I finally made it to Shea today and what a beautiful day it was- 70 degrees, a swirling 15 mph wind in from left, plenty of sun, and Glavine going for win number 275. I got out the door a little late, but made my connection to the 7 with only a slight hitch, passing right by Queensboro Plaza, but since it was because I was talking Mets baseball with another Shea enthusiast it didn’t bother me one bit. By the time we hit Flushing my new Met buddy had offered me a golden seat right by first base, but I already had an engagement with two Bikram yogis in the left field loge, so I declined for another day. We arrived in our seats in the bottom of the first, a kid gave me the top, so my scorecard was clean. A hot dog, some mustard and I was ready for another Mets’ victory.
From the git-go I could see we were in for a low scoring duel. Glavine and Hudson were working quick and half the Braves’ and Mets’ lineups were either hurt or resting. Through four, Jeff Francoeur had the lone hit and it wasn’t until the sixth that the Mets got anything going when Ramon Castro led
off with a single to left. A Brian Jordan throwing error and a Glavine bunt left men at second and third with one out and Reyes coming up. Hudson was in a jam and Shea was jumpin’. Suddenly, my gut got queazy and it wasn’t the schnitzel. Hmm, "Castro is so slow…" I thought, but before I could finish my thinking, Reyes popped a medium fly to left. My stomach turned, Castro tagged and I yelled, "Move it Ramon, boogy man, boogy!" Matt Diaz threw a strike to Pratt and Castro was out far too easily. I muttered something a little more profane than "Geez" and reluctantly scratched 7/FDP, 3xH(72) in my scorecard as the rest of Shea sighed and sat.
In between innings, the queaziness churned as I returned to my earlier thought, "Why didn’t Willie pinch run for Castro?" I assured myself that any other Met would have beat Diaz’s throw, no sweat! There was now momentum for the first time in the game and Andruw Jones waltzed to the plate. The Flushing faithful saved all their boos for Mr. Jones, and serenaded him loudly. I wish they had all shut up because I felt like they were just motivating him more. The good feelings I had on the 7
train were flooding away. Glavine got behind and the inevitable happened- a shot over the 371 sign in right,1-0 Braves. My mood was dropping, I was getting discouraged. Atlanta tacked on a run in the eighth as Mr. Wright turned into Mr. Wrong when he committed his third error of the day. It’s o’k David, I still love you. "Just one of those days" I explained deflatedly to my Bikram yogini friend. But she wasn’t having that, "You already giving up Carl? Come on it ain’t over" she snorted as she struck a perfect Warrior pose.
"Geez", I muttered to myself, "Have I become one of those pessimistic Mets’ fans that I swore I never would become?" This thought disturbed me and I quickly went into full lotus position and shooed away all those bad Bobby Bonilla boogeymen that I had carried for so long. My other yogi friend spotted a couple of seats in the sun and we moved up for the ninth. I looked around the stadium as Julio Franco strode to the plate to pinch hit. Everyone was standing, hands were clapping, Shea was electric, no one had given up. "To heck with Roberto Alomar, I couldn’t care less about all the Takatsus and Mienkiewiczs who had come before". I was emboldened, this was a new Mets Nation, the spirit was alive. Franco went 63/G, but hey Tony Pena’s kid is pretty darn slick over there at short. Wow, positivity during an out, I was really beginning to enjoy myself. The crowd grew louder as Reyes worked the count. Hudson was reaching back, he was clearly getting tired. A rope to right and Jose was on second. Woodward laced a single to left and Shea was stomping as Reyes crossed the plate. Could it be, Delgado was up, yes it could! Hudson reared back, Carlos got a hold of one the other way, but the 15 mph gust held it at the track and it was now left to David to Wright his ways. No one in the bullpen, this was Timmy’s game. Wright swung under a 92 mph fastball, fouled a couple and then hit it sharply, but to the wrong guy. Pena Jr. slid over to the middle, 64/FO/G and the Braves won 2-1.
Yes, it was quite a day. I know the Braves beat us again, but I felt pretty good. So, we lost. So, David got a little tight at third. So, Wille didn’t listen to my queazy stomach. It’s just one game, we’ll be alright. Glavine looked great, Reyes and Woodward were clutch and the kid who gave me the top of the first got a t-shirt from the laser guns during the stretch in the seventh. My yogic friends were still smiling and you know what, so was I. So, Goodbye old demons, I know these Mets will rise, I got no worries, the next time we face these Braves they’re going to be in for quite a surprise. Gooooooooooo Mets!
Carl The Cabbie