Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Long Ride Home

I was out most of the day on Saturday, which is pretty normal for me in the Summer, and as such I missed the Mets game in its entirety. Had they been playing better, I might have felt more of an impetus to pay attention, but after 4 losses, each one worse than the one prior, and 6 out of 7 losses overall, well, let's just say that the Mets were beginning to lose my interest, at least on days where there might be something better for me to do to occupy myself.

My other half and I were on Long Island for the day, and our route home leads us directly past Citi Field. I'd figured, based on the timing of things, that we'd pass the stadium well after the game had ended, as we were way out in Riverhead, a good 90 minutes or so from Citi Field. By time we'd stopped for a bite, the game was already in the 7th inning, with the Mets ahead 2-1.

Here's where you might say, "Hey, Slapenfield, why didn't you just put the game on the radio if you were worried about postgame traffic?!"

The answer, of course, is that since my other half does the driving (as a native Manhattanite, I not only do not drive, I don't even have a Driver's license), she insists on picking what we listen to. Since her music is preferable to, as she calls it, "Mets Music," I'm out of luck. And, of course, all that being said, I wasn't especially looking forward to listening to the Mets game anyway, lest it depress me at the end of a nice day out.

So, we're driving, and I'm expecting a buzz on my phone to notify me that the game had ended, and we're passing through strange Suffolk County towns like Calverton, and Yaphank, and, of course, Ronkonkoma, and pretty soon we've reached Farmingdale and Hicksville, and Nassau County, and that buzz still hasn't come. Finally, we reach Lake Success and I pull out my phone and check the score. I see NYM 2, SDP 2, BOT 11.

So, that's what happened. Jacob deGrom pitches wonderfully as usual, the Mets barely hit, as usual, and then Jeurys Familia blew a Save against the Padres again. So, there they were, Extra innings and Gabriel Ynoa on the mound, making his Major League Debut.

Somewhere around Fresh Meadows, that buzz finally comes. F/11 NYM 3 SDP 2. Just what I was afraid of. We're about to switch from the LIE onto the Grand Central and the game has literally just ended. We'll be sitting in front of the Queens Museum all night.

But that traffic never materialized. Happily, I overlooked the fact that there was a Styx concert after the game, and it seems that those who stuck around for all 11 innings of the Mets unique interpretation of Major League Baseball then planned to stick around for Styx, and not cause a half-hour backup on the Grand Central. Plus, I guess everyone was feeling pretty good, since the Mets finally won a game for the first time in a week, and by virtue of someone else's screwup. Last night, Detlef Schrempf, whoever he is, singlehandedly throttled the Mets. Saturday, he gave it back by fielding a Wilmer Flores ground ball with 1 out and men on the corners, and rather than take the Double Play, he threw not especially close to Home Plate, allowing Neil Walker to score the winning run virtually unperturbed. As if Styx needed something to warm up the crowd. So we breeze past Citi Field and right on home. No traffic, no problems.

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