Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Amazin' Home Run to Walk In On

Last night, I sat at work listening to Jon Niese give the Phillies an early 2-0 lead, and against Roy Halladay no less. I chatted with my co-worker while the Mets in the background went down inning after inning to that frustratingly great pitcher. Though Niese settled down, I figured we were on our way to getting shut out by one of pitching's finest. Nothing to fret about. Happens to the best of them.

Then Andres Torres walked with 2 out in the 6th.

Then Cap'n Kirk got a hit.

And all of a sudden, Howie Rose enthusiastically described David Wright's double down the line, plating both Torres and Kirk to tie the game at 2. In the midst of whatever us workers were talking about, I stopped and opened my ears wide, pleasantly surprised to hear of the tie score. This team, however, battles so much that the surprised feeling is most certainly fading.

The overtime at my office provides us a car ride home, and this time we had 4 people in the same vehicle, leading to an extra-long journey through Queens. We first dropped off somebody in Long Island City, around the time Bobby Parnell was getting in and out of a 7th inning jam with a blatant Shane Victorino interference call at 2nd base, giving us a huge double-play to send us into the 8th. We dropped somebody off in Sunnyside around the time Lucas Duda was grounding into his own inning-ending double play. As we headed to Jackson Heights, another Phillie rally was brewing, with Parnell getting tied up on a weak grounder in front of the mound, doing a split and falling on his backside. After a sacrifice bunt by Placido Polanco, moving two runners over to 2nd and 3rd, I listened as Howie described to me a comebacker to Parnell, who threw to Josh Thole to tag out old friend Ty Wigginton. Wigginton's shoulder, Howie described, hit Josh's head hard and he laid out across home plate. Thole was taken out for concussion testing and Mike Nickeas entered the game. We turned onto Roosevelt Avenue under the 7 train as Tim Byrdak came in to pitch. I pumped my fist as Byrdak struck out Erik Kratz (who?) to end the threat, and we got out from under the elevated to drop off the last co-worker of the evening.

We headed to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway as Daniel Murphy fought off Jonathan Papelbon only to strike out after the umpteenth pitch. Ike Davis drew a fantastic walk but Justin Turner struck out as well. Up strolled recently inserted Nickeas. He fought off some pitches and then turned on one, sending it into left field for a double as the car pulled up to my building, with Ike Davis stopping at 3rd. I ran inside, turned on the TV, and the wide-shot of the baseball diamond was a welcome sight to my eyes. Ten seconds after the unit was ignited, the rookie Jordany Valdespin crushed a low-hanging breaking pitch into the right-field stands (his first Major League hit), giving Gary Cohen quite the play to call, and leading the Mets to as big a 5-2 win as you can have in May.

What an amazin' home run to walk in on.

And all 5 runs were scored with 2 out. Awesomeness incarnate.

The Mets continue their series against the Phillies tonight at 7:05PM, sending "The Handyman" Miguel Batista out to face "Officer" Joe Blanton.


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