Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mets Caught In A Time Warp

Yankees fans have suffered through quite a few gut-wrenching, heart-breaking losses this season.

But those are nothing compared to what the Mets did to their fans Monday night.

The Mets had a disastrous 11th inning, losing to the Dodgers 3-2 in Los Angeles on a comedy of errors.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. And when it was all over, I had to go check a calendar just to make sure it wasn't 1962 again.

For those of you who were asleep, here's the "unhappy" recap:

With two outs in the top of 11th and the scored tied a 2, Ryan Church singled to left. Angel Pagan followed by driving a shot into center, that appeared to be an easy triple, scoring Church.

Only there was one problem.

Church forgot to step on third! Let me repeat that:

CHURCH FORGOT TO STEP ON THIRD!

The Dodgers appealed and Church was called out, stunning everyone. At that point I had to log onto mets.com just to make sure Marvelous Marv Throneberry wasn't on the roster.

Clearly Church never heard the story of how in 1962 with the Mets, Throneberry missed third twice in the same game. How does a major leaguer do that?

OK, that's awful, but somehow the Mets managed to make it worse.

Mark Loretta led off the bottom half by drawing a walk off Brian Stokes. And of course that cardinal sin was going to come back to bite the Mets. It was just stunning how.

Instead of having Xavier Paul bunt, Joe Torre allowed him to swing away. It could have been a managerial mistake, but Torre still has that golden touch.

Paul lifted a lazy fly to left-center that should have been an easy out, but Pagan, the left fielder, and Carlos Beltran had some trouble communicating. Both called for the ball and appeared to have difficulty hearing each other. At the last second, Pagan backed off and the ball bounced off Beltran's glove, putting runners on second and third.

We see this type of error happen from time-to-time, but not usually from a Gold Glove center fielder. Beltran is a terrific outfielder, but he has to make the play, no excuses. He called for it. It's his job to go get it, and Pagan's job to get out of the way. I'm not saying it's an easy spot for Beltran, but he has to have the concentration and focus to come up with that.

So that left the Mets in a jam ... and it only got worse.

Jerry Manuel had Stokes intentionally walk Juan Pierre to load the bases and then brought in Beltran to be a fifth infielder. The strategy nearly paid off.

Rafael Furcal lifted a fly ball to left that Pagan caught shallow enough to hold the runners. One out.

With the five infielders still drawn in, Stokes then got Orlando Hudson to hit sharp ground ball to first and the Mets looked like they'd get at least the second out at home and possibly turn a double play.

But as the throw from Jeremy Reed, an outfielder by trade playing first with Carlos Delagado on the DL, sailed well wide of home, allowing Loretta to score, I couldn't help but be thankful this game was being played on the West Coast.

My grandfather is a huge Mets fans, and when he was living in Connecticut in his younger years, he likely would have stayed up to watch the bitter end. We are fortunate that he lives in Florida and does not have SNY. He doesn't deserve to be put through something as awful as that. No one does -- except, maybe, Red Sox fans.

2 comments:

Dave said...

The Yankees' 21st Century 0-fer still stings, does it?

Aviv said...

Talk about smug! We've had our dryspells before. Only difference is the Sox have actually taken advantage of the opportunity. That's what stings.