Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Stink

With 2 outs and nobody on in the 9th inning last night, I was standing up, stretching, ready to hop on the train home and write about how the Mets had finally won a game at home, in spite of themselves, and how great Matt Harvey pitched in his final game of the year, and how I'd been to 3 Mets/Phillies games this season and the Mets had won all 3, and how things were maybe starting to look up a little bit...And then the rest of the game happened.

I've made mention before about how losing begets losing, and once the stink takes over it's impossible to wash it off unless some heads are rolled, and that's basically what happened. Josh Edgin, in the game specifically, I assume, to face Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and get them out, got neither of them out. Utley walked after a couple of borderline pitches and then forgetting that Ball 4 was Ball 4, and then Ryan Howard, who looked slow and injured and mostly foolish all night, caught hold of a high fastball and Goodnight, Nurse. The punchless Mets couldn't punch their way out of this, and thus came their 8th straight Home Loss, their 22nd loss in their last 23 games at home, my 4th loss in a row, and basically killed all the good vibes flowing among the 236 or so people that were at this game (21,741 my ass).

But it shouldn't have had to come to that. The Mets managed only 2 runs on their 9 hits. On multiple occasions, Kelly Shoppach came up with men in scoring position and managed only to strike out. Lucas Duda fared no better. Andres Torres had, perhaps, the most unconscionable AB of the night, with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 8th, at a point where a measly fly ball would have produced a huge insurance run. Torres predictably slapped a ball right to Utley, who started a comically fast Double Play to end the inning and set the stage for the disaster in the 9th.

That's the epitome of stink, but in reality, the stink was percolating all night long. Matt Harvey, who was certainly more than deserving of a win after his brilliant 7 innings of 1-run, 1-hit ball, kept the stink at bay, but it really was there all night long. I could tell as soon as I got on the 7 train out to the game, when I noticed that, at about 6:10pm, I was the only one on the train wearing anything Mets related. I could tell when I got into the Stadium, walked around the Field Level for a while, found myself by Shake Shack...and found that there was nobody there. I mused to myself as I ate my first Shackburger of the season, "What would happen if the Mets had a game and I was the only one who showed up?" It certainly seems like things are heading that way. Tonight, I could have probably counted the number of people in Section 518 on two hands, and for my final game of the season next Monday, I wonder if I would even need that many.

There's all sorts of fan griping going on after this one, from the Mets failure to retaliate to Cole Hamels hitting Scott Hairston following Wright's HR (ridiculous—didn't seem to me like Hamels did it on purpose, and why should Harvey hand the Phillies the tying run on base when the Mets can't score in the name of macho postyring), to the Mets failure to retaliate to Howard's Home Run (at that point, what was the use?). But the calm, reserved nature I seem to have taken here might sum it up. The stink is so bad that I can't even get angry about it anymore. If this team were in a Pennant Race and this crap was going on, there might be some real sparks flying. But what's the point? You can only yell about the same thing so much before you ask yourself if anyone's really listening.

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