Tuesday, May 10, 2016

That Blue Place

Dodger Stadium is one of those "odd" ballparks. It has a look so particularly unique to it so that when you're there, or watching a game there (I've never been to a game there), there's no mistaking what you're looking at. I know that this era of "retro" ballparks  has made the Baseball stadium more aesthetically pleasing but by and large it can be difficult to tell certain stadiums apart (i.e. who the hell could figure the difference between Anaheim Stadium, The Ballpark in Arlington or Newer New Busch Stadium?).  There's only a handful of places like it, and generally they have names like Fenway or Wrigley. Dodger Stadium is now the 3rd oldest stadium in the Major Leagues but nobody in Los Angeles seems to care. You know what you're looking at because there's that light blue motif, those accordion pavilions in the Outfield bleachers, that random 5th deck behind Home Plate and the overmodulated PA system that makes the ambient ballpark music sound like it's in your living room.

In recent years, the Mets' visits to Dodger Stadium have sort of paralleled the success of the team. When the Mets go to Los Angeles and do well, they've been having a good year. When things are bad, of course, they get really bad. Then, of course, there was last year, when the Mets went to Dodger Stadium and stole a pair of Playoff games, including a clinching game. So instead of coming in there this season with a bad taste in your mouth and a feeling of general ennui, now it's like a pleasant reminder of what went before.

Curtis Granderson helped continue those feelings by hitting Scott Kazmir's first pitch of the game into the seats to get the Mets out to a quick lead. George texted me earlier in the day regarding Kazmir being a good candidate for the Charles Barkley "Who He Play For?" discussion that we had a few weeks ago regarding Jake Peavy. I agree to a point, because while Kazmir has bounced around from team-to-team quite a bit over the past few seasons, there's still always going to be some residual bad taste in the mouths of Mets fans because of the infamous trade of Kazmir, what's now a generation ago. Since that time, Kazmir has made the Mets look both stupid and prophetic. What I can say, though, is that generally, the Mets have had Kazmir's number. Yes, I know that's not saying much since he's only faced the Mets 4 times.

Granderson got the Mets going and later Kevin Plawecki hit a Home Run as well, and Steven Matz helped his own cause by driving home another run with a double, and for the most part things seemed to be going smoothly. Matz nursed things through 6 innings and left with a 4-2 lead. Then, of course, the Bullpen turned into the Bullpen and we had a bit of role reversal in the 8th inning. Sunday, Antonio Bastardo was summoned to clean up Jim Henderson's mess. Last night, Jim Henderson was summoned to clean up Antonio Bastardo's mess. Both times, the messes were cleaned without any significant damage and Jeurys Familia finished out the game, just like he did last October.

So, just when you think the Mets are about to fall off the precipice once again, they come back and quickly run off 3 straight wins. This is what happens to good teams, and right now, the Mets are playing like a good team. Nice when that happens, isn't it?

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