I had the opportunity today to score two tickets to the Mets-Diamondbacks game and was all keyed up for a much needed sojourn from the office.
Beautiful day. Seats in the shade. A good friend / professional colleague who I haven't seen in awhile. Good conversation at the ready.
First seven innings is like artwork. Santana, flawless. Chalked up 10 strikes, issued only 3 hits, 3 walks and the Mets were putting a few numbers up on the board.
And then it happened. That dreaded pitch count philosophy. It is akin to saying, "we'll only make this top spin 100 times, despite the fact it may be in a groove and still look good spinning, but we don't want it to spin too much. Santana got the hook from fisherman Willie and then the chaos started. Joe Smith, a sidearmer I admire, put two runs on the board for the Diamondbacks. That was OK. Mets were still up 4-2. But, there was one point when the Mets had 3 men on, no out and could not execute the simple act of getting a human being to traverse the basepath a mere 30 yards to touch the plate for that comfy run.
So, Schoenweiss comes in for a cup of coffee, 1/3 inning and then when the ball is handed to Billy Wagner, it came apart at the seems. He imploded. The crowd was stunned. We were like Hiroshima / Nagasaki observers -- and couldn't do anything about it. Game is tied, and a bit of optimism was emoted when a few reached base. Alas. (say it as if you are reading Shakespeare), it was not to be.
So, what happens to the artwork that Santana painted? Aaron Heilman. The Flushing Queens version of Lazlo Toth (go ahead, click the link and look him up -- it makes the image more cerebral) struck and it was all over.
Heilman, who is 0-3 - before I ever finish that sentence, I want to know what/why/how he is staying here.
More fun coming up for the Mets. Now we have to figure out a way to play the Texas Rangers -- if it is tough playing teams you know, imagine what must transpire to take on Josh Hamilton, David Murphy and Milton Bradley of the Texas Rangers.
My advice? Fasten your seat-belts and have a ChAIRsick bag nearby.