Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mets Win Over Astros is Mysterious and Invisible.

I heard darkly that the Mets had played the Astros. It was one of those nights that seems to escape from nighthood, a rogue evening, a lonely whisperer. Silent people rapped mad flows as you walked down the street and doesn't that sandwich look right, but it's just one kind of right, and on nights like this, right drifts out of its normal situation.

The Mets were confused. The sphere had obvious patterns. It came toward them leisurely, asking questions along the way, not so much because it didn't know or did care, but just to interact with the community. Jose Reyes had initial success (he is the initializer after all), but after that the ball was like a ball of glue: sticky and undesirable. Thole flailed. Wright wronged. Beltran went off the rails. Bay wasn't where we thought he was. Murphy got cancelled. Turner went the wrong way. Pridie felt ashamed. Gee H'd.

Longly they groggled. Quietly they looked at the moon. Grayly they traced shapes with the ends of their bats in the on-deck circle. Winsomely they beckoned at curveballs. Forlornly they returned to the Mets scrabble-letter-holder-shaped station (MSLHSS).

It was Beltran with arrows for eyes and a pocketful of                . As Dr. Norris delivered his diagnosis, Beltran tossed the silence from his pocket like a cloud of powder. This is against the rules of baseball, but he wasn't caught, because silence is mysterious and invisible. Needless to say he hit a double. It could have been a real groovy inning, but Bay was still looking for parking, so that didn't work out. However, the lightning bolt of possibilities provided by Beltran's fine whack painted the whole scene in watercolors and all of a sudden the Mets were chatting to each other, saying boy was that interesting! Pridie, how's things going with that girl. Huh. Reyes tell us about that time you accidentally hypnotized someone. Someone call up Pedro in the bullpen and get him to beatbox over the phone. Are you going to drop some rhymes? I just might. Ike you're really confident these days.

And surely now they will score runs they thought, but it was not they who responded. Astros streaked around the bases like cool demons. The Houstonians were pretty into it but frankly it wasn't my satchel. The Mets, meanwhile, glorped along for two innings. After the second one, in the field, they chatted about what they would get if they got a master's.

As they jogged back to the MSLHSS, Richard Alan Dickey had that fire in his eyes he gets sometimes. Thole felt a rush of excitement and anxiety until he remembered that R.A. wasn't pitching that day.

"Beltran's coming up this inning!" he declared. The Mets didn't know that, and they buzzed with conversation about the latest development. He struck out, as Wright did before him. Just then, Bay arrived at the stadium (up until then, the opposing pitcher had just been pitching to a generic strike zone with no one standing in the batter's box, and the Mets had been playing without a left fielder. He was handed a bat, and he looked over at the Mets in their MSLHSS. He saw the glimmer of the hope they once held, and that worked for him. Unburdened by the history of the game, Bay hit a home run. The ball did not go to the moon, of course, but an odd number of people said it did.

"Hey guys," said Thole. "This is totally corny, but I'm just going to say it. The past doesn't matter. We can all hit home runs off anyone. Even the pitchers!"

The Mets high-fived like they weren't getting paid. As Dickey connected with Thole, he said "You just turned all these 0s and 1s into 4s."

The next inning, Fernando Martinez appeared like a ghost materializing and hit a home run. Fantastic. When Wright came up, he turned to Angel Hernandez, the homeplate umpire and head of the MLB Botanists Conference. "Hey" said Wright. "When he starts his windup, ask me who's right." Angel complied, because there are rules, and then there is going with the flow, and he understood that. The pitch approached...

"Who's right?" he asked.

"I'M WRIGHT!" he roared into the ambiance of the crowd, and the ball sailed over the wall.

I heard that the Mets stayed up late walking across Houston that night. They went down alleys, they checked out hidden pubs. They chatted up the populace. Later, Thole wrote an email to his grandmother, Bay and Ike hit up the taco truck. The bullpen played mafia (the party game). Wright and Reyes ended up reenacting most of an episode of Firefly to some middle aged ladies who had never seen the show. It was one of those kinds of nights. It was one of those kinds of nights.

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