Shawn Green hit a dramatic home run in the eleventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS sending the Mets to the World Series, where they defeated the Tigers in five games. Yes?
What would have happened if Yadier Molina had been abducted by aliens off the side of I-10 in Reading, PA last October?
(And now your Final Jeopardy answer: Roy Oswalt for Aaron Sele. The question we were looking for was "What is a pipe dream?")
Monday night's Cardinals/Mets game...the first Cardinals/Mets at Shea Stadium since you know what...would have to go into the ninth tied at 1-1, wouldn't it?
It would have to feature Billy Wagner facing So Taguchi in the ninth inning, wouldn't it?
It would have to feature Aaron Heilman in any capacity, wouldn't it?
All that was missing was Guillermo Mota shaking off Paul Lo Duca.
It even had the Mets facing a dominant lefty Tiger. No, not Kenny Rogers, this time it was Mike Maroth...and dominant he was, if no longer a Tiger. And even though he never even pitched in last year's series, it was too close a call. It was still too much of a reminder of what could have been if, as the Jeopardy contestant said, Yadier Molina had been abducted by aliens (or injured, as he actually was).
But regardless of the fact that this outcome came eight months too late, the Mets will take it. They'll take the excellent bullpen work by Wagner, Heilman, and for pure level of difficulty: Pedro Feliciano and his Houdini act in the seventh inning, getting Scott Spiezio (oh, the pangs of reminder) to ground out back to the box and preserve the tie, and set up Shawn Green's 11th inning swing (which was reminiscent of a five year old with a new Nintendo Wii swinging with that exaggerated uppercut from his foul ball to his game winning walk off, but hey...whatever works.)
Here are some funny things to consider:
- Did you notice the home run swing is back around the same time as the hair?
- Would this home run have happened had Julio Franco not missed this game due to injury? Because you know that Franco would have been out there at first base instead of Green against a lefty had Franco didn't come down with a sore birth certificate...I mean, sore knee? (Well, seeing as if Shawn Green played right field and not first base as he did on Sunday...which confused me, then that blows the theory to smithereens. There's a second shooter though, and I'll find him gosh darn it.)
It's just more alternate endings to the fork in the road that is the life of a Met fan. Sore knees, Nintendo swings, alien abductions...they're all fun to wonder about. But you know that what really happens the rest of this season will be much more inventive and interesting than those fictional situations. The baseball gods wouldn't have it any other way.