Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HOLY BALLS!!!!! What It Was Like Being At One of the Best Games Ever With a Mets Fan … Who Just Happens to Be My Boss

Jesus fucking Christ!!!! That was easily the best baseball game I've ever attended in my life. And I owe it all to a Mets fan.

Now, everyone settle down a bit. He's not that kind of Mets fan—you know, a complete freakin idiot. The guy is my boss, and he's pretty laid back. A couple months ago, he asked two of my co-workers and I if we wanted to go to the Phillies-Mets game on Aug. 26, and of course we said yes, even though he's a New Yorker and a stinking Mets fan. So he got the tickets, and last night finally came.

From the onset, I knew I was in for a good time because one of my co-workers got this gigantic freaking soda. When he sat down, the dummy spilled the thing all over the girl sitting in front of him. It was hilarious. I could tell I was in for a hell of a time.

And then the game started. Jamie Moyer, who I've seen pitch pretty much every time he's taken the mound at home this year, looked like an old man for the first time in a long time. Frankly, it was a minor miracle that the Mets only managed two runs in the first inning. He struggled to throw strikes, and the inning was painfully slow, as most Jamie Moyer innings are. But Jamie wasn't the only old as dirt pitcher in this contest. No sir. Thirty-six-year-old Pedro Martinez, who is 9 years younger than Moyer, struggled mightily himself in the first, giving up a leadoff double to Jimmy and walking Chase. But unlike Moyer, Pedro got out of the jam with no runs. The entire first inning took 35 freaking minutes. I shit you not. And that was only the beginning.

Moyer was throwing BP out there, and I had to contain my anger, at least in the profanity sense, so as to not look like the raving lunatic I truly am in front of my boss. To make matters worse, there was an entire row of meathead Mets fans two rows in front of me, a stupid bitch that didn't stop yammering the entire game behind me, and more Let's Go Mets chants than my ears can take. Jamie surrendered another run in the second, and things weren't going so well in the third.

Then all of the sudden, Moyer got Fernando Tatis to hit a laser down the third base line that nailed Carlos Beltran, occupying third at the time, getting a huge out. Or so I thought. The third base ump called it foul. Carlos Ruiz was pissed, so I naturally thought the ump jobbed the Phils. Then Tatis hit a three-run bomb in that same at-bat where he should have been out, and I wanted to start chugging beers and start fights with Mets fan. Only I couldn't. For you see, my boss was there. And he's a Mets fan.

It sucked. The Phils were down 6-0 in the third, and to add insult to injury, my roommate informed me from home that the ball that hit Beltran was indeed fair, and the umps screwed us again. I felt like a homicidal maniac.

All that was racing my was "FUCK! SHIT! FUCK! FUCK! SHIT! FUCK! SHIT! I FUCKING HATE THE GOD DAMN METS! FUCK!" Meanwhile my boss was glowing like a school girl. I was fucking pissed.

Old many Moyer scraped his way through three innings, surrendering six runs on nine hits. It was brutal. The Mets tacked on another in the fourth, and the Phils were down 7-0. It was going to be a long night.

The Phils did manage a run in the bottom of the fourth, but a 7-1 deficit wasn't really doing me any good. However, my boss did reassure me that the Phils had a chance once they got through Pedro because the Mets bullpen has been even worse than what ESPN would have you believe. And they've been bashing the Mets bullpen all year.

Turns out, the Phils didn't even have to wait for Pedro to exit. In the 5th, I was certain my eyes deceived me. Clay Condrey, he of the long relief, led off the inning with a double. And it was legit. I was stunned. And his hit woke up the slumbering Phils. Jimmy Rollins, who is officially back from his hiatus experiment, smashed a homer to right. Suddenly the score was 7-3. Chase followed with a walk, and Ryan Howard decided not to strike out for once, launching an opposite field homer to bring the Phils within in two. Game on. I was jumping and yelling and hitting things as my boss slouched in his seat, head in hands, just taking the abuse.

After the inning, Pedro was gone, and it became a battle of the bullpens. Just like that, I went from extremely pissed and hopeless to feeling like the game was in our hands now. It was fucking sweet. Two scoreless innings followed, and the Phils bullpen kept the Mets on lockdown in the eighth as well. And in the eighth, Carlos "Curbball" Ruiz got a one-out single. Then Coste pinch-hit and got a single. And then James Calvin Rollins, who was already 4-for-4 on the night, became his old, clutch self, driving in Curbball to bring the Phils within one. Unfortunately, Chase and Burrell, who both had horrible at-bats all night, couldn't get the job done. With runners on first and third, everyone's favorite second baseman struck out. A mortal sin. Then Burrell popped out. I was fuming again.

Still, the Phils were within a run, and Brad Lidge was his dominant self in the ninth, striking out two Mets in a 1-2-3 inning. I was biting my nails as my boss was praying. Howard led off the ninth with a fly out. Then Victorino, who looked completely lost at the plate all night, grounded out. Up came Werth, and I told my boss, "He has to hit a home run right here to tie the game. If not, it's over. Bruntlett is on deck, and that man can't hit." Werth did manage a single, but the game looked to be lost. Eric Bruntlett was up, and we all know what I think about him.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Eric Bruntlett, he of the .214 average at the time, ripped a single down the right field. And Werth, ever the hustler, motored all the way around and headed for home. The throw may have beaten Werth, but Brian Schneider couldn't handle it. Eric Bruntlett saved the day, and wound up as the potential winning run on second, advancing on the throw home.

Curbball Ruiz had a chance to win it, and he seemed up to the task. He ripped one up the middle, but Jose Reyes made an incredible diving stop, fired a laser to first and sent the game to extras. I fucking hate Jose Reyes. Still, it was hard to complain. Eric Bruntlett got a hit. Really. Eric Bruntlett. And I wasn't the only one stunned. Arkansas Fred sent me this text message: "Are you kidding me? Brunlet?" He can't spelled very well, but you can't blame him. He's practically retarded.

In "overtime" it looked as though no one wanted to win the game. My boss and I were growing weary, just waiting for someone to be thrilled and the other to be disappointed.

The game was a microcosm for this divisional race. No one seemed like they wanted to win. Runners were stranded. Bullpens were taxed. Pitchers were used as pinch hitters. A game that started at 7:05 p.m. was still taking place well after midnight, as the game entered the bottom of the 13th.

That's when Shane decided enough was enough. The Flyin Hawaiin, who had literally not had even a good swing, let alone a good at-bat on the night, took his place in the box with an 0-for-6 on the night. But on the second pitch he saw from lefty Scott Schoeneweis, Shane smoked a ball down the right field line, to the corner, and wound up on third easily with a triple. Maybe all he needed to do was bat righty.

Two intentional walks followed to load the bases to get to Rudy Seanez's spot on the lineup. So what does Manuel do? He sends in Brett Myers to pinch-hit, as there are no more position players left. It is the 13th inning after all. Brett had a brilliant at-bat, too. He must have been instructed not to swing under any circumstance, and rightfully so, to stay out of a double play. It worked to perfection. Myers ran the count to 3-2, almost working a walk. He did strike out looking, but it was a great at-bat.

Then Coste came up, already 3-for-3 on the night, and on the second pitch, everyone's favorite perseverance story ripped a ball to deep center field, well over the drawn-in Mets outfielders, to plate Victorino with a walk-off single.

I went bonkers. Unfortunately, I couldn't destroy the Mets fans that were still in attendance, seeing as my boss was there. But I did give him a good ribbing. It always feels good to beat the Mets, but shit, to do it like that, down 7-0, scoring 8 unanswered runs, winning finally in 13, after 5 and a half hours of game time? It was one of the better feelings of my life. So good, in fact, that I didn't even have any qualms about walking down Girard, toward Frankford, from Broad Street. I could have been shot dead right there, and I wouldn't have cared. Luckily my roommate picked me up at around 10th Street, but I would have walked the entire way with no fear. I was on an adrenaline high.

We beat the stinking Mets, in fantastic fashion by the way, to reclaim first. You should have been there. I'm sure as shit glad i was. And oh yeah, I'm never going to a Mets-Phils game with a Mets fan again. Even if this one was great. Because I felt like a shell of myself not getting a few beers in me and spewing vile at those fucktard Mets fans. I fucking hate those scum-sucking leeches. FIRST PLACE BABY!!!!!!

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