Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Due For A Stinker

Tuesday night at Citi Field was my 13th game of the season, and my second against the Washington Nationals. I have been to plenty of Mets/Nationals games over the past several years, and generally they haven't ended well. Last night was no exception. In a game that featured a 25-minute rain delay, 4 Nationals Home Runs—including one from an Outfielder who clearly was not more than 16 years old—and my own early departure, the Mets got torched by one of their chief nuisances, 7-1. My personal 4-game winning streak came to a crashing halt in a truly forgettable affair.

The weather was ominous all day, enough that I was somewhat skeptical about heading out to Citi Field altogether. George, who was meeting me there, bailed altogether. He wound up the wiser, given the way the evening played out. Though it didn't rain very hard, it was slightly drizzling at the beginning of the game, as Rafael Montero made the start instead of Jacob deGrom, who everyone was probably hoping to see, or Noah Syndergaard, who many others might have wanted to see. Ultimately, it's probably better that Syndergaard didn't make his debut in a home game against the Nationals, because that's been a losing proposition for the better part of the last 5 years. Even when the Nationals were lousy and losing over 100 games, they still managed to beat the Mets 10 or 11 out of 18, including 6 of 9 at Citi Field. Plus, after snaking their way through two innings without any weather-related difficulties, the heavens opened in the top of the 3rd inning, enough for me to put away my scorecard in favor of an umbrella and, when play was stopped, enough for me to run for cover and fast.

Rain Delays have, in recent years, been a rare occurrence for me at games. I'd sat through plenty at Shea Stadium but to this point, only once at Citi Field had I ended up at a game delayed, a fairly good streak. And this wasn't by any stretch of the imagination a long rain delay, but after the game resumed and played out, I sort of wished it had kept raining and the game was called.

I decided to pass the time during the delay by milling around some other levels window shopping, when the game resumed without much warning while I was down on the Field level. I scrambled back upstairs and was able to nab a Promenade Box seat, as opposed to my usual perch in section 512, not because people left during the rain delay, but because nobody was there in the first place. Montero and Doug Fister kept a brisk pace and so the game moved into the middle innings not much off the pace of a game that hadn't been delayed.

Montero hadn't been pitching badly going into the 6th inning. He'd been touched up for an opposite-field Home Run by Bryce Harper, the 21-year old Outfielder who looks 35, and a hit from another outfielder I'd never heard of who had to be making his Major League debut since he looked to be no older than 16. Michael Taylor hit a 37-hopper up the middle his first time up and later on hit a 2-run Home Run off of Carlos Torres, so he had himself quite a night even if he looks like he should be heading off to Social Studies class with his teammate Tyler Clippard. Montero ran out of gas in the 6th inning and the Nationals started bombing Home Runs off of him. He was probably done when Anthony Rendon got him, but then Ian Desmond, who might be the quietest Met Killer of them all, got him for a 2-run shot that essentially put the game out of reach.

By time Taylor hit his Home Run, things were looking bleak and it was starting to rain again, and I frankly had had enough. I was tired and not really in the mood to wait out more rain, so I figured I'd just count my losses and get the hell out of there. At 7-0, with Fister mowing the Mets down, there wasn't much to stick around for. I'm never proud of leaving a game early, but if there was ever a night to do it, this was it. So, after 6, I left. I was home before the game ended, and all I missed were some singles from Daniel Murphy and David Wright, and I believe someone on the Mets hit a sacrifice fly, because at some point they scored a run. I don't feel quite so guilty about leaving early now. Had they made the comeback of comebacks is another story, but I felt pretty certain that that wasn't going to happen. Hopefully, a scenario like this does not repeat itself again anytime soon.

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