I was supposed to have class last night until 9:30, but of course I dashed out of there at 8:10 so I'd make it home in time for first pitch. As it happened, it took a little longer to get out of the parking gagrage than I thought, and a bit longer to get home, so I actually listened to the first half of the first inning in the car. On clear nights, WFAN comes in pretty good down here. It was so exciting, I had second thoughts about going upstairs to watch the game on TV. Radio is still the best way to enjoy a game, short of being there. It doesn't hurt that Buck and McCarver are awful by any comparison, but Rose and McCarthy captured the drama and excitement so well. With all the friggin microphones FOX has tucked away in every corner of the field, you could barely hear the crowd on TV. On the radio, I almost felt like I was at Shea. It got me so excited, I was cheering at the radio and salivating at the thought of showing up at Shea on Tuesday for World Series Game 3.
When Oliver Perez overcame Delgado's gaffe in the first, I became extremely confident. When David Wright hit that little dunker into left, drawing first blood, I knew the Mets would win. When Endy Chavez made like Michael Jordan with an incredible leaping grab over the fence, there was no way the Mets would lose this game. But Jeff Suppan, who owns the Mets the way Beltran owns the Cardinals, made the Mets offense look really bad for 8 innings. Why can't the Mets hit this guy?
Then, the top of the ninth. I have read a lot of second guessing this morning about not bringing in Wagner. A lot of speculation that Willie must have lost faith in his closer to not bring Billy into a tie game in the ninth. The Cardinals had their unlikely hero of teh night, Yadier Molina smack a homerun into the left field bleachers, too far even for Endy Superman Chavez.
And the bottom of the ninth?
I KNEW the Mets would win.
Cliff Floyd would have a Kirk Gibson moment? Nope.
Jose Reyes would get a base hit, tying the game, and being teh spark plug he'd been all season? Nope.
Carlos Beltran would add to his Mr. October status, with a bases clearing extra base hit, locking up the LCS MVP? Nope. The guy didn't even go down swinging.
I was stunned.
Last night, after midnight, the offseason began for the Mets. It began later than any year since 2000, yet it began too early. It was still an amazing season. The Mets went farther than anyone expected, even Omar The Architect. Wright and Reyes blossomed, and we'll see them for years to come. Tom Glavine will almost certainly be back to win his big #300 next season. Pedro's career is probably in the final stretches, and we won't see him until July, but if there's one thing the Mets have to be ecstatic about, it's starting Spring Training 2007 with John Maine and Oliver Perez in the rotation.
We're used to disappointment. We're Mets fans.
We outlasted the Braves, the Phillies, and the Dodgers. And the Yankees, too.
I'm extremely disappointed. Completely stunned and exhausted.
They weren't ready.
David Wright wasn't ready, hitting just .160 in the series.
He'll be ready next year.
We have months to thing about Opening Day, but I still think it's apporopriate to look back at some long tenured Mets who we'll most likely say goodbye to...
Cliff Floyd's likely taken his last swing as a Met. Just too bad he didn't swing.
Steve Trachsel's most certianly taken the mound for the last time as a Met. Just too bad he took himself off the mound.
As much as I love Omar, I still have to question the presence of Anderson Hernandez on the bench for the postseason. Yeah, his teammates didn't seem to mind him. Everytime there was a dugout shot we saw AHern yukking it up with his teammates. But couldn't his roster spot gone to Mike DeFelice? Then, Ramon Castro, the Mets best pinch hitter could have been used more.
Okay, enough. The offseason begins. The courting of Barry Zito begins. The 2007 World Series Championship Chase begins. Too soon for my liking, yes, but let's focus, people! To hell with Tommy Lasorda, I ain't watching the World Series. I can't take it. I just can't take it.