Here’s an at times colorful running diary of tonight’s 5-1 Mets win over the Cardinals…
7:12 PM – SNY treats us to the first behind the umpire angle of the evening…the one where you have no idea where the pitch wound up.
7:14 – Carlos Beltran takes an 89 MPH fastball for a called strike three. Fans who still blame Beltran for taking an unhittable strike 3 during the Game 7 loss in the 2006 NLCS, hit twitter to #BlameBeltran yet again. These are the same fans who forgot that Willie Randolph allowed a hobbled Cliff Floyd to swing away with runners on first and second and none out in that fateful inning. And the ones who forgot that Beltran won Game 1 of the NLCS by himself.
7:21 – Analysis shifts from Miller and turns to whether or not the object in Jordany Valdespin‘s back left pocket is, in fact, a cell phone.
7:26 – With two outs in the first, David Wright smokes a double to the wall in right center. San Francisco Giants fans, fearing that this may propel Wright in the race to start the All-Star Game at third base, all run down to their parents basement in unison to stuff the ballot box for the injured Pablo Sandoval.
7:29 – Daniel Murphy drives David Wright in as the Mets take a 1-0 lead. Ron Darling calls Matt Holliday “irritating” for not bothering to throw the ball in quickly from left field. Ron is correct. Keith follows by calling Holliday a “weak link,” while Gary refers to his “famous drop” in the Playoffs against the Dodgers.
7:34 – After Lucas Duda lines a single to right field, Daniel Murphy takes advantage of an aloof Carlos Beltran in order to score from first base to extend the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Murphy smiles in the dugout, a closeup of Tim Teufel reveals that he’s wearing odd, yellow tinted glasses, and a man in the crowd who looks like Tony LaRussa is shown chatting on his phone.
7:39 – Yadier Molina opens the second inning by lining a leadoff double down the left field line, and the camera pans to Carlos Beltran sitting in the dugout. The mole above his left ear appears to have gotten bigger.
7:49 – Keith makes his first mention of the Cardinals uniforms, noting that the birds on the bat are a little bit bigger than they have been in the past. He doesn’t, however, ask if any Cardinals players are showing stripe. Dillon Gee strikes out Shelby Miller to escape a first and third jam.
7:54 – Keith refers to last night’s Diamondbacks/Dodgers brawl as a “big league fight.” He sounds like a proud father.
7:57 – SNY shows a clip of Dave Kingman tutoring kids on hitting in a random park in 1975. Kingman’s sideburns are the most impressive thing about the clip.
8:10 – An hour into the broadcast and we’ve yet to be subjected to one of the “severely ill person hacking their lungs out” quit smoking commercials. It may just be a matter of time, though.
8:16 – Kirk Nieuwenhuis tracks a fly ball to the warning track in left center to catch the second out of the fourth. A closeup of his face reveals that he’s growing a beard. Interesting turn of events…
8:22 – Lucas Duda blasts a hanger out of the park, narrowly missing the Shea Bridge to make it 3-0 Mets. The booth uses it as a jumping off point to discuss the fact that Duda took ground balls at first base “for the hell of it” this afternoon. They had a chance to steer the discussion where it should’ve gone, by noting that Duda should be the first baseman right now, but they didn’t.
8:35 – The pocket schedule graphic pops up on the screen, and Keith takes the opportunity to crow about his coming off days. Meanwhile, the Mets go down in order as the game heads to the sixth.
8:43 – It’s the third time through the order for Dillon Gee. What does that mean? That he’s likely about to give up runs. On cue, Allen Craig lines a 3-2 pitch into the seats in left field to cut the Mets’ lead to 3-1.
8:50 – Dillon Gee strikes out Jon Jay with a changeup low and away to end the top of the sixth and strand Yadier Molina at second. It was his 93rd pitch of the game and should be his last. We’ll see if Terry Collins feels the same.
8:57 – David Wright blasts a solo shot to center field t0 make it 4-1 Mets. Alarmed Giants fans leave their basements, where they had been feverishly voting on the internet for Pablo Sandoval, and run to AT & T Park, break in (the Giants are on the road) and begin the process of punching Sandoval’s name into every paper All-Star Game ballot in the ballpark.
9:10 – Gee walks Matt Carpenter with his 107th pitch and is pulled with a runner on first and two outs in the seventh. Scott Rice, with his arm still attached to his body, trots in to face Carlos Beltran (who’ll be turned around to the right side).
9:13 – Rice induces a grounder to short to end the seventh, close the book on Gee, and preserve the Mets’ 4-1 lead. For a team that’s lost 7 of 8, and has fallen on its face over the last two months, I feel strangely confident about the Mets’ ability to hang on and win this game.
9:17 – Marlon Byrd goes big fly leading off the seventh to make it 5-1 Mets, making my confidence (and his trade value) soar even further. Now watch this:
9:18 – Josh Satin, also known as Spider from GoodFellas, steps to the plate for his first at bat since being recalled from AAA. He’s wearing Dominic Smith’s number, he’s hanging over the plate, and he’s yet to have a visit from David Wright and Matt Harvey‘s eyebrow specialist.
9:36 – With David Wright at first base, home plate umpire Greg Gibson emphatically calls a balk on Cardinals closer Edward Mujica. Ronnie is pumped, Murphy hits a rope to center, Jay breaks the wrong way again but makes the catch.
9:40 – Jordany Valdespin fields a grounder and fires to Daniel Murphy for the first out of the ninth. Jordany has opened his jersey so much that you can tell with 100 percent certainty that he’s wearing a “Team JV1″ shirt under his jersey. Do you, Jordany. Do you.
9:43 – Bobby Parnell gets the third out of the ninth to secure the Mets’ 5-1 victory. A coming monsoon will likely wipe away tomorrow’s series finale (and Matt Harvey‘s start). Captain shorts, though, is undaunted. He’s at his regular perch to deliver high fives as the victorious Mets enter the clubhouse.