Thursday, October 8, 2015


Montana is one of a handful of states in the lower 48 bereft of any major league professional sports teams. That doesn't mean there's no reason to visit, obviously. Montana also happens to maybe be the most beautiful place on Earth. That Montana lacks any major league sports teams isn't a bad thing, but it does make it a curious place for me to spend what might be one of the busiest sports weeks on record.

That week already began on Tuesday when the Astros bored the Yankees to death in the AL Wild Card Game and continued last night when Jake Arietta turned the Pirates into mincemeat as the Cubs took the NL Wild Card Game. Nothing like watching a 98-win season go down the tubes in a winner-take-all frabrication designed for TV. I'm also fortunate in that I was too lazy to blog my MLB postseason bigs on Tuesday like I should have, considering I was going to pick Pittsburgh to win the World Series. The zaniness continues tonight when the American League Division Series kicks off, and the NFL's Week Five schedule gets underway. It was compounded last night when the NHL dropped the puck on the 2015-16 season, during which I will watch the Blackhawks try to defend their Stanley Cup championship and I will cheer the Devils' inexorable march toward the best odds in the Auston Matthews (or whomever) Sweepstakes. No. 13 Northwestern, newly sporting its highest national ranking since 2000, has one its biggest games in years as it visits No. 18 Michigan Saturday afternoon.

Also there are some baseball games this weekend that I'm kind of interested in.

There aren't many things in life that would set my heart aflutter like a deep New York Mets playoff run, and I use the term "aflutter" in the most literal sense as my angst and agita throughout is sure to cause some irregular beats. That said, it is just my luck that the first time the Mets play a real, bonafide postseason game in my adult life happens to fall in the middle of a vacation to the mountain west. Luckily for me, facing the Los Angeles Dodgers means the opening two games of the series will be in later time slots. Game 1's 9:45 pm ET start has not gone over so well back east, but as I am spending all of Friday hiking around Glacier National Park, my mind has been put at ease over not having to balance one of the few chances in my life to truly experience untouched natural splendor with one of the few chances in my life to watch the Mets play an October game that matters.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

NFL Picks Week Four: Is there a Ralph Around Here?

Ladies and gentlemen, much like my beloved New York Mets, I am in the midst of a drought. Much like my beloved Mets, that drought will end this month. Now, I'm not really naive enough to think my drought, which is all of nine months, is as significant as the Mets' which has lasted nine years, but I'm as excited for mine to end this weekend as I am for the Mets' to end on October 9. Ok, that's not entirely true, but it is enough nines to make Herman Cain proud. Except this is marginally more sensible.

Look, here's the point. I started this blog several years ago with the stated intentions of chronicling my irrational goal of seeing every sports team in the four major North American sports leagues play a home game. Unfortunately, there aren't enough teams, enough trips or enough money in my bank account to have a new adventure ready for posting each week, so I have often verged into other topics. Even as I've done that, however, I have still managed to make progress on my goal, typically matching or exceeding my ideal pace of six new teams per year for the next three decades or so.

Then 2015 came.

This year has been slowed by several other commitments, be they vacations, visiting family abroad or still being stuck in that brutal stretch in which everyone you know is getting married. I have capitalized on this to some extent, finally seeing my beloved Saints for the first time when I stayed with my sister in London and experiencing the insanity of Japanese sporting culture as I made a mid-summer trek around the globe. I even managed to combine a wedding in California this past June with trips to see the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's.

The catch here is that none of these teams were both in North America nor teams I had never seen before. In fact, the last time I ventured outside my sports comfort zone within the lower 48 was way back on December 7, 2014 when I watched the Giants pulverize 22 homeless men masquerading as the Tennessee Titans. Since then it's been nothing but watching the same teams I always watch, and if you happened upon a Devils or Knicks game last season you know that can't be a good thing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pave paradise. Put up a parking lot.

Much has happened in my life since 2006. I've graduated college, moved to New York and worked in a job long enough to vest a pension. I've seen two siblings get married, two cousins and countless friends across the U.S. I've gone on vacations to 21 countries across four continents. I've seen 53 new major league teams in five different sports play home games across 33 cities in four countries over three continents. I've seen the Giants win a Super Bowl unexpectedly, collapse into mediocrity and then unexpectedly win the Super Bowl again. I've seen three of my four favorite North American teams move into new buildings, I've seen Bruce Springsteen in concert six times and I've even become an uncle.

I have not, however, seen the New York Mets play a postseason baseball game.

That drought, mercifully, will end next week when the Mets face (and possibly host?) the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 9 in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. That I may be hiking in Glacier National park at the time makes me a bit anxious, but with the magic of modern technology, I'm clinging desperately to the hope that I will still be able to see the magic on a phone or at a local bar. But the fact that it is happening at all, is important. The life of a Mets fan, so often, is an exercise in masochism or, if one wants to believe it ultimately serves a higher purpose, asceticism.

I am not one of those people. There is not higher calling or ultimate lifestyle reward for being a Mets fan. In fact, so often there is no reward at all, large or small. That has been particularly true over the past near-decade since Carlos Beltran was unable to get the bat off his shoulder (though given the nastiness of a 2006-Adam Wainright curveball I refuse to be one of those who still bears resentment against Beltran). The last nine years of living with the Mets has included two epic collapses, the acquisition of one of the greatest pitchers of his era only to see him breakdown over the course of his contract, a ponzi-scheme fueled bankruptcy, front office turmoil and, and yes I know I've mentioned this, but it cannot be stressed enough, a high-ranking front office employee who challenged a clubhouse full of minor leaguers to a fight.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

NFL Picks Week Three: This entry canceled by the Pope

Some of you following the news this week may have noticed that some guy named Frank is visiting New York today and tomorrow, which is apparently bringing every Catholic out of the would work. The Pope is in town and that means tons of traffic changes, early office closings and New York generally being in a dizzy tizzy. The upshot of this is that I am also too busy to write a full entry in this blog -- or at least too lazy -- because the holy father has made it so.

Pope Francis will curiously not be hosting a mass at Yankee Stadium, which is the typical public location for a sitting pope to do so out of concern for his exhaustion, but he will be hosting a mass at Madison Square Garden. This, I believe, is the closest this trip will get to anything sports-related, which is a damn shame considering John Paul II's visit to St. Louis in the late 1990s that included a private audience with Mark McGwire, and a hilarious photo of him receiving an authentic jersey from the St. Louis Blues that I have to imagine he wore regularly around St. Peter's. He certainly wasn't wearing it around the rink.

I don't much believe in Catholicism or the Pope's significance on a religious level (which really shouldn't be a surprised considering the obvious), but I will admit I know people that need his guidance. The New York Giants have a rare Thursday night tilt against the Washington Redskins tonight, and if anyone could use the help of a higher power to get back on the straight and narrow, it's probably my boys in blue. Following consecutive back-breaking losses that could otherwise have the Giants in commanding early position in the NFC East, the Giants need a win desperately to get back into the race, which is a lot to say in Week 3 of the season, but it isn't wrong.

It is rare that both the New York Giants and the Holy Father are in the same general geographic area at the same time -- there aren't many football fields in the Vatican, though I hear there are some good livestock shows -- but I can only hope some of his influence can rub off on Big Blue as they make a bid to save their season. If Francis manages to have an impact on his brief visit to New York, well, maybe I'll start believing in miracles.

If nothing else he might leave with a pretty sweet personalized jersey.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Just what does it take to turn around a hat trick day gone wrong?

Those of you who read this space regularly (and feel free to let me know if you do personally, because I'm pretty sure I could count you on one hand) are probably aware that on those sublime, fortunate afternoons and nights where three different teams I root for win, I like to boast that I've had a hat trick day. Some of those days are truly memorable. Some, however, are not. And then there are those special inverse hat trick days that are so brutally painful that you start to question why you wrap up so much emotion in a trivial event you have no direct influence on in the first place.

Then again, maybe it's not so much that I have no direct influence as it is that I wore the wrong Eli Manning jersey yesterday. We can't really know for sure.

The point is, it often takes something pretty remarkable to overturn the misery of an inverse hat trick day, let alone one where all three teams you're following happen to blow leads in the process. Yesterday, I got to test the theory of just how unlikely a positive occurrence you need to be connected to to truly block out that kind of disappointment, particularly when, at one point, it looked like I might be in for a pretty damned good day.

It all started around 11:12 a.m. ET as I sat in my office watching Southampton, which has not exactly set the world on fire like it did a year ago when the Saints spent half the season in second place in the table. Yesterday the Saints were playing those irritating 800-lb. gorillas known as Manchester United, the type of outfit that overspends to the point that you can mock their inefficiency, but still get steamed that even if quadrupling your payroll only gives them a better team than yours by a hair, they've still got that single hair. At that time, Southampton striker Graziano Pelle had slammed an easy rebound into the net to give the Saints a 1-nil lead over United, which got me thinking I could be in for a hell of a day.

At 11 Southampton faced Manchester United. At 1 the Giants opened their 2015 home schedule against the Atlanta Falcon. At 8 the Mets looked to cap a Subway Series win against the Yankees. And finally, at that same time, the Emmys would be happening out in Los Angeles. Typically, I don't care that much about the Emmys, but, see, I knew a guy who was nominated or something.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

NFL Picks Week Two: Let's do everyone a favor and not talk about last week

Ok, look. I'm not going to go into my complaints and frustration from the Giants' colossal meltdown against the Cowboys in Week One. I mean, sure, the clock management was totally screwy, the refusal to run for short yardage out of a spread is a constant reminder than football coaches accept change slower than eroding mountains and the idea that somehow a one-possession lead with 90 seconds left is better than a two-posession lead with two minutes left is, you know, nuts.

But look on the bright side!



Ok, so when you think about it, there are, at least some positives to cling to. The Giants' defense looked far better than many anticipated, with the notable exception of backup middle linebacker Uani' Unga being picked on like a the nerdy kid at lunch during Dallas' winning drive. While the Giants still only have themselves to blame for not ultimately winning, you can also include the fact that the Cowboys got a little bit of home cooking. New York won the turnover battle and more or less held its own in a road game against one of the League's title favorites that any sane person would say it should have won.

I take a mild bit of reassurance from that, or maybe I just get a reminder than the difference in the NFL between great and terrible is razor thin, but the important thing is that I've emotionally moved on from a colossally frustrating season opener. I haven't lost hope even if the betting public has. After all, the Giants would have won a huge season-opening game if it wasn't for a few easily fixable mistakes. So, the logic goes, fix the mistakes, the wins will start coming, right?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

NFL Picks Week One: It's the fourth year of the cycle, everybody!

Tons of great things happy every four years. In the world of sports, we see how intensive training and a strict doping regimen can produce thrilling competitions at the Olympic Games. In politics we witness first hand how much money it takes to buy the Presidency. Scientists gather to find out what cool things we can do with dirt. And in the NFL, it's starting to appear that against all odds, something truly crazy happens.

Every four years, the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

I know, I know. Two Super Bowl titles four years apart does not a trend make. But when one looks at how totally zany those two title runs were, and how much better the Patriots, Packers or any other team the Giants played during those runs objectively were (2007 Buccaneers and 2011 Falcons excluded), one has to wonder if something strange isn't in the air. The Giants were a combined 19-13 over those two seasons compared to a combined 29-3 mark from the 2007 and 2011 Pats. New York was mediocre in most statistical categories, suffered coach-jeopardizing losing streaks and barely scrambled their way into the postseason in both seasons. Both Super Bowl victories required a late fourth-quarter touchdown drive that involved a mind-altering catch to pull off an upset. Each Super Bowl berth required an unexpected overtime field goal on the road against a superior opponent in perilous weather conditions. Each championship, in order to occur, would require its own series of implausible and improbably events.

And yet at the beginning of February, there we were, twice watching Eli Manning, the quarterback who had been a poster child for aloofness and unfulfilled expectations, lifting the Lombardi Trophy with a big ol' "Screw you" grin on his face.

No one really knows how all that happens, but there must be a reason. There must be an outside force affecting the data. And so, much like my belief that the Chicago Cubs must actually be cursed, something has predetermined the Giants' cyclical success. Some higher power has preordained that New York will upset the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl every four years. It's as dependable as the globe's greatest soil scientists gathering quadrennially to talk about earth.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What on Earth is going on here?

This is not my team. These are not the Mets I know.

In my emotionally-scarring 2.5 decades of baseball fandom I have grown used to scars and disappointment, to collapses and anemic offenses, to insurmountable deficits left insurmounted against mentally stronger foes. What I have never grown used to, what I may never grow used to, is watching this team give up a crooked number and have anything resembling "confidence" that it was capable of a rally.

And so, after last night's stunning comeback, which not only gave the Mets a six-game lead in the NL East but also may have provided the back-breaking moment that puts the proverbial fork in the Washington Nationals, I ask the one question that continues to run through my mind as I try to contain my youthful glee.

"What on Earth is going on?"

The New York Mets, suddenly, are good. Like, really good. On July 31, the Mets opened a three-game series against the Nationals coming off two losses and trailing Washington by three games. That night Wilmer Flores, who days before was crying on the field when he thought he was on the verge of being traded, hit a walkoff home run, sparking a stretch that has seen the Mets go 25-11. In that span, New York has made up a shocking nine games on Washington in the standings while winning all five games between the teams.

Friday, September 4, 2015

We'll Always Have San Francisco.

My plan for today was to write about the impending doom that is going to be Northwestern's 2015 college football season -- and fear not, I'm sure I will have more than enough to say about that over the next few months -- but as so often happens in "journalism" breaking news is going to take priority. As the minor leagues opened their football season this weekend (and yeah, they're pros, they just don't get paid), the New York Giants decided to cut a link to their past as the NFL's 2015 campaign is about to dawn next week.

In a move that isn't a terrible surprise to anyone who has watched the Giants for the past two season, New York decided to cut punter Steve Weatherford on Friday. Normally this isn't the type of personnel move that generates much publicity, and for people that pay attention to other teams, it may only seem noteworthy because of Weatherford's famous physique rather than his punting. In fact, his punting over most of his Giants career, in which he pinned opponents inside the 20 yard line 24.25 times a season compared to 42 times in 2010 with the New York Jets, has been relatively average. Last season he finished 18th in the League in average punting distance and 25th in net average distance. Even if you're a fan favorite and a famous physical freak, average is a bad thing to be when you're a punter with a cap hit of more than $3 million in the coming season.

In Weatherford's stead the Giants will apparently be employing Brad Wing as their punter after he was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers not long after Weatherford was cut. Wing is far less experienced, with just one NFL season under his belt, but his numbers last season were better than Weatherford's and he counts $2.5 million less against the cap to boot. I'm actually quite excited for Wing because he's an Aussie who grew up playing my favorite sport nobody knows about (apparently Geelong didn't know about the sport this season either), and the skills he has as a result of playing footy gives him an extra dimension the Giants could exploit, as LSU did during his college days.

Now, cutting a punter usually flies relatively under the radar, and most fans of a team might be unable to have any emotional reaction whatsoever. After all, punters are one of the most unsung players on the field despite being among the most important even if they shouldn't be. I tend to find myself heavily in the camp of "coaches punt way too often," but even if I believe that to be the case, I can recognize when a punter is having a good day. And furthermore I can recognize when a punter has a great day.

I bring this up, and I feel sentimental about this whole thing, because on January 22, 2012, Steve Weatherford basically won the 2011 NFC Championship Game for the Giants.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's been a while. Please be gentle.

The Mets are in first place. It's September. These are two sentences I haven't been able to say successively in nearly a decade. In fact, September 19, 2008 was the last time the Mets could say they held the best record in the NL East in the final full month of a Major League season. That's a span of 2,539 days. Or 60,936 hours. Or 3,656,160 minutes. Or 219,369,600 sec--

Look. You get the point.

It's been a long time since the Mets were in first place or even close to first place with a realistic shot at the postseason. The last time New York was in a pennant race, 23-year-old me was pulling his hair out watching the motley crew of Luis Ayala, Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis fritter away game after game after game. It was a distinctly different era in my life, where the immediate post-college years filled themselves with booze and frivolity, refusing to acknowledge that at some point the summer camp period of young adulthood ends and you have to figure out your future. Now, at 30, things are so different.

I mean, yes, I still work for the same company, live in the same apartment and I'm still a bachelor. But they're different, I swear.

That season, even as I watched a mediocre bullpen torpedo what should have been a World Series contender (The Mets, who lost the division by three games, would have won it by 12 if all games ended after eight innings instead of nine), I was safe in the naive notion that a big-budget club from the World's largest media market with a burgeoning super star third baseman and the best pitcher on the planet in Johan Santana was certain to stay competitive for years to come.

In fact, the next season when the Mets brought in K-Rod and J.J. Putz to shore up those bullpen concerns, Sports Illustrated went so far as to tab the Mets as its presumptive World Series favorite in its 2009 MLB preview issue. They finished 70-92.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Big in Japan: A coma-free report on sports in the far east

When I plan my big international vacation each year, I'm often safe in the knowledge that I'm doing it when little of note is on the sports calendar. Occasionally I miss the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, as I did in 2014 and 2011, but by leaving the country for three weeks in mid-to-late July and early August, I often catch that soft underbelly of the U.S. schedule in which there are no championships won, no postseason games and no major tournaments. Occasionally the World Cup and the Olympics throw a wrench into that mix, but those are easy enough to follow abroad.

What has creeped into my head, though, is the fear that I might miss out on a one-off event just as important, like, say, a no-hitter by a New York Mets pitcher. To this point, I have avoided that impossible-to-predict moment, but the concern will always be there. Traveling in the midst of baseball season usually means I'm going to miss seeing the Mets, though in some cases that can be a good thing, either because they're in the midst of an awful season or because they have an astonishingly good record when I'm out of the country.

This time around, I was fortunate to be traveling to Japan in my first foray into the far east. Because the time difference is 13 hours, most Mets games happened at 8 in the morning, when I was coming back from my morning jog and relaxing as I planned out what I would do each day. This meant I watched nearly every game the Mets played while I was gone, which is either good or bad depending on how you view vacation, but considering how popular the Mets are in Japan, I think avoiding it was a losing proposition.

I saw all the excitement: The bungled losses to the San Diego Padres, the Wilmer Flores affair, the Wilmer Flores redemption and ultimately the early-August hot streak that has somehow thrust the Mets into first place. All of that was great, but my biggest victory was avoiding the fate of Steven Manganello, a Red Sox fan who might have endured the greatest fear we all share in the fall of 2004.

What's that you say? "Dave, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series that year to break the curse of the Bambino. How could that have been a bad thing for a Sox fan?"

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Three Teams To Watch As Super Bowl Favorites In 2015

A word from our sponsor

One of the best things about the NFL is the fact that there is certainly a lot of parity around the league. At the beginning of the season, nearly every single team feels like they have what it takes to make the playoffs. However, they are obviously going to be teams with a better chance to win the Super Bowl than others. Here is a look at the three teams to look out for with plenty of fantasy football talent to go all the way.

Seattle Seahawks

This team will be looking to make their third consecutive Super Bowl in 2016. They have done a very good job keeping most of their core together, and they were also able to go out and get Jimmy Graham. He is the best tight end in fantasy football statistically in the last few years. He is going to help Russell Wilson and the passing game become a lot better. It is extremely difficult to have a chance to play for three or more Super Bowls in a row, but they certainly can pull it off.

Green Bay Packers

There are a lot of people who look at the Green Bay Packers is the most complete team in the NFL heading into the 2015 regular season. They certainly have their fair share of talent, especially on offense. With so many weapons ready to put up numbers in fantasy football, it is going to come down to their defense if they want to compete for a Super Bowl.

Indianapolis Colts

Some people might find it weird is that New England is not on this list despite winning the Super Bowl last year, but the Indianapolis Colts just look a little better on paper. Not only do they have an improved team, But they also have their quarterback ready to play all 16 games. Meanwhile, Tom Brady is going to miss the first four games due to his suspension. Andrew Luck is a fantasy football star, and the defense is better than some people realize. This might be the year they turn the corner and start really competing for a Super Bowl.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Don't trust anyone over 30: A Third-life crisis progress report

There comes a point in man's life when he has to sit back, breathe in deep and reassess his choices. Should I have chosen this career path? Should I have tried living in a different city or perhaps taking a different major in undergrad? Should I have asked that girl Katrina for her number at that party at Caitlin Overland's apartment back in 2005?

Should I have accepted life as a Mets fan?

These are the queries that try men's souls, the dramatic life decisions on which we pontificate. At some point you realize your childhood is done and it's time to figure out where your life is going. I, personally, had hoped that I would never reach that point. I had hoped I could live consequence-free forever, gallivanting from wild adventure to wild adventure.

Clearly, with my life of living more-or-less responsibly, always paying my credit card bills and rent on time and having never tried marijuana, I'm living up to those carefree, reckless foundation principles. But like I said, that can't last forever. No, at some point, you must come to the table and cash in your chips. At some point, you must figure out what you're doing and decide if you're where you want to be.

For me, that day is today. Today, on July 14, 2015, I turn 30 years old.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I thought I had turned down a ticket to history this week. I guess not.

Back in the halcyon days of 2008, a horse named Big Brown became the 11th horse since Affirmed won the 1978 Triple Crown to take both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. With the potential for the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years -- Big Brown was an absolutely enormous favorite to win -- my good friend Adam and I decided with history in the offing, we had best make a trip to Belmont Park to see it in person. What followed was a crowded, sweaty, disgusting mess that involved 94,000 people, the vast majority of them drunk, an interminable hours-long bottleneck to get home and a number of young men so drunk and impatient that they didn't bother waiting on bathroom lines and instead chose to urinate down the stairwells of the grandstand.

Oh, and Big Brown became the first horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown and finish dead last in the third. Whoops.

I vowed that day never to return to the Belmont, which, given my tortured relationship with horses, didn't seem like a terrible sacrifice. However, I nearly recanted on that promise last week, when my college roommate Abe informed me he would be in town and had an extra ticket to the Belmont, should I so desire to see American Pharoah become the latest thoroughbred to take a stab at glory. Much as I love that horse's name, I was torn by a few factors. Most important among those was that this past Saturday was a sports bonanza rarely seen in modern times. At 9 a.m. the Women's French Open Final would make way for the 2:45 kickoff of the UEFA Champions League Final, which in turn served as a segue to the opening match of the Women's World Cup at 6 p.m., the Belmont Stakes at 6:50 and then Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at 7:15, with the Mets playing at 10 p.m. just for kicks.

I had already invited friends over for a day of watching and barbecuing, and making the last-minute move to Belmont Park would not only ruin my social plans for the day, but also likely rob me of the seeing the end of the Champions League Final and most of the Stanley Cup Final. Also, Belmont Park is repulsive.

Wary of disappointing my arriving friends and weary from spending too many hot days in drunk crowds in my 20s, I decided to pass up the tickets and spend the day watching sports and slaving over the grill with my friends. After all, 13 other horses had nabbed the first two legs of the Triple Crown over the past 37 years only to come up short, including six over an eight-year span in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The length of the Belmont track, the pressure on the jockeys and the relative exhaustion the horse feels against a field of fresher competition makes the feat a near impossibility. Surely there was no way American Pharoah would actually make me look like a dunce by, say, running away with the race in a wire-to-wire victory.

Oh? What's that you say? Well shit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why aren't more people talking about how crazy this is?

I enjoy when the Mets are on the west coast. Don't get me wrong, late-night starts are pretty horrendous for east coasters, particularly considering each game of the NBA Finals (Cavs in 7, by the way) doesn't start until about 11:30 p.m. That kind of schedule can make it tough to get a full night's sleep and be alert at work the next day, but something about those May and June nights where you can go out for dinner after work, come home at 10 and turn on the TV to see the Mets in San Diego or L.A. has a pleasantly calming effect on me. I have no reason why, but there's just something nice about the deliberate pacing of a baseball game you probably won't see the conclusion of if you're getting ready for bed.

All that being said, I'm probably one of the few people who feels this way, and as a result, I would venture a guess that SNY's ratings for the Mets' current series with the Padres aren't exactly setting the world on fire. If that's the case, and none of you spent the two days this week that won't have something sports-crazy happening on them watching the Mets, you might have missed something.

On Monday night, San Diego pitcher Andrew Cashner absolutely lit up the Mets with 12 strikeouts and no walks over 4 2/3 innings. What's curious, though, is that he didn't pitch beyond that, and the reason is because the Mets lit Cashner up, too, knocking him around for five earned runs on 11 hits. Giving up double-digit hits while racking up double-digit strikeouts in less than five innings is quite the feat -- one that you don't hear about all that often.

In fact, the reason you don't hear about it too often is because before Monday night in San Diego it had never happened before in modern Major League Baseball history.