Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beating the Rush

Things started out so beautifully this evening at Citi Field, my 7th game of the season and my 2nd time this season taking in the mastery of Johan Santana. It was a nice, warm May night, with the pollen count at a tolerable level for my allergies and the chicken sandwich from Blue Smoke its normal tasty self. Lucas Duda hit and Ike Davis hit and the Mets were ahead, and Johan Santana was cruising along.

Then, SPLAT.

That would be the bullpen imploding in the 8th inning, following a string of questionable moves by Terry Collins. Collins has, in general, had the right touch with the bullpen this season, and given that the parts he has are limited to begin with, there's only so many moves that can be made. But in this particular moment, you'd have to question why remove Parnell at all after the 7th, and bring in Jon Rauch, who just didn't have it at all, and then, following the Byrdak Shuffle, go to D.J. Carrasco, who never had it and was already in the doghouse with the rest of his team after his petulant display on Tuesday night.

You could see the beginning trickle of fans starting to leave once Carrasco came in the game, as though imminent doom was approaching. Nonetheless, given the way the Mets have performed of late, a 1-run deficit was hardly insurmountable. Carrasco, of course, made sure that such late-game theatrics wouldn't be necessary by incinerating things entirely. At least he had the good sense not to drill Devin Mesoraco after Todd Frazier's second bomb of a Home Run. Mercifully, Carrasco's been DFA'd, so we won't have to be subjected to him and his inability to get hitters out on a consistent basis anymore. I wish Manny Acosta were on similar thin ice.

So, at this point, the trickle of fans leaving had turned into a steady stream, and Citi Field was taken over by a patter of Reds Fans (there's always a few), at which point I figured I may as well get myself ready for a quick departure. Lately, I seem to be getting hung up in a crowd on the staircase for one reason or another, and I end up missing the first Express train back to Manhattan. This is a drag, because the Express has a tendency to sit around for 10 minutes at the station before it goes. Therefore, if you're on the first one, and you're fortunate enough to get a seat, you'll sit there while the train gets crowded and then leaves, but if you miss it, you're stuck there waiting, and then the train pulls in and you're sitting there another 10 minutes with the stadium staff, some of the guys from the Pepsi Patrol and a few stragglers.

It's not often that I give up on a game like this, but you could tell that the Mets weren't coming back. Aroldis Chapman came in and zapped through the 8th, and Sean Marshall, who for some reason is closing for the Reds, got through a relatively uneventful 9th, replete with me slipping down the stairs of 518 and hovering around for a few minutes before the game ended and I made my mad dash. If I ran anyone over, I apologize, but, hey, there was no good reason to stick around.

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