Thursday, June 23, 2011

This Is A New One. Even For Me.

Ladies and gentleman, I am a Mets fan. You know this. I don't keep it a secret even though perhaps I should. But being a Mets fan means I have seen a lot of bizarre things, both in person and on TV. But all that said, I'm pretty sure I've never, ever, ever seen a baseball game end the way it did last night.

Yeah, you read it right.

The Mets defeated the A's -- and their totally awesome yellow jerseys -- when, with the bases loaded, Justin Turner fashioned the Amazins' first walk-off win of the year with a bases loaded hit by pitch.

Sometimes you just can't make these things up.

That is, I suppose, the beauty and wonder of baseball. It is nearly impossible to predict everything that will happen and there is always a bizarre chance that something totally unusual like this will happen. Of course, in a sport where, as we've found elsewhere last night, even the mascots are as tough as they come, it doesn't seem so crazy that a man would be willing to surrender his body for the good of the team. In fact, sometimes I wish they'd do it more often.

Still, this was a most peculiar way for this, or any game to end, even if it apparently has happened before with the Mets falling on both sides of the ledger. However, keep in mind that this was already a pretty odd night at the ol' ballpark. For starters, the game was delayed an hour by a fairly unrepentant rain storm that swept through and left puddles through a stadium that has shockingly uneven concrete for a building that's only in its third season of use. Also note that Mets starter R.A. Dickey was utterly brilliant for eight innings, at one point making us furious that a dropped ball by center fielder Jerry Hairston Jr. in the second inning had already put the kibosh on a potential no-no.

Add into that that with both Dickey and A's starter Gio Gonzalez throwing pills all night, the Mets were in line for a 2-1 win courtesy of Jose Reyes' eighth-inning triple and Justin Turner's single afterward that set Francisco Rodriguez up for a save -- a save that almost sent us home in a relatively lightning quick two hours and 20 minutes.


Instead, what proceeded to happen was a comedy of errors that stretched on for two more hours and didn't end until Turner's utterly heroic HBP in the bottom of the 13th. I stuck it out through all of the poor hitting and zany outs. Doing so meant that last night's crazy outing tied for the longest game I've ever attended in person to go with a Mother's Day clash between the Mets and Rockies in 2002 in which New York lost -- shockingly not because Steve Trachsel was starting.

I was glad to get home when I finally did, but my friend Frankie and I were still somewhat disappointed we didn't get to experience that rare moment known as a 14th inning stretch. Then again, I suppose I should be thankful I've never experienced a 21st inning stretch like the Rockies and Padres did in 2008 at Petco Park.

Then again, these days I'm just thankful I'm not a lesbian in Nigeria or a minority partner for the Mavericks making an utter fool of myself.

So yeah. That baseball game happened. Amazingly, the Mets and A's are going to be back at it in about 30 minutes for the finale of their three-game set. I'm going to be mighty impressed if these two teams actually have the energy to, you know, play baseball today -- or if they are willing to show their faces after last night's outing, which was, frankly, a terribly played baseball game.

My guess is they'll be on the field. Unfortunately for all of us, however, they probably won't find an ending that's quite as interesting.

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