Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Out In The Cold

I left early.

I'm not proud of this fact, and I don't like admitting that I did it, but I left tonight's game early.

Josh Edgin had just surrendered a 2-run double to A.J. Ellis. Mark Ellis had already done his best Mark McGwire impression. The game, which had been moving at a snail's pace even without the Jonathon Niese injury delay, had stretched past 3 hours. The Mets had, to this point, mustered 2 runs and 3 hits in spite of the fact that they cajoled Clayton Kershaw into a sweaty 110-pitch effort over 5 innings, but had surprisingly little to show for it.

The temperature, cold for the standards of any game, was starting to make my legs stiff. For the second time this season, I was wearing a winter coat at Citi Field, which I already said shouldn't be done. The Weather Channel app on my phone said it was 51ยบ, which was absolute, unadulterated bullshit. I've been out in January in Binghamton and it might have felt warmer than it did tonight at Citi Field.

There were no more than 10,000 people at the game, and they were abandoning in droves.

I just couldn't do it anymore. I didn't see a miracle comeback on the horizon and I was fucking freezing. Neither my colleague nor I could deal with another pitching change. So, we left. I realize this is a blow to my Mets fan street cred, but I can't say I particularly care. I wasn't really itching to sit out at Citi Field until close to 11pm, then spend another hour on the subway getting home. 

Up until the Ellises struck, this was actually shaping up like a marginally decent game. Jonathon Niese didn't particularly have his best stuff, and had an Oliver Perez-like 2nd inning where he walked the ballpark before Kershaw bailed him out by hitting into a DP. Then, of course, he took the Mark Ellis comebacker off his leg and was out of the game, day-to-day just like the rest of us. He was fortunate to only be down 1-0.

But Kershaw, who appears to be right out of the Tim Lincecum school of unorthodox pitching mechanics, didn't have his best stuff either. Known for his great control, Kershaw nonetheless ran the count full on pretty much every Met that came to bat against him. Hell, Kershaw managed to walk Robert Carson of all people, who came to bat for the first time in the 3rd and looked like he was ready to pull a Dae Sung Koo act had Kershaw simply been able to find the plate (and as an aside, after walking Carson, Kershaw then made a pickoff attempt on him, which I assume he did just to be a dick). Somehow, that innocuous 2-out walk to the emergency relief pitcher keyed a 2-run rally that put the Mets ahead, and when Carson acquitted himself splendidly over 2 innings, I was beginning to write a blog post in my head anointing Robert Carson as the unsung hero of a steely victory...

...Then Mark Ellis tied the game.

...Then the rest of the Mets bullpen struck.

The bullpen was going to have to do some heavy lifting if the Mets were going to win this game, and after Carson's 2.1 solid innings, Atchison held as well. Brandon Lyon, who has pitched reasonably well to this point, came next, and of course that's when the game started to get as frigid as the temperature. I'm willing to give Lyon one of those "somedays, the bear gets you" passes, even though just about every Mets reliever ever has been on thin ice with me. But Josh Edgin has just been putrid lately, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who seems to think he's just about pitched himself off the team. A 5-2 deficit, the way the Mets have been known to strike, wasn't necessarily insurmountable. All Edgin had to do was get through the inning without doing any damage, but it appears he's incapable of doing that. He killed the last game in Colorado, he gave up the HR to Harper on Saturday, and tonight, he basically drove me to leave the game an inning and a half early. That, right there, ought to be a serious indictment of Josh Edgin's travails this season.

Although if it were June or July, I might have felt more inclined to stick around, even if I knew how the ending was going to turn out.

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