THE AMAZIN’ METS seem to be foregoing their traditional season-end implosion by peaking early and putting the suck on well ahead of the All-Star break – all in spectacular fashion, of course. And although I don’t usually go for the “bummed out beat reporter’s bitter tirade” schtick, Ben Shpigel of the New York Times is penning gloriously dry and downtrodden accounts of the team’s most recent woes with fun quips, like: “Making the simple difficult since 1962 — that could be the Mets’ motto.” Here’s some more from Shpigel’s story on a 5-error, 11-inning debacle, which included a runner missing third base on his way home:
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Carlos Beltran said.
And neither had anyone else. To be fair, [Jerry] Manuel said he had seen his former charges, the Chicago White Sox, commit five errors, not that he was boasting of that achievement or anything. But no, he had never seen a player completely miss tagging third base on his way home as [Ryan] Church did in the top of the 11th. That gaffe canceled what would have been the go-ahead run, ended the inning and breathed life into the Dodgers. Not that, on this night, they needed any extra help. The five errors were the Mets’ most since they committed six on Sept. 16, 2007, against Philadelphia.
“The guy missed third base, that’s unbelievable,” Manuel said. “I can’t explain why or how or anything, but he actually missed the base. To me, it’s just hard to miss third base . . . .”
That exceptional display of baseball prowess was immediately followed by another very bad outing the very next day. Shpigel leads the recap with this:
The Mets showed up for work at Dodger Stadium early Tuesday afternoon, eager to give this baseball thing another try. They hit. They caught. They fielded. And they threw a little, too. It all may have helped, as they committed one error instead of five, and managed to touch third base every time on their journeys home.
What they could not do Tuesday night was pitch . . . .
And clearly, the previous day’s incredulous loss still stings, as Shpigel throws another jab or two where he can:
Before the game, the Mets refrained from holding tutorials on touching third base, perhaps because the clip of Church stepping over it in the 11th inning Monday night was broadcast roughly 412 times.
The Mets are in no way done for the season — they’re just one game out of first in their division, after all. But it’s been fun following their hijinks in the paper, even if it’s probably painful to witness in person. And, hey, at least they’re not the Nats.