Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not Worth Remembering

On a night where the Mets started out their day facing a field covered in snow, it seemed somewhat fitting that they would finish it by bumbling through a game dressed in the throwback uniforms of one of their worst years ever.

The circumstances that put the Mets in this particular fix were bizarre enough. After a pair of consecutive snow-outs spanning two different cities, the Mets hoped to get a day-night Doubleheader in against the Colorados on Tuesday. The first game was scheduled for 3pm in New York. But removing the more than half a foot of snow from a city that is routinely buried in snow was apparently a much taller task than anticipated, leaving WFAN to only update us with "We'll have an hour's notice as to whether or not they'll play." So, fair enough.

After some waiting around, and after hearing that the separate admission doubleheader was melded into a single-admission doubleheader, they finally announced a 5pm start time. This game started out well enough, with David Wright getting off his Home Run schneid and Dillon Gee pitching reasonably well. At 6pm, I shut off the radio and left to go home, where I figured I'd be able to catch the last few innings at home.

By time I got home, I was greeted with a now 5-4 Colorado lead, so I missed Gee's 5th inning meltdown. Nonetheless, I wasn't too concerned, since Colorado is a place where no lead is safe. This thinking would bite me in the ass later in the evening. I also overlooked the fact that very few good things have ever happened to the Mets in Coors Field, dating back to its first game.

Though the Colorados have rather poor starting pitching, their bullpen looks rather good. I don't know whether this is actually the case, but they certainly shut the Mets down the rest of the way while the Mets bullpen allowed the Colorados to keep tacking on runs. The final, 8-4, was just about as ugly as it looked.

So, a quick meal, a change of uniforms and hopefully a regroup before the second game. Until I noticed that the Mets were wearing these horrible uniforms with a tail under the team name. I should have known right then and there that the Mets were screwed. Nothing good happened to the Mets in 1993. I lived through it, and so did many of us. The horrible karma that the sight of those uniforms generated should have spelled it out clearly right there. And that's why I can't say I felt especially good even after Aaron Laffey—or was it Jason Jacome?—got through his start in reasonably good shape. Despite giving up 13 hits in 4 innings, the Mets backed him up with some offense and ran out to an 8-2 lead.

But, just like in the first game, the bullpen told the story. The Colorados stopped the Mets cold, and the Mets let the Colorados back in it. Before the paint dried, 8-2 was 8-6 thanks to Josh Edgin. And the combination of the cold, the inconsistency from not having played for three days, and the end of an excruciatingly long game combined with the stink of those 1993 jerseys combined to do the Mets in. Brandon Lyon—not Mike Maddux—kicked away an inning ending grounder in the 8th, John Buck—not Charlie O'Brien—didn't pay enough attention to Carlos Gonzalez and finally Ruben Tejada—not Tony Fernandez—threw away a routine grounder allowing the Colorados to tie the game.

From where I was sitting, the Mets were dead in this game. They looked about as cold and miserable as the some 300 hearty souls in Coors Field (as an aside, my other half was wondering why there were so many "Lets Go Mets!" chants in Colorado. My explanation was that they were either Mets fans transplanted to Denver who only had so many opportunities to see their team, or they were traveling fans who were stuck in Denver with nothing particularly better to do), and they probably would have been better served just letting someone hit the walk-off Home Run and getting out of there, but nooooo. Dante Bichette was nowhere to be found. With more snow beginning to fall, they just HAD to go to Extra Innings. On the other hand, since the Mets were stuck in a horrible 1993 time warp, I suppose it was fitting that they had to go to the last man in the bullpen, Greg Burke—not Mike Draper—as the sacrificial lamb for the inevitable ending. This, I suppose, is somewhat fortunate, because if they really wanted to stick it to everyone, they would have let the game go 14 innings before losing. So that was considerate on their part. Plus it was 1am in New York and I needed to get to bed. It was so late, in fact, that I couldn't be bothered to write anything until now.

So, if Tuesday wasn't ridiculous enough, now it's snowing again in Denver, throwing tonight's proposed affair, scheduled despite a low temperature of 9º, is now in doubt. So, we may just have to do this again tomorrow. I'd think, at this point, the Mets are just trying to survive at this point until they can get home for Friday, where the game time temperature is allegedly going to be 68º. Perish the thought.

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