The predicted storm did move into New York on Saturday afternoon, just late enough for my company to get our afternoon performance in, but by time that happened, the Mets/Phillies game had long been postponed, creating what will undoubtedly be a long and breathless Sunday for just about anyone with rooting interest in either team.
I don't know whether or not the afternoon game, Pedro v. Moyer at 2pm will be quite as well-attended as the originally scheduled game was supposed to be. These makeup games tend to be sparsely attended, although given that Saturday's tickets are only valid for Sunday afternoon, and the fact that the attendance, no matter how many asses are actually in the Shea Seats, will be announced at something relatively close to 54,000, I suppose it won't matter much.
I'm still a bit reserved. Pensive, if you would. It would be, if I lived under a rock or in a cave, much easier to not feel as bad, although the hooting and howling about the ghosts of last season trumpeting on the back page of every paper can't make anyone feel too good. It's as though everyone has decided to conveniently forget that it's a new year, a new team, and a new attitude. I didn't help myself any by checking out our brethren at The 700 Level, the likely ringleaders of the Invasion, if only to check if they had planned a raindate. I don't know if they have, although they certainly don't have anything kind to say about the Mets, Shea, the fans, or just about anything else New York related. It's my hope, of course, that the Mets come out guns blazing tomorrow and win both games, just to give these guys a nice big shitburger. After last night, it seems like everyone's just a little tense, and the media is all too happy to feed into the tension. You know, these e-mails that fly around are know for having season-changing effects.
A quick hop over to Faith and Fear to read Jason's latest post should make you feel better. It helped me. Philly won last night simply by virtue of a few breaks and an outstanding pitching performance by a pitcher on a roll. The Mets didn't give them an inch. That should already tell you that this isn't last year. Daniel Murphy, for one, can be the poster boy for this. After banging a pair of doubles off Myers, he hung in and battled Brad Lidge in the 9th, pitch for pitch. He did what's become a bit of a specialty for him, hanging in and working the pitcher. When he finally got his pitch, the 10th of a particularly tense at bat, he hit a screamer headed for the gap in left-center. Unfortunately, it was run down. I don't need to tell you who caught it.
When Murphy returned to the dugout, he was stone-faced. It was the kind of look I hadn't seen a ballplayer exude since Mike Piazza in this particular game. It wasn't the drawn depression we'd seen last season. This was frustration. Teammates came over to him to say good at-bat or whatever, but it appeared he wasn't having any of it. Frustration, because he knew he'd got the better of Lidge. The ball just didn't fall in. Such is the way games like this go. Another chance, and he'd sail it over the head of the un-named outfielder.
Murphy, like the 2008 Mets, has the ability to shake it off and get them the next game. You didn't see an awful lot of that last year. The nerves may remain for the fans, and they'll continue to remain for the duration of the season. But something tells me this story has a different ending this year.
It continues on what is unquestionably the biggest day of Baseball the Mets will play to this point in the season.