I wrote about the Montreal Expos T-Shirt I purchased during a recent trip to Montreal. I'd promised, after some heavy consideration and discussion, to wear the shirt to the next Mets/Nationals game I was in attendance for, which happened to be tonight's game at Citi Field. My logic seemed sound: The Nationals have done very little to honor their roots and the memory of the team they once were, they've unretired all the numbers and make no mention of a franchise that came within an inch of going to the World Series in 1981 and might have been the best team in Baseball period in 1994. Therefore, my wearing an Expos shirt is not so much supporting the Nationals in a vague sense, I believe it is showing disrespect to the Nationals, because they don't respect their time as the Expos. So, F--- You Nationals. My promise was kept, and the Expos shirt was worn tonight at Citi Field.
Unfortunately, the shirt brought no luck to the Mets. In reality, the shirt probably had nothing to do with it. A Mets attack that featured the heavy involvement of players like Justin Turner, Lucas Duda, Omar Quintanilla, Josh Satin and Mike Baxter may have had more of an impact on the outcome of the game.
It could be argued that Dillon Gee might belong on that list as well, and certainly Gee didn't look good in the early going. The Nationals were stinging line drives all over the place in the early innings, primarily off the bat of the hideous Jayson Werth, who Homered in the 1st inning and drove in a run with a long double in the 3rd. Adam LaRoche also chimed in with a longball, and it appeared a long night was in store for all 7,000 or so in attendance. But to his credit, Gee settled down and made it into the 7th inning, perhaps pitching better than his final line might have indicated. His near-Houdini act to almost get out of a severe jam in the 6th was undercut by a 2-out RBI single from Wilson Ramos, but in the end, (SILVER LINING ALERT!!!) he kept the game respectable when it certainly looked like a repeat of Monday was possible early on.
The Mets chipped away bit by bit, first on an RBI single by Justin Turner and later on, a 2-run single from Matt den Dekker made it a 4-3 game. Surely, the Mets could find a way to scrape across one more run against a fairly porous Nationals bullpen, right? Apparently that was a bit too much to ask, because they couldn't do it in the 7th or 8th in spite of having men on base, and then in the 9th, Tim Byrdak spared us all of an interesting 9th by allowing a truly monstrous Home Run to Scott Hairston, which sent a majority of the few remaining fans to the exits (the case of Collins overmanaging by going to Byrdak in that spot instead of leaving Frank Francisco in the game to face that Tim Dwight fellow (or whatever his name is) is sort of moot; at this late part of the season, is it really worth drawing out the second-guessing argument?).
But even the dreariest of losses have their bright spots. (SILVER LINING ALERT!!!) Earlier in the day, I received an e-mail from the Mets about a free seat upgrade for all Ticket Plan holders, good through next week. All I needed to do was bring my plan ticket to the ticket booth and exchange it. So, instead of perching myself up in 512 as usual, I was treated to a much better view of the action down in Section 113. And, since I've got tickets to another game next week, I can do it again! It is, of course, the least the Mets could do, after everything we've had to go through in this long and often miserable season. Nice, but not enough to convince me that there wasn't an ulterior motive. I mused to George prior to the game that the Mets could conceivably have done this as a means to clear out everyone from the Promenade level and not have to open any of the concession stands. Given the other outrage-inducing news I heard from the Mets today, I wouldn't put it past them.