Friday, May 10, 2013

Nice Grouping

It seems that 3 is the magic number for the Mets. They can only seem to muster 3 runs a game of late. Sometimes, it's good enough to get them a win. Tonight (and probably most nights), it was not.

My presence at Friday Night's game seemed a mistake from the get-go. I mean, I picked the game on my 15-game plan, so I had the tickets, but it just didn't seem like the kind of game I should have been going to. I had a rather rigorous work week, I already went to a game on Tuesday night (that turned out much better), and in the general meshugas of life, I didn't try very hard and ultimately couldn't find anyone to go to the game with me. So, there I was, out at Citi Field on a Friday night by myself. In fact, this was my 3rd Friday night game of the season. Most of you loyal readers (and many who don't read but know me well enough) know that I generally don't go to the Friday-Saturday-Sunday games very often. This year, I have. In the future, I may think better of it. In fact, I'm going to think better about a number of things when I build my future ticket plans (ie Fewer April night games, fewer weeks where I go to multiple games, etc). Though I got one very good Friday Night this season, the others I've been to have been pretty miserable as far as the game was concerned. In fact, were I not in a relationship, this would have been the kind of game that probably would have made me question my self-worth and wonder what the hell I'm doing. Games like tonight still make me wonder what the hell I'm doing, but at least I don't feel like I'm missing out on something of greater importance.

So, yes, there was a game going on, and I was there to see it, reluctant as I may have been. I knew that after witnessing probably the best single game pitching performance I'd ever seen on Tuesday, there was probably going to be a bit of a letdown. I didn't, however, think I'd witness Shaun Marcum put forth one of the more gutless performances I'd seen this side of Tom Glavine. Yes, Marcum did have 3 innings where he set down the Pirates in order, but when he didn't, the result was a complete and total meltdown. I was under the impression that Marcum was a reasonably good pitcher and he'd be a big help to the Mets rotation, but so far he's been nothing but injured and ineffective. It's hard for me to actually see his expressions from my perch in the Promenade, but I sort of got the impression Marcum wanted to be out on the mound about as much as I wanted to be at the game at that particular point in time.

The Pirates, who are building one of the more pesky teams in the league, started pinging Marcum to death in the 2nd inning. There were doubles, and hitting and running, and a big inning seemed imminent. Marcum eventually became unglued enough that after hitting a guy batting .077, he reared back and kicked the mound. That ought to tell you right there where he was at. He then got in the way of a potential double play ball, where he may or may not have hurt himself. When Andrew McCutchen made it to the plate with the bases loaded, I figured the situation rife for the Grand Slam and immediate departure of Marcum. But, amazingly, McCutchen flew out, buying Marcum another 3 innings before he fell apart again in the 5th. This rally started more or less the same as the one in the 2nd, except that Garrett Jones decided it best to pick up the pace and just hit the 3-run Home Run instead (and from where I was sitting, it was unquestionably a Home Run, no replay necessary. Sorry, Joe West).

So, now down 6 runs, I knew that the 3-run-a-game-Mets were sunk, even if they were facing Shrimpy Wanda Rodriguez and his garbage pail of pitches. So all I could do was stew about it for a while. Anthony Recker came to bat in the 5th inning, and it got me to thinking about Anthony Recker, because it's something that neither I, nor probably any Mets fan, has done much of. I don't know where he came from, but he's done very little good in his time with the Mets, and seeing as how John Buck has been so good so far, Recker has barely even had a chance to play. In fact, I was sort of surprised to see him playing in this game, because he tends to only spell Buck on Sundays and random weekday afternoon games. I didn't actually think I'd ever see Recker play in a game this season. He strikes me as kind of a prettyboy Mike Nickeas type, which I suppose is fine for a backup except that his defense has failed him at some pretty glaring moments. If John Buck was supposed to be the placeholder for Travis d'Arnaud, then Recker is what exactly...Oh. How quaint. Anthony Recker hit a Home Run. Now I can add him to the list of people like Nickeas, Valentino Pascucci, Armando Reynoso, Nick Evans, Roberto Petagine and Ruben Gotay as weird, random Mets players who I have happened to see hit Home Runs in person.

The rest of the game basically fell into the blah blah blah category. By the 9th, pretty much everyone who wasn't like me had cleared out or maybe found something else at Citi Field to entertain themselves. The Mets began to stage a sort-of-cosmetic rally in the last of the 9th off of Jose Contreras who for some bizarre reason still holds a spot on a Major League roster. Jordany Valdespin added his name to the Nickeas list (although I'd think it likely that I will see more Home Runs from Valdespin in the future) and Andrew Brown, who's playing more often than he probably should be playing, extended things with an RBI single, which prompted Clint Hurdle to remove Contreras in favor of his closer, Jason Grilli. Hurdle's scouts clearly were not doing their jobs, because if they had, they would have told him that changing pitchers there wasn't necessary. The Mets had officially reached their 3-run-a-game quota, so they could stop now. Or maybe Hurdle knew and just wanted to get Grilli the cheap Save. Either way, Ruben Tejada's fly out to end the game was fait accompli, ending the game and sending me steaming off to the 7 train that I was ready to get on 2 hours prior.

Another fine night at Citi Field. But at least it's better than 2009, where I felt like leaving pretty much every game I went to before the game ever started, before the Mets usually gave up 4 runs in the 1st inning.

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