What a great day to be at the ballpark. Elation, terror, and a win.
The top of the order stands for the anthem.
The initial MLB pitch of Mike Soroka (a strike)
Soroka showed great calm. He was a lot calmer than I was, I think. He pitched 6 innings, scattering 6 hits, half of them to Yoenis Cespedes, including his only run, a giant HR. NO walks. After 6 he had only thrown 80 pitches, but apparently that was enough for the braintrust. I will say that the the Mets were making much more solid contact in the 6th, and that might have factored in.
The Braves, despite 15 hits in the game did all of their scoring in the first four batters. Four straight hits, three runs, but that was all they’d get. A combination of baserunning blunders (Inciarte) a close play at the plate (Suzuki) replays of dubious quality (Albies) and the Madden-like batting order which had Soroka bat eighth had him come up three times with two outs and runners in scoring position. He nearly grounded out for the cycle, lacking only the groundout to the catcher. In any case, there was to be no Braves scoring after 7:20 PM.
But it was enough. Barely. Carle pitched two pitches in the 7th and walked off the field, injured. Winkler came on, completed Carle’s walk, but then bore down to get out of trouble…. sort of a reverse-Grybo.
Minter, pitching to the heart of the order, gave up a leadoff single and wriggled out of trouble.
Then the bottom of the 9th. One of the things harder to see on television than live is just how late the swings were against Arodys. He was dealing. But when it comes in at 99, it comes out hot if you hit it. Frazier hit a line drive trapped by Neck. Gonzalez lifted a fly ball that Albies and Dansby gave up on but that Ender couldn’t reach. Albies could have had it, I think, but he peeled off early. I note he made a great play earlier, but this was not a great play. A wild pitch put the tying runs in scoring position, but a groundout (which plated the Mets’ second run) and a flyball hauled down on the track by a staggering Acuna off the zombie bat of Jose Reyes brought events to a conclusion.
There were a lot of Braves fans at the game, and unlike the old Shea days, none of them seemed to be attacked by Mets thugs — the atmosphere has become much more civilized. Several people complimented my retro Murphy-era cap and, like the end times when cats lie down with dogs, everyone had an understanding of fandom and showed tolerance. I’m close to violating a sacred rule here, but let’s just say that if everybody got along like Braves and Mets fans did tonight, there’s hope for the Republic.
But just to show things haven’t completely changed, my wife’s entry into the car in the parking lot was delayed by a guy peeing between my car and the one next to it. At least he didn’t pee on my car. You can take the piss out of the Mets, but they’re still going to leave it in the parking lot.
Keep it going folks… I’m off to San Diego.