Ironic, isn't it, that the team that lived on the swords of hitting and relief pitching, died tonight by those very same swords.
It was supposed to be the starting pitching sword that ended us.
It was supposed to be the injuries to Pedro and Orlando that did us in.
Nope, we died by the sword of our strengths.
The team that hit the cover off the ball all year, couldn't manage a hit from inning one until inning nine.
The team that had the best bullpen in the National League, and certainly the deepest bullpen in baseball, lost this game in the late innings to Yadier Molina, who moves up in the pantheon of all-time hateables...just above Terry Pendleton.
And when you die by your strengths, there really isn't much else to say, except to congratulate the St. Louis Cardinals.
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is proof that baseball is always ready to provide you with something that you would never expect. Baseball fans after Tuesday generally thought that either the Cardinals would win in six games, or that the Mets would win in seven.
Of course, the other option was our fate.
The game is funny that way.
The game is cruel that way.
No, it's downright sickening.
It's sickening because there's no way the Mets should have lost after this:
But lose they did, in part because immediately following that catch, the Mets couldn't get a hit with the bases loaded and one out.
And that's why you don't depend on destiny. You don't depend on anniversaries, you don't depend on karma, you don't depend on superstitions. Because all of the aforementioned rituals are no substitute for hits.
To be a Met fan is to know and understand that when the chips are down in the last frame of the last game, the Mets will never, ever, go down without a fight. Win or lose, there will never be a one-two-three inning to end a big game. And the Mets did not disappoint in that regard.
But to be a Met fan is to also understand that those ninth inning rallies could always end badly. And that sickening games like the one you saw on Thursday are part of the deal.
Instead of Detroit, the Mets will head straight to the winter caravan. Six years after one big rival celebrates at Shea, the other big rival does the same. And it's another season where the only movement that Shea Stadium sees is right field sinking another foot along with the hearts of many Met fans.
And the only thing rising will be me up a tree as Tommy Lasorda tries to convince me to watch the World Series.