We’ve become used to these over the past four years, haven’t we? Those types of losses that make you beat your head against the wall, whether it be sheet rock or concrete. It’s gotten to the point where now, it barely hurts. We’ve been through these in September and October. The ones in April barely register.
But they register. Especially the ones against the teams that seem to have a built in New York fanbase like the San Francisco Giants … their audible yelps from Citi Field at anything good coming through loud and clear on SNY and WFAN. The ones against the teams that have returning Mets who come back to prove that shorter fences help the visitors as well as the home team, they register too.
(Editor’s note: You should click that last link if for no other reason than to listen to Duane Kuiper negotiate the name “Nieuwenhuis”. Fun for the whole family.)
The Mets have lost three in a row. The first two probably fall under the grouping of those 54 games that you’re supposed to lose right off the bat. Friday’s loss is one of those 54 that decide a season. Contenders pull these games out. Pretenders? They’ll frustrate the hell out of you. Diamond in the rough? This game was the charcoal in Kay Jewelers. Surrounded by Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ solo HR in the fifth and hellacious catch in the eighth, Daniel Murphy doing his imitation of a ballerina in a music box turning a double play, a Jason Bay home run, a ninth inning comeback, and a tenth inning comeback, the Mets reached in the bag of diamonds and pulled out the slimy hairball.
It’s frustrating to see Josh Thole have a gritty at bat against sidewinding lefty Javier Lopez in the ninth to tie the game with a single, and then go to the tenth down by a run and see Bay, with runners on second and third, wave at a cheap imitation outside fastball. All he had to do was make contact. They wouldn’t even walk him to set up the double play, and that’s what he does? I understand he hit a dinger and scored the tying run. But can you come up with a better at bat than that in the tenth? Fly ball ties the game. Ground ball might tie the game. He couldn’t even ground into one of his famous double plays with first base open. What does he do? Weakly wave at a dog meat fastball off the outside corner, of course. Even Lucas Duda came up with a better at bat than that to end the game with a fly ball. If Bay does that this game is still going.
It’s a kick in the gonads loss. There have been so many of them that it merely feels like a bad case of jock itch, but still.
Of course, it would have also helped to have our closer keep the game tied in the top of the tenth instead of coming in, walking the leadoff hitter, and letting him score. And maybe a hit from Ike Davis instead of leaving a small village on the basepaths (five) would have also helped out. Maybe it’s unfair to rag on Frank Francisco after his fast start, or Bay after his decent game, or Davis on general principle. But if you’re rankled about being labeled as underdogs, don’t play like them. Win these games. And stop kicking us in the groin.