keeping a radio in my office for just such an occasion. I'm assuming there must be some sort of stipulation in the new CBA requiring getaway games to be played in the afternoon when someone's got a long plane flight ahead of them and a game the next day. That's the only thing that makes sense to me. But I digress.
I'd barely put the radio on when Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the game with a 2nd pitch Home Run. I'd left my office altogether when he hit his 2nd HR in the 4th. In between, the game was vaguely a blur.. I know it was rather back and forth at the beginning, but I tend to tune these things out, particularly while I'm working on whatever it is I need to work on, only drifting into the game whenever I hear a raised voice. Josh Lewin is particularly good for this; he has a certain punctuation to his calls, to the effect of "...and he LINES ONE DOWN THE LEFT FIELD LINE..." loud enough that you can't help but pay attention to him.
Howie Rose doesn't have quite the same intonation of Lewin, and since I've been listening to him for 20 or so years in one capacity or another, I'm sort of used to his vocal inflections. He will raise his voice in certain important moments, and you can really hear the despair in his voice when something goes against the Mets, and of course, he will elevate to a shout in those exceptionally big moments (like, say, the first No Hitter in Mets history). There's something about Lewin's timbre, however, that appears to catch the ears a bit more. Maybe it's because he's new. I did have some limited exposure to Lewin on Fox games, where I found him to be overly irritating, and since he voiced the Texas Rangers during their run of success, his voice would pop up on MLB Network bumpers here and there. I wasn't especially thrilled to see him as the new announcer alongside Howie Rose, but for the most part, he's done a fine job complementing Rose, and since Lewin apparently grew up a Mets fan as well, he has some accurate notes to banter with Howie on. And he hasn't been as screamy or lispy or grating as I thought he'd be.
So, at any rate, I heard Lewin raising his voice a few times in the 3rd and 4th inning, so I knew something good must have been going on, and if he got really loud, I might have even stopped what I was doing for a second or two to pay attention. At some point, someone came into my office and asked me the score and the inning, and I wasn't sure of the inning. I did know that the Mets were up 8-4, so that must have counted for something. Ultimately, things got a bit hairy in the 9th, I know that because Howie was getting a bit worked up by Frank Francisco, but the Mets did hold on and complete their sweep of the Rays. So much for the certain doom facing the Mets in Tampa.
So, home again, home again, jiggety jig for the Mets, after a rather schizophrenic road trip. The Reds are coming back this weekend, followed by more AL teams. Who knows what will happen. Another madcap weekend with the 2012 Mets awaits...