils lost. So that's something.
It was so bad that at some point I stopped paying attention to Howie and Tom and forgot what inning it was. When Delgado hit into the DP to end the 8th, I thought the game was over.
Then, of course, they woke up in the last half of the 9th and made the final score look like something somewhat respectable. But in typical 2007 Mets fashion, the rally was a day late and a dollar short and now we can only think about the whatifs in the game.
I guess we can take solace in the fact that Atlanta stuck it to Philly last night, rallying to win even after blowing a 4 run lead of their own, thanks to HRs from Mark Teixeira (just a handsome, strapping young man) and Larry (perhaps the first thing he has ever done in his career that was helpful to the Mets). The cheers and the tomahawk chops at Shea after the final score was posted were clearly audible over the radio. Of course, we should not turn a blind eye to Atlanta; they're still on the fringes of this race, although 4 games out with 5 to play is about as fringe as it gets. But we have to root for them now. I wholeheartedly admit this. It's like pouring sand down my throat, but dammit, we have to root for the fucking Braves.
But while Brave victories over Philadelphia are nice, and helpful to the cause, it would better (and much less cathartic) if the Mets could actually show up for one of these very important games. Tonight will be a mystery of epic proportions, as Philip Humber finally is given a chance to show us what he's got. You know, Philip Humber, he of being buried in the back of the bullpen by Willie despite the fact that he's one of the organization's top prospects? He of the 3 innings pitched in the last month? Yeah, him. You remember Humber, right (That's Humber, not Humbert)? I have high hopes for Humber, although I wish his first start was in a game that wasn't so pressure-packed. Especially considering that if something goes badly, the bullpen parade of Mota, Schoeneweis, Feliciano, Heilman, Grumpy, Dopey and Bashful are sure to be summoned, and in rapid succession.
Tony Paige on WFAN read an open letter to Humber last night, asking for 8 or 9 innings, 1 run and no walks. We can dream, can't we?