Tonight's game in Atlanta is one such game.
I was at work slightly late than usual (for no particular reason other than I just wanted to get some extra work done—I know, how diligent of me) and my hot plans for Friday night involved going home, putting the Mets game on the radio and probably falling asleep to the dulcet tones of Howie Rose.
Well, that's exactly what happened. The game had barely begun by time I got home, but on went the radio. I've mentioned that I will often take a game on the radio over a game on TV, for a variety of reasons but one particular one is that it allows me to not invest myself quite so much as I do watching a game on TV (this, by the way, is about 25% of the amount I invest myself when I'm at the game). I can sort of let Howie and, on this night Wayne Randazzo, paint the picture for me. Or I can just sort of drift and let the voices in the background dictate when I should pay attention. Howie is quite good at this. Wayne Randazzo needs some work, but then again this isn't really his gig.
Regardless, the game was 1-0 Mets in the 3rd, and then I took a little nap, and when I woke up, the Mets led 2-1 in the 6th. By this point Steven Matz had departed; a little too many pitches and too much hard work early in the game had contributed to his quick departure, but it seems as though he was fine otherwise, a Daniel Castro Home Run was the only blemish on his record.
The rest of the game, then, was a demonstration on bullpen management. The Mets bullpen has been at times a bit scary but it seems as though the trustworthy pieces have now made themselves known. With a 1-run lead, Erik Goeddel came in and retired the Braves in the 6th. Addison Reed, who was Thursday's closer, found himself Friday's 7th inning man and retired the Braves as well. In the 8th, the Mets got an insurance run thanks to Christian Bethancourt's defensive issues and, when word arrived that Washington had lost to Miami (amazing to see the Mickey Mouse Marlins actually do something helpful for once), Terry Collins went for the kill and used Tyler Clippard in the 8th and, in spite of Yoenis Cespedes launching a 2-run Home Run to remove the Save situation, Jeurys Familia to finish the game in the 9th. Mets win, Division lead now 8 1/2.
The more this continues, with the Mets finding ways to cobble wins together combined with the Nationals doing the exact opposite, the more it seems like there may be more of these ho hum games as the regular season winds down. How long it's been since we could say something like that. But we're not there quite yet.