Monday, May 27, 2013

Hip Hip Oy Vey

A major Arts Festival precluded me from keeping too much of an eye on the actions of this past weekend, which meant that I didn't get a chance to say anything about the folly of Friday's suspended game, but then again, given how that game and Saturday's subsequent game turned out, there wasn't much I could say that was either a) Kind or b) Already said by someone else. Sunday, the Mets actually won, although I really can't gather whether or not they skillfully outplayed the Braves or just kind of fell ass-backwards into a victory because that does happen sometimes, even to the Mets.

So, that brought us to Monday, and the return of the highly anticipated or utterly loathsome (or perhaps both) Subway Series with the Yankees. Once again, I'm not going to any of the games, for reasons I've explained previously. That's not to say that I was a little tempted, seeing as how they can't seem to give away tickets to these games (fine seats are readily available on a variety of outlets). But, no, I've decided I can't deal with it. The past few years, the Mets have generally looked rather bad against the Yankees, no matter how well they might be playing, and this year, well, forget it. The one upshot to all of this is that instead of having to be subjected to the Yankees and their semi-educated legion of fans 6 times a season, that number has now been reduced to a much more palatable 4, all of which are conveniently this week. So, there's that.

Monday's opener brought the biggest crowd since Opening Day to Citi Field this year (and I'd assume that after Tuesday, the largest crowd you'll see will be at the All Star Game), a paltry 32,911. If 10,000 seats went completely unsold for a Subway Series game on a National Holiday, then you know things are really going badly. Fortunately, the 10,000 available seats were not bought up by enterprising Yankee fans determined to take over Citi Field with their circus chants and chicken sacrifices, so the crowd appeared to be mostly slanted towards the Mets (The 7 Line, who could easily be described as Mets Freedom Fighters, were quite visible in Center Field, which pleases me). I was at home, in front of the TV.

Jonathon Niese, who has been sort of the poster boy, along with players like Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada, of the struggles the Mets have had this early part of the season, came out and pitched one of his better games of the season, scattering 8 hits over his 7 innings, and only allowing a run when the aforementioned Duda face-planted on a dying quail by Brett Gardner, allowing the ball to roll behind him for a triple in the 6th. Fortunately, this was the only run Niese would allow. Unfortunately, the Mets offense has often been hard-pressed to match a run, and at the plate, they were making Phil Hughes look like the phenom stud pitcher every Yankee fan continues to insist he is. Thus, it appeared Niese was destined for a Matt Harvey, a fine outing in which he got no run support and left the game either tied or losing.

But...David Wright did what he's been doing all season and got a big hit, in this case a tying Home Run in the 7th.

But...David Wright did what he's been doing all season and made a big play in the field, starting an inning-ending DP in the 8th.

But...Daniel Murphy did what he's been doing some of the season and drove in the lead run in the 8th inning.

And Bobby Parnell, who really ought to be commended for the job he's done this season, finished things off in the 9th, shutting up the Yankees and their fans and actually getting this season's incarnation of the Subway Series off to a winning start. That's not to say it was pretty, because Parnell did allow a single to Ichiro with 1 out, and couldn't you just see one of these scrap-heap Yankees like Overbay or Hafner somehow pulling a Home Run out of their ass? This seemed like the kind of thing that's been happening for the Yankees over pretty much the entire history of the Subway series. But, no. Parnell was up to the task of gassing Overbay for the 2nd out, and then induced Hafner to pop up—and probably give every Mets fan a heart attack as they waited for the ball to come down—to Wright, who held the ball and gave the Mets a fine victory...and come back with Matt Harvey on Tuesday.

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