Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Longest Week

In honor of the 4th of July, we, as always, remind you to take your hat off and keep out of the aisles during the National Anthem.

If the first two games of this series against Arizona were long, the final two were not only long, but also excruciating given the results.

The Mets had already played a pair of games that stretched late into the night for different reasons on Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday's game was destined to do the same before it even began, thanks to a lengthy rain delay. Rain isn't something that generally bothers Matt Harvey, and for most of the early going on Wednesday night, it looked like every other Matt Harvey start. David Wright homered, Josh Satin homered, there was a full house on hand for Fireworks Night, everything was great!

Then, the 6th inning happened and everything went to pot. Matt Harvey got into a 2 on, 2 out jam, which generally isn't a problem for him, but he threw a slider that our dear friend Cody Ross just managed to get a hold of and sail over the Left Field fence for a 3-run Home Run that changed the game completely. Of course it was Cody Ross, one of those little bitch-faced nuisances that always seems to stick it to the Mets and take a little too much joy in doing so. Monday, Ross homered in the 13th and flipped his bat away like he'd just hit a walk-off. Fortunately, the Mets still had a chance to answer him in the bottom of the inning and managed to stick it in his ear by coming back to win the game. Wednesday night, the Mets had 4 opportunities to respond to Ross and were unable to do so. Harvey faltered again in the 7th inning and the Mets couldn't push enough across to get him off the hook, as he ended up stuck with his 2nd loss of the year in a rather unexciting 5-3 defeat that ended at somewhere around 12:30am, or, generally the same time as Monday's 13-inning game. And, of course, the Mets then shot off fireworks for those who remained at 1am, which was not quite as absurd as when the fireworks went off at 4am in Atlanta that one time, but was still much later than anyone involved in the planning of these things probably wanted.

That set up Thursday's July 4th afternoon game as the last chance for the Mets and D'Backs to get it right and play a nice normal game on getaway day. Unfortunately, they couldn't, as they instead played the longest game of the series in terms of innings and elapsed time. A rain delay was avoided, fortunately, because who knows how late things would have gone had that occurred. I tuned in to the game directly after watching the time-honored tradition of watching grown men shovel hot dogs into their faces in the name of the American Way and followed that up with my usual Sunday tradition of cleaning my apartment with the Mets game on in the background. It appeared that Dillon Gee was mostly efficient, but matched by Ian Kennedy (A former Yankee Prospect, so you know he MUST be good) as both teams managed only two runs apiece as the game moved into the later innings. Surely, for everyone's strength and sanity, someone ought to be able to push across a run before things ran late once again.

Surely was apparently not in the house this afternoon, because both teams went down meekly in the 9th.

Arizona threatened in the 10th, but was turned away by Carlos Torres.

The Mets got the leadoff man on in their half of the 10th, only to have Eric Young, Jr pop up a bunt and turn the inning to Jell-O.

Neither team threatened in the 11th.

The Mets got a couple of men on via walk in the 12th, only to have Kirk Gibson pull a Kirk Gibson and change pitchers with 2 outs and get David Wright to ground out to end the inning.

Finally, in the 13th, Arizona broke through, just as they had on Monday night, as the game steamed closer to 5 hours. Terry Collins' machinations led to David Aardsma intentionally walking Eric Chavez to pitch to Cody Ross and then unintentionally walking Cody Ross to force in the lead run. Then, he started playing matchups in the 13th inning, with Josh Edgin coming in to pitch to Gerardo Parra. Parra grounded into a Fielder's Choice, and then got called out for running inside the baseline. This would become rather important immediately, because Collins then pulled Edgin for Beleaguered Brandon Lyon. Lyon gave up a hit to Wil Nieves. This probably would have extended the lead, but Marlon Byrd threw out Chavez at home with ease to keep the score 3-2.

With 2 out in the bottom of the 13th, Anthony Recker hit a Home Run off Heath Bell to re-tie the game.

Arizona took the lead again in the 14th inning thanks to a series of annoying bloops and bleeders.

With 1 out in the bottom of the 14th, Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a Home Run of Chaz Roe to re-tie the game.

Arizona took the lead again in the 15th inning thanks to more bloops and bleeders strung together with 2 outs.

Unfortunately, There was no 3rd rabbit to be pulled out of the hat. The Mets managed to get runners to 2nd and 3rd in the bottom of the 15th, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out weakly to first to end the game, after 5 hours and 46 minutes of bumbling around the field.

It was fairly easy for me to describe Monday's lengthy affair, because not only was I there, the game also featured a lot of interesting little nuances. This game on Thursday defies description, simply because it was just long and you could feel how sweaty and disgusting it was just by watching it on TV. I would consider Monday's affair memorable and a game I was glad I was at, but I think I'm equally as glad that I wasn't at today's game. Of course, had the Mets lost Monday and won Thursday, I might feel differently. So maybe it's not so interesting in retrospect. I have the feeling that the Mets didn't lose on Thursday, so much as they may have just run out of gas first. Now, of course, without a day off, they have the privilege of trekking off on a road trip to Milwaukee, where they'll be right back in action tomorrow night. No rest for the weary, that's for sure.

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