Thursday, June 12, 2008

This is Like a Nightmare

This post is in red to signify how much my blood is boiling and to describe what I'm seeing. I was at the game last night, sick seats, about 10 rows up between home and 1st base. Pelfrey was becoming something before my eyes, the team looked great, and then Wagner came in and the walls came crashing down. I felt like slamming my head against the bars that separate the boxes on the field level. I felt like screaming. I sat there for the 10th, 11th, 12th, and jumped up like a lunatic and let out a roar when Beltran's rocket drilled the bottom of the scoreboard and the Mets won. They had dodged a bullet. They had faced defeat and gotten back up.

I was certain the Mets were going to win today. Before the game, I was having a back and forth with some Johan Santana detractors, explaining just how good he's been so far and claiming that he'd be great today. He was great. It was his best start as a Met by far. Being at work, I listened to some of it during lunch, followed the rest on gamecast. When the Mets expanded the lead to 4-0, one of my friends (another die hard) called me. I was so confident in the win that when he told me Reyes had just doubled, I wasn't even excited. There was nothing left to be excited or worried about - the Mets had this one.

There was a brief scare when Beltran lost a ball in the sun, Smith came out and Schoeneweis came in to run a 3 ball count to the go ahead run. But he got out of it. During the bottom of the 8th, I spoke to another one of my die hard Mets fan friends, and I was lamenting the fact that Wagner was going right back out there. He assured me that he'd be lights out today, for Wagner would be too pissed off about last night to blow this one. I sat down at my desk, and saw a 1-2 count turn into a leadoff walk. I got up, walked out and put my radio on. I stood in the hallway as a runner on 1st base became runners on 1st and 2nd. Wagner got a 2 strike count, then gave up a double. It was now 4-3 Mets. I still thought he'd get out of it, even though I was cursing him. When I heard Howie Rose exclaim that a ball had been hit to Reyes with one out, I was praying that the relay would be in time. It wasn't. I sank - and then it got worse.

This sucks, I figured, what the hell is wrong with Wagner? He just blew Santana's best start as a Met. He just took all the energy out of Shea, again. He just deflated all of his teammates for the 2nd time in 20 hours. Screw that, though, because Reyes just reached to open the 9th. We'll win this one like last night. With Reyes on 2nd and 1 out, another one of my die hard Mets fan friends called me. He was walking to his car and didn't want to miss a second, so I gave him the play by play. When I heard the crack of the ball off of Wright's bat, I thought the game was over. The fans were screaming like it was, but it wasn't. When I heard the crack of the ball off of Easley's bat, I thought the game was over, but it wasn't. Fast forward to the top of the 10th - a missed strike 3 call, a sac fly and the Mets were dead.

I felt the same way I did last year when Wagner blew the 4th game in Philly around Labor Day. I could barely stand, let alone walk. An hour earlier, I was convinced that the game was over. I couldn't wait to get home to watch the replay. To watch Johan being absolutely filthy. I was ready to hang out and soak it all up. The Mets were gaining some steam, the Phillies were going to lose again. We were going to be 4 back in the loss column. And then Wagner happened. And then Augie Ojeda robbed David Wright of the game winner. And now I'm stunned, and disgusted, and furious. And there's nothing I can do about it but wait for tomorrow's game. This fandom is like the plague, and I can't do anything to shake it.

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