"In the sky, light is coming, so glad we all have this day
We all want one more morning just to know the night won't stay" -Steve Winwood
It takes one.
Before you can get two, you need one.
There are no scheduled doubleheaders in the playoffs, so you can't win two games in one day. And you certainly can't win two games at once. So that was the task at hand for the New York Mets today, as we all woke up on Wednesday hoping for one more game.
One more morning.
Honestly folks, I fully intended to stay away from anymore postseason tickets. Considering my 0-5 record in postseason attendance, I wasn't going to seek out any more tickets. After all, I could never forgive myself if I went hard after a ticket for tonight...and had seen the Cardinals celebrate at Shea Stadium. It was bad enough that I witnessed the Yankees spray champagne on our seats...if the Cardinals did the same in my presence I would have probably taken a header off of the upper deck and ended it all.
But then came "The Metmaster".
He came to me with a ticket...and all of a sudden the room turned into the "Creation" painting. The fingers reached out..."Come with me, Metstradamus...My extra ticket is calls out to you for you are not the first choice, but the only choice. You must not fear failure...because tonight, failure is not an option."
And that's when I realized something: As long as I fear jinxing my team, I'll never see a playoff win. Sure, I may be 0-5...but to end a jinx, all it takes is one.
"Lift my eyes to the dawning to see the life start again
Just to see one more morning, just to feel it all begin"
So I took the ticket, and my stomach immediately started in with a few Ozzie Smith backflips for me.
And when Dan Le Batard mentioned on Wednesday's PTI that he was going to watch "Armageddon" on the tube tonight...I thought "Gee, I might watch the same thing tonight...only live."
At that point, Jack Clark started taking some batting practice hacks took a sledgehammer in my belly.
Thank goodness for blogger nation...they were there in full force tonight and I was fortunate to grab some positive energy from them as they met by the Subway Sandwich stand in right field. Where else but the Subway stand would you want to meet, among others, a guy whose writes a blog called "Yes Joe, It's Toasted"?
You can't make this stuff up, people.
But there they were. Toasty (with his artistic department in tow), Mets Grrl, Zoe Rice, Hotfoot, and the Brooklyn Met Fan were all there, along with the incomparable Matt Cerrone wearing the very jersey that the Mets were 36-3 while he was wearing it in attendance. Now that's some positive energy.
We even ran into a blog groupie.
No, seriously! He came up to us and asked if we were..."um, bloggers?", with these wide eyes like he was going to ask us all for our autographs or something.
I have to admit, it kind of made me feel like a bit of a star until he asked who I was. When I told him that I was Metstradamus, he said: "Oh...I've heard of you. I don't really read you." (Who said winning hearts and minds was easy?)
He had his own positive energy going on. He might have gotten it from a bottle in his mom's liquor cabinet while she wasn't looking, but hey...I remember my first beer too.
So with my newfound positivity I went to my seat to join forces with the Metmaster, who could have used some positive energy himself as he shelled out $40 dollars for a parking space rather than park halfway to Montauk. We sat directly in front of two Cardinal fans...one of which was decked in the powder blue Willie McGee model. Great for heckling, bad for being in the way of some flying beer later on.
Of course, John Maine gets into trouble immediately, loading the bases in the first with two men out. The inning would have been worse if not for getting that freakin' midget leadoff hitter David Eckstein (I mean that with admiration and respect David), to ground to third to lead off the game. But after two singles and a hit batsman, Scott Rolen (who is currently embroiled in a hissy fit with his manager), had a chance with the bases loaded. The whole ballgame could have rode on this first inning at bat, especially with an impressionalbe rookie on the mound..
Maine got Rolen to fly to right to end the inning and 56,000 strong exhaled.
"One more day, one more memory, one more link in the chainIt takes one.
We all want one more morning just to feel it all again"
In this case, one batter. One batter to go deep to right field and put the Mets on the scoreboard. The atmosphere went from pensive to festive with one swing of Jose Reyes' mighty stick. So festive, in fact, that I got hit with beer about six innings before I had expected to be hit with beer.
As I am a soothsayer, I let loose with one of my gut predictions before the game. Well, it wasn't really a prediction...more of an admission that for some reason, the name Shawn Green was rattling around in my head. Couldn't figure out why. That is, until the RBI single in the fourth to go up 2-0.
John Maine, meanwhile? Dealin'! Rollin' along, he was...throwing the strikes he saved himself from throwing in Game 2. Maine wound up going 5 and 1/3, which is probably 2 and 1/3 more innings than most outsiders (and some insiders) hoped and/or thought he would go. It's worth bringing this up again:
"The Mets, let's face it, aren't going to win any pitchers' duels. That would require them to have pitchers who actually can shut a team down." -John Donovan, SI.com
For clarification, those five innings + one third that John Maine chucked were scoreless.
Tony LaRussa is a genius. I'm sure he'd tell you that if you asked him.
But if he was so much of a genius, you wouldn't think that he would entrust a still close game to Braden Looper, would you?
Boos greeted our former closer in the seventh as lefty Jose Valentin...the same kind of lefty that Braden Looper can't get out...bunts into an out. Then Endy Chavez smacks a Looper pitch into a hard out. But just when you thought Braden was going to come into his former house and shut his former teammates down, Michael Tucker pinch hit a single in front of a diving Soul Patch Spiezio.
Tucker then stole second.
Jose Reyes then hit an infield single.
Reyes then stole second.
Paulie Lo Duca then drove both runs home with a single past Looper that spun him around like he was Charlie Brown, giving the Mets a comfortable (or what should have been a comfortable) 4-0 lead.
The chants only got louder from there. Braden never had a chance.
I always suspected that the Mets bandwagon grew exponentially with their success this season. But I never...ever...suspected this:
Wow. Freddy Sez. At Shea. With a pro-Mets sign at that...wandering around Shea Stadium.
Was this a sign of things to come?
When Billy Wagner entered Game 6 and started getting smacked around again, I thought maybe it was a sign. And then I got really nervous. So nervous that the thought of walking the tiny So Taguchi with first base open and two outs in the ninth actually entered my mind. That's silly, right?
Because once again, So Taguchi played the role of "Thorn in Billy Wagner's Side" by smacking a double to left field. Hopefully it isn't going to be a leading role, but listed just under "Key Grip" in the credits of this NLCS. The next batter...the diminutive Eckstein, came up as the tying run. Could he actually go deep off Wagner and tie this game? Could my postseason jinx rear it's ugly head in the most unbelievable of fashions?
Thankfully, not quite.
"Why does a game that we so thoroughly dominated all of a sudden feel like a stay of execution?" -The MetmasterI don't know Metmaster, and I don't want to know. What I do know is that this series is tied. And because you and I joined forces and combined our powers, my postseason win total now stands at one...and it takes one to kill a jinx. If we can slay that dragon, then all obstacles are possible to overcome...including the obstacle that the Mets will face Thursday night. It is possible even if the only way to combat that obstacle is to trot out "The Million Pitcher March", which the Mets will have to do.
In the arms we were born in, in the arms that will take us homeWe have one more morning. And that, my friends, is all it takes.
We all want one more morning, then we'll take the night to come