Hello fellow Mets aficionados.
I write to you tonight from beautiful downtown Denver, Colorado, where our beloved Amazins dropped quite the gi-normous pile of putridity on their faithful in attendance this fine evening.
Let's start with the highlight of the evening:
Yes, our savior stretching out before the game. Swoon.
I was just settling in with my peanuts and frosty when the hilarity began to unfold. Bunt single by Josejosejosejose (a thing of beauty), a stolen base, a throwing error to 3rd allowing our first run to score.
Then, a little speck of a cloud on the horizon, as Beltran grounded weakly to the right side. Turns out he would do that 3 more times on the evening. Gotta admire the kid's consistency.
Back on track as Dub knocked Gotay in over a drawn-in infield, just moments after I explained to my companions what a doofus Clint Hurdle was for drawing his infield in so early when he hadn't even seen what Vargas could do yet, so the timing there was just short of exquisite.
Delgado even went the other way for a single, regrettably for the last time on the night. I say that even though he did squeeze a single through the shift later in the game.
What would possess a man to hit into a shift when down by 8 runs late in the game? I couldn't possibly know. Delgado's way too cerebral for me. I'd like to hear his explanation, though I dare say it is likely to come across somewhat like this:
Finally, the rumblings of discontent began with old man Green hitting into a DP and letting a shaky Cook off the hook. Hah! Fran Healy couldn't have said it better. That was only the beginning of Green's trail of ineptitude. He slugged yet another DP right in front of Hippo's homer, at a time when the game wasn't yet completely out of reach. He subsequently came up with the bases empty so, with no DP available for him to hit into, his weak squib to the pitcher seemed the next best thing, to be followed by the coup de grace of watching strike 3 whiz past his lonely eyes to end this debacle of a sham of a travesty of a mockery of a ballgame.
This weak-hitting corner outfielder was nearly matched by our other one, Senor Gomez. What a wretched night of over-matchedness he had. Coming up in the 2nd inning following his misplay of a Kaz Matsui single into a double, he was clearly swinging to tie the game up when he stroked that embarrassing swinging bunt instead. His futility continued through the evening as he bunted, yes, on purpose this time, out of the 8 hole with 2 outs and Vargas due up next. Ex-squeeze you? Even for such a young up and coming talent, that was a particularly retch-worthy play. His final flailing, 3 pitch strikeout was equally as appropriate to his overall performance tonight as Green's was to his.
I took a couple of pictures with my camera of death. This one of Josejosejosejose was taken just moments before he embarrassed himself and the team by not running out a ball that he would have been safe on due to a throwing miscue, but wasn't, because he went all "Julio Franco" on our asses instead.
Then I took this picture of Carlos Beltran:
That was just moments before he grounded out to the right side for the 4th time on the night. I decided to put the camera away for the night after that. Until, of course, the Rockies' mascot decided to lob undergarments into the seething crown with some sort of giant thong thing. I had to take a shot of that.
Ok let me focus for a moment on the defensive side of the ball. There really was something for everyone tonight. Everyone who needed to stop at each level of Dante's inferno, I mean. We had ourselves a balk, a walked-in run, a grand slam, not one 4 run inning, but two of them, and, last but not least, one of our very own cast-offs dropping another double nickel on the city of New York. Congratulations Kaz Matsui on a career night, going 5 for 5 against his old mates and snaring the ball, making a beautiful play on Beltran the one time all night he actually hit it with a tad bit of authority.
I could see it was going to be a long night immediately, if not sooner. Vargas went 2-0 on light hitting Willie Taveras, only to allow the man to get aboard with a single on a 9 pitch AB to start the game. There was no doubt in my mind that Vargas had nothing, and was going to get clobbered. I knew that and I wasn't even wearing a jacket of any sort tonight.
So, naturally, when he gave up the inevitable 4 runs in the first inning, I cast my gaze towards the Mets bullpen, expecting to see Aaron Sele, perhaps bearded and speaking in tongues to a volleyball he kept referring to as "Wilson", but Sele nonetheless. Nope. Nothing of the sort was going on in the Mets' bullpen.
What about after the second inning, when he gave up 2 more runs and only got out of that inning after a questionable double play call went his way? No way, man. Willie must have had a "feeling" or some shit. Because he actually sent Vargas up there to hit, bless his heart.
By some miracle or divine intervention or what have you, Vargas managed to get out of the 3rd inning without any more runs, but would Willie press his luck and send him back out there for the 4th? Of COURSE he would, stupidissimo! Why would you even ask that question?
I was seriously wondering if Sele was hurt, or had insulted Willie's wife, or something quite serious like that was going to prevent Willie from going to him. When Willie allowed the bases to get loaded again before going to the pen, I was really quite shocked to see him pull out... Joe Smith?
Ok, ground ball pitcher. Needs a DP. I get it. Boom. No more need for a DP. Well, until Joe put two more guys on, then he did need a DP, and, bless HIS heart, he did get one at that point.
Right. Enough of Joe Smith. Now that we're behind 10-3, now that would seem to Willie like a perfect time to bring in Sele. He must really hate that guy. He also only let him pitch 2 innings.
I will say this about Sele's fastball. It's sort of a good news/bad news story. The bad news is that he only throws it about 85 mph, so it's really easy to hit. The good news is that he doesn't actually throw it over the plate for strikes all that often, which makes it considerably tougher to his. So maybe Willie knows what he's doing after all.
Mop-up time continues with Mota, snooze, Show, blargh, game over, pass the napkins. That was just completely terrible.
All of this occurred in front of that rarest of events, by the way: an actual packed house at Coors Field. It looks like this, in case you've never seen it before:
But, just when you thought the night was over, the fun was really just starting, as the Rockies let the fans down on the field, thusly:
and gave us a rousing fireworks display. It helped me forget how much money I paid to come out and watch the Mets carry on out there like a 3rd rate traveling circus. I remembered that Orlando was just around the corner, and that I'll be heading right back out there tomorrow night, right along with them. And tomorrow's my birthday too (yeah, for reals), so hopefully they'll give me some of this to remember them by:
Oh and yes, I DO realize that some of the more feeble-minded among the Rockies faithful will show up tomorrow night with their broomsticks, as they did last time the Mets lost the first two in a series, gayly waiving them around in the early innings only to crawl away by the time the 7th inning stretch comes along, with those broomsticks nestled safely between their legs, wishing they had not brought them in the first place, and wondering if it's worth the humiliation of continuing to carry them around all night rather than having to buy new ones.