Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Greatest Game Ever Played (On A Friday Night In The State Of Florida)

Did Friday's incredible win remind you of something?

Did you see a little Lenny Dykstra in Luis Castillo as he started the rally with two outs and nobody on?

Did David Wright remind you a bit of Mookie Wilson when he continued the rally?

Was Carlos Beltran's grand slam part Keith, part Darryl, and part Ray Knight all rolled up into one?

You can be forgiven if you saw Jeremy Hermida and Hanley Ramirez reach base and all of a sudden see Davey Lopes and Bill Doran roaming the bases ... or if Mike Jacobs looked an awful lot like Glenn Davis ... or if Jorge Cantu's long fly ball down the left field line which would have won the game all of a sudden made you see Billy Hatcher jog backwards down to first base before Cantu's ball went foul and you were allowed to breathe again.

You can be forgiven because we've pretty much waited for this kind of thing from the Mets all season long ... October magic in August was that lacking ingredient last season, and Friday it returned in all its spectacular fashion. Of course, it wasn't without its corresponding headaches as Luis Ayala threatened to go Jesse Orosco all over Miami.

I might be reaching with this comparison, but you have to realize one thing from my perspective ... that there was another parallel between October 15th, 1986 and August 29th, 2008: I fell asleep during both games.

Only in '86 I had it timed a little better: I had come home from school dead tired for that 3PM start and tried like hell to stay awake, but after the Astros had taken a 3-0 lead I must have thought that Game 7 was inevitable, and unconsciously became, well ... unconscious. By the time I woke up, I kid you not, Lenny Dykstra was leading off the ninth inning. So you can say I really didn't miss a whole lot.

Friday night, same deal. Wright strikes out with the bases loaded in the seventh and I'm done. I sleep with the TV on so that if something big happens, most likely I'll wake up to it. I must have been extremely dead because from the time Cantu misplayed an easy ground ball in the eighth until Jacobs was up in the ninth, I was dead to the world. Not even a grand slam was enough to shake me out (and Gary Cohen gave it the double "outta here" ... and I still didn't wake up. Whoa.)

In fact, for some reason I had it in my mind that 2-1 became 5-2 because of two runs in the eighth and two runs in the ninth. (Obviously, I had created my own ball game while I was asleep.) But truth, as always, is stranger (and more dramatic) than fiction.

(Editors note: You know what else contributed to that '86 feeling? It was the football markings on the field. They were all over the Astrodome ... and it was those football markings which forced that NLCS to start and end in Houston when the Mets rightfully should have had home field advantage. It's just too bad that more of the home fans didn't show up Friday ... I mean, Maroone Honda sales draw more customers. But hey, more seats for Met fans. Oh well ... maybe they'll show up Saturday. I hear Mike Scott's supposed to pitch.)


Anonymous said...

I dont know how the TV broadcast sounded, but Howie Rose was all kinds of awesome on the Radio. Between his ranting on Manuel leaving Ayala in and not having anyone warming up and then after the third out yelling...Do all of our games have to be like this? Because I dont know how much more I can take! Classic Mets...What else can you say...Amazin'

Anonymous said...

Great post. I, unfortunately, was reminded of last year's September 20th game in Florida when, the Mets went ahead by 3 runs thanks to Marlon Anderson's bases loaded triple off Gregg in the top of the ninth, and the Mets' bullpen (Jorge Freakin Sosa - did I hear that he was busted for steroid use?) went on to implode in what would be the beginning of many implosions.

Thankfully, Wes Helms was up after Cantu last night.

What a win - most improbable of the year. Anyone hear Howie's call of Beltran's jack? Classic.

Anonymous said...


I almost fell asleep, too. After Reyes made the second out in the ninth, I turned the TV off. We'll get 'em tomorrow, I thought. But then, just 10 minutes later, my girlfriend, her son, and I were startled in our sleep because of a one-word text message alert from my cousin, who was smart enough to leave the TV on.

His message read: "Magic!"

Toasty Joe said...

All I gotta say is: (1) you missed the most exciting inning of the year; and (2) I'm going to have to look for that book on Ebay.

Anonymous said...

Greatest win of the year. But you are reaching Metstra. Last September should teach you that August is not September much less October. They are now in the drivers seat in the NL East just like last year.

Toasty Joe said...

Anyone have a link to radio highlights? I can find video but not radio. Would like to hear Howie's call.

katherine said...

Toasty - for 14.95 you can get a subscription to GameDay Audio on

The nice thing about having a subscription is that you can listen to the archived games if you missed them.

Anonymous said...

Sonofa... August 30th's loss reminded me of something too.