Last night’s Mets game stunk. Sure, it was better than hanging out at Citi Field for a couple hours to watch the rain fall on Wednesday – but you have to invoke that old saying about a bad day at the ballpark being better than a good day anywhere else if you want to pretend it was fun.
It was Fiesta Latina night, so everybody got a really nice Jose Reyes banner courtesy of Budweiser. The Mets were wearing cool new blue “Los Mets” jerseys that I thought I wanted until I saw the price tag. There was even some festive pre-game mariachi music to set the mod.
David Wright even hit a first-inning double to plate Daniel Murphy to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead, and R.A. Dickey pitched a good game as usual.
But the first inning, as good as it was, already showed signs that it was not going to be the Mets’ night.
- Whoever Jose Constanza is, he made a great catch to rob Reyes of what could have been an extra base hit. (He robbed Reyes again in less spectacular fashion in the third and hit a triple of his own that probably could have gone for an inside the park home run if he’d wanted it.) If Constanza continues to find playing time when Chipper Jones returns to the lineup, he’ll probably turn out to be a real Mets killer.
- I thought Wright’s ball had a shot to be a home run off the bat, but it landed on the warning track for a double. (At least he got a hit out of it – later, Lucas Duda hit another one that I thought had a chance, only to watch it land in Jason Hewyard‘s glove. I’m not a proponent of moving the fences, but it’s frustrating to watch when the Mets’ offense isn’t clicking.)
Tim Hudson limited the Mets to just that one run on three hits over seven innings. R.A. Dickey was nearly as good, keeping the Braves to just two runs on five hits over seven innings. And for that effort, he earned his 10th loss of the season. Talk about frustrating.
Terry Collins turned to his bullpen in the eighth, and it didn’t work out. Conztanza – yes, him again – hit a ball back to the mound that Tim Byrdak couldn’t catch cleanly, so the speedster ended up with an infield hit. Michael Bourn sacrificed him to second. Then Collins called Ryota Igarashi in from the bullpen, and things got ugly.
Martin Prado hit a grounder to the left side of the infield that Reyes managed to stop, but he couldn’t get an out. Freddie Freeman hit a sharp grounder to Wright. Wright threw home and got Constanza in a rundown, but the other runners were able to reach second and third.
Igarashi got Dan Uggla to swing and miss at a nasty pitch for strike one, but the Braves’ second baseman singled to left field to extend his hitting streak to 26 games and put the score out of reach for the Mets. A lot of the people sitting near me got up to leave after Uggla’s hit. Most of the ones that remained were Braves fans who just came to watch the game, not talk trash.
There was also one older Mets fan, who had been cheering obnoxiously earlier every time Dickey got a strikeout. (“He – struck – him – oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooout!”) For the next couple of at-bats — which seemed to take about 20 minutes as Igarashi walked Heyward and David Ross — everybody left in the section had to listen shouts that Igarashi should go back to Japan and a diatribe that Collins shouldn’t have pinch hit for Dickey the inning before.) I’ll be the first to admit that Igarashi has been a disappointment in the major leagues, but I still count him among my favorites on this team. It wasn’t fun to watch him blow the game on the field, but it was even less fun to listen to all that up in the stands.
After the inning ended, one fan was walking around with a rally towel and a “We Still Believe” banner to try to get the crowd pumped up. It just wasn’t happening.
There was a bit of polite applause after Wright’s double scored the Mets’ only run of the game, after Justin Turner made a nice defensive play in the fourth inning, and after Dickey got the last out of each frame. But the only real enthusiasm seemed to come from the venom directed at Igarashi, or at Jason Bay when he grounded out to strand a couple of runners on base in the bottom of the eighth. As a fan base, I think we’re more interested in having somebody to boo than to cheer.