20 Innings? Let’s play two!…Not

I have a confession to make. My name is Mike and I’m a Mets fan (“Hi Mike!”). That wasn’t always burdensome. I remember when they made the trade for Keith Hernandez and things got serious. There have been some ups, some downs, and some intervening avenues that just make you shake your head.

Take saturday’s nationally televised game with the Cardinals in St. Louis. I sat down to watch a couple of innings late in the day as some plans I had fell through. 0-0 score, went and ran a errand or two, and wound up at my local provider of fizzy adult beverages where it was still on, in the 16th inning. At this point, my attitude gets a little laden with gallows humor. Wonder if Kenny Albert or Tim McCarver can sneak out of the booth to let nature take its course. After six hours on the air, ya know, somethings may have to give.

Apparently, that included the Cardinals home crowd. The St. Louis fans are regarded as some of the best in baseball, knowledgeable in all aspects and will occasionally applauded a good play because it was a good play, even if the other team made it. I got home in time to see the top of the 18th, where the score was still 0-0. Supposed genius Tony LaRussa had his second position player pitching and a starting pitcher in the outfield. Utilityman Joe Mather gave up a run to the Mets in the 19th and you could sense relief in the crowd, but when Albert Pujois scored in the home half to tie at 1 apiece, I could have sworn I heard some New York style sarcasm in the applause.

LaRussa got out managed by Jerry Manuel who put his starting pitcher from Thursday, Mike Pelfrey, in the bottom of the 20th to earn a save and put an end to the foolishness. You’d think that going 0-7 would be the sign of a bad day, but Jose Reyes scored on his eight trip to the plate. The game used 19 pitchers and finished 7 hours after it started. George Carlin was right: “We don’t know when it’s going to end.”

It was, in the words of Dan Ackroyd’s old Leonard Pimpft Garnell character “wonderfully bad, execretable.” More participants than hits, you couldn’t take your eyes off the traffic accident, but if the season got a one night microcosm, I think the Phillies don’t need to worry about one portion of the east. And perhaps Tony should get himself an actual hitting coach.


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