Some might think it was a bit over the top for Ike Davis to do a little pirouette in the air to punctuate his walk-off dinger on Sunday. After all, nobody should be thumping their chest after just barely beating the Astros by the skin of their teeth. Me, I’m just glad he didn’t wreck ligaments in his ankle. You know that just by wearing the Mets uniform you’re more susceptible to that kind of ridiculousness.
I’d have more of a problem with the celebration if it seemed remotely like showed hubris about beating the Astros. But it was obviously a “aw the hell with it” moment that is born out of losing a whole slew of games, and realizing how close they came to losing two out of three to a team that had come into the series winning seven out of their last fifty games. Hell everybody cheered when Roy McAvoy holed out from 235 yards even though it resulted in a 12. That’s basically what Ike’s home run was. Just like McAvoy avoided total embarrassment with a 235 foot 12, the Mets avoided total embarrassment by beating the Astros two straight. They’ve been embarrassed enough since the All-Star break, and they’ve certainly been embarrassed enough in the last three games even though they won two of them. Only difference is that everybody who saw Tin Cup will remember that scene, while everybody who saw Sunday’s game have probably already forgotten it. So f’ing hell, spin around. Go nuts. I’ll save my “get off my lawn” speeches for the wave. As long as Ike’s landing didn’t kill himself or any small children, it shouldn’t kill anybody else.
Think of it this way: As silly as Ike’s celebration looked, think of how it would have been looked upon if the Mets were in a pennant race. Ike would be called everything from a hot dog to a showboat to Jose Reyes … and that’s just during Francesa’s first hour. This? I’m not going to waste my time caring about this. Big deal. Ike beat the Astros. La de da. As long as the Astros aren’t offended, nobody else should be either. And if they are offended? Screw ’em. It’s not like they’re going to get all pissed off and knock the Mets out of a pennant race. Besides, they’re going to lose all moral high ground when they sign Roger Clemens anyway.
Now the pie in the face? Maybe a bit much.
It didn’t take long for Lucas Duda to make an impact in his return to the big leagues. First off, let’s note that the “big power bat” that was lost to the minors hit three long balls and four doubles in a month for Buffalo. To say he’s a quadruple A player at this point is an affront to triple A players. But okay, he returns to his new spot in left field as he’s groomed to take over for Jason Bay when he’s cut, meaning that we’re probably stuck with Duda again in 2013. In his return to the majors he went 0 for 2 with a walk, and had a fly ball go off his glove in left field to allow the tying run to score in the ninth on Marwin Gonzalez’s double … which completely obliterated Jeremy Hefner’s chance at a complete game shutout. The salient point was raised that if the Mets would have only scored a few more runs off Lucas freakin’ Harrell, that Duda’s misplay wouldn’t have meant as much. Agreed completely. But Duda, Mr. Big Time Power, contributed to that.
(And Andres Torres too, who somehow struck out five times in four at-bats … a new record.)
Duda kinda sorta made up for his error by missing the cutoff man on Ben Francisco’s single to left while Kelly Shoppach, who’s bad throw on Jose Altuve’s steal allowed him to go to second, blocked the plate exquisitely as Gonzalez tried to score the go ahead run. Jason Bay probably makes that catch on Gonzalez’s tying double. But Bay probably doesn’t make the throw that Duda made. However, if Bay makes the catch then he wouldn’t have needed to make the throw. (See, logic ain’t just for breakfast anymore.)
Point is that Duda is still fairly terrible, the Mets barely survived against this century’s Cleveland Spiders, and Ike Davis is still eating whipped cream off his jersey because the Mets don’t feed him enough. I feel much better now. I’d call that the best sendoff the Mets could possibly give the Astros as they go off into the American League to find themselves. They’ll probably come back when they need money or something. To mark the occasion of the final Mets/Astros National League matchup, I now give you a classic Mets/Astros memory: