Sunday, September 24, 2006

That was easily the weirdest game I've ever seen:
  • In the Mets' second at bat of the game, with Reyes running, Endy popped up a bunt in foul for the weirdest double play ever;
  • In the second inning, Franco threw his bat into the stands,
  • and when it was returned, waved the batboy to hand it back to the guy he'd nearly killed.
  • I had no qualms at all about taking James and our seat-neighbors' suggestion that we move down from under the overhang to some empty Mezzanine box seats (qualm-free me is weird).
  • Maine was perfect for two innings, then with two outs in the fourth, he gave up a double and advanced the runner on a wild pitch, then loaded the bases with an HBP and a walk,
  • leading to a visit to the mound from Rick Peterson, the guys a few rows behind us calling out, "C'mon! Touch his shoulder!" which of course Peterson did;
  • which Maine followed by walking in a run.
  • Which Maine repeated almost exactly in the fifth; the HBP, the walk, the visit from Peterson, the walked-in run.
  • My spirits totally fell when, the bases still loaded and the Nats up on two walked-in runs, Nats CF Vidro lined one to left. Two more scored, but they got Kearns at third on the throw to end the inning. A lot of heckling Milledge for not hustling to hold the second run.
  • Then the questionable part of the Mets order came up and
  • proceeded to put together singles and doubles (Milledge drives in a run! Woodward doubles!) to bring the Mets within one.
  • With Wright at the plate, Reyes and Chavez put together a double steal
  • which Wright rendered moot by putting one in the bleachers in left. (Did I mention the bleachers were filled with dogs? It was "Dog Day at Shea." Oh, and also Buckethat Day.)
  • They batted around, two more singles in the fifth.
  • Royce Ring threw competently in the sixth (weird).
  • Two guys in Yankees shirts caused a ruckus on loge behind the plate, waving their arms up and down in a typical display of hateful Yankee fan behavior; the orange jacket guys were there inside of two minutes.
  • The older of the two guys behind us asked me whether it was Willie Mays' number they'd retired out in left in the red and blue circle. (Yes. I'd forgotten he played for the Mets when I was two.) When LoDuca came up ("Stayin' Alive" is his walk-on music) the older guy mentioned that he used to operate the scoreboard, and that his understanding was that some players choose their walk-on songs and some have them chosen for them, but in either case, Dookie probably ought to do something about his.
  • Mota threw fine in the seventh, giving up an HR to Soriano but what are you going to do; I reassured the guys behind us that Mota's actually been pretty great in middle relief for the last few weeks. (Not weird.)
  • Two out in the seventh, Chris Woodward drives in a run -- a two hit game for Woodward is weird.
  • In the eighth, Dookie homered, his fifth of the season. (Weird.)
  • Then, David Wright came to bat. He popped one up to the gap in right, and 1B Nick Johnson, RF Austin Kearns, and 2B Vidro converged, nobody calling it. It looked like Johnson turned his leg just before running into Kearns; Nook Logan said he heard a snap or a pop from sixty feet away in centerfield. Gloves went flying, sunglasses went flying, the ball dropped, and Wright stopped at third as Vidro got the ball back to the infield.
  • Everybody came running.
  • The trainers brought splints and a stretcher.
  • Kearns was sobbing, Johnson was yowling, Wright came over from third in tears.
  • Eventually they got to playing again, and the world's oldest man hit a ground rule double scoring Wright. Speaking of weird choices for walk-on music, even Franco's second song is some weird Christian rock thing.
  • Then Shawn Green hit a foul pop up that Ryan Zimmerman decided to chase into the stands, but when he emerged with a clean catch, the umps decided to confer, leaving Green standing at the plate. Five or ten minutes later, Green was out and Franco was on third -- some post-'92 rule about stands-jumping with men on base?
  • Then Lastings drove in another run. Did Willie sit him down and explain how to make the playoff roster or something?
  • Oh, and four innings in a row Willie got to pull his pitchers for pinch hitters -- two walks, two Ks.
  • Then Wagner came in (no Sandman music, either) and gave up a run and two hits before getting the job done.
Yeah, so anyway. Johnson's leg is broken. You can see where the grass was torn in the collision. Having lived through the LT-Theismann thing in real time I'm going to avoid the replay clips. Our seat-neighbors lent me their binox to gauge Wright's reaction -- just sheer misery. Couldn't look at Johnson, but Jim texted to say they were showing him biting on a towel. Yikes. There was other weirdness -- a broken-bat foul where the two-foot splinter just missed Wright, after a cool start the temps started rising around the sixth, during the rally the soundboard people played all the cheers one-after-another without any break.

I like going to the stadium, but I'm ok with games being slightly more pro forma than this one.

Jordan - #




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