Having arrived at rehearsal for that Thing Run by Fools around 6:50, it wasn't until 7:15 or so that I checked the time and threw the At Bat on. There it was, a 0-1 Metsian deficit. Jeez. R.A. must be struggling with the knuckleball. I was able to stick around to monitor the the bottom half, because a lot of rehearsal can be "hurry up and wait." They loaded the bases but did not change the 2nd half trend of doing nothing with the many runners put out there. Nothing surprising. But still unbelievable. I rationalized it by saying they were working him early, and he'd be tired quicker. Wasn't gonna make a difference, Sam. I was pretty confident, though, that RA would settle down, but not as confident that the Mets' offense could do anything against Jordan Zimmermann, who has basically dominated the offense all year even when they were not as inept. I daydreamed that I would walk away for a few minutes and arrive back to see a 2-1 Metsian lead, but it just wasn't coming. I'm sure I'm not the only Mets fan who thought (not necessarily believed) that if they just turned the TV off, or the radio, or stopped checking the At-Bat for a little bit, the Mets would get something going. "Maybe I'm the reason." RA was doing fine while I was watching the words across the screen. But superstitions aren't supposed to be rational.
As the runthrough got close to starting in this beautiful but a little rundown church on 86th and Amsterdam, I set my phone up in an alcove on the side, plugging it in to keep the battery alive throughout the game. The director talked to us beforehand for a little bit, and once she was done, since I wasn't on stage for some time, I had a chance to watch the At Bat pitch by pitch. When I got back to my phone, I couldn't believe my eyes. That 2-1 lead I was looking for was there. Seemed to be something to that whole "working him early" thing. I was positive that the 5th inning was the turning point this team needed. This is what will get R.A. his 19th win. I put the phone down, and walked away, since, of course, they were playing better when I wasn't monitoring it constantly.
But that couldn't keep me away. Who am I kidding? I'm a fanatic. And I had some time before my presence on the stage. I got back to my phone within 2 minutes of walking away, and unfortunately the Mets couldn't build on their lead.
My 1st scene came and went, and RA was cruising to the 7th. I saw him get the 1st out, and with his pitch count relatively low, I was certain he'd be able to get yet another complete game. The Big Bad Baseball Gypsy was walking my way, and I got up, quietly telling him, "RA's trying to lock down the Cy Young." "Nice." The second, literally the millisecond I said this, I told myself, You shouldn't have said that. But then I also told myself, Stop it, Sam. It. Doesn't. Matter. I went back over to the phone, and sure enough, there was a single. It's all good. He'll be fine. "Tyler Moore pinch-hitting." Come on. "First pitch, run(s) 75 MPH Knuckleball." You've GOT to be kidding me. I waited, hoping it was at least just a double. But no. The next update informed me of the go-ahead, first pitch, pinch-hit homer, and I could do nothing but shake my head. I'm not sure how behind the At Bat is. Whether the single or the home run occurred RIGHT when I made the statement to the baseball gypsy. Regardless, trying to throw superstition out the window was taking a big hit in my world.
While Rauch did a great job getting out of a major jam in the 8th, Frankie Frank could not, and the trend of not holding the deficit to 1 in the 9th at home continued. I had one more entrance literally at the end of the show, and after Scottie Hairston continued his awesomeness, I was hoping the Mets could perform a miracle before I had to race away from the phone. The New York Metropolitans have been down 3-5 with 2 out and nobody on before. We all know how that went. After Ronny Cedeno got a single, Ruben Tejada was battling. Come on. Just get on base so Murph can get into one and they'll win the game, 6-5. "Ball in Dirt" was the last thing I saw, and I had to go set up for my cue. It's ok. It'll take care of itself. Once we practiced our bows, I went off with the cast, ran with my head down underneath the stage, and hoped to see that a miracle had occurred.
It had not.
It's that Big Bad Baseball Voodoo, is what it is.
I should just quit the show.
Ya know. For the good of the Mets.
LET'S. GO. METS.