Thursday, April 14, 2011

A fitting end to a dismal night

So my friends and I are driving home from the game Wednesday after another close but dispiriting Mets loss on a dismal, cold and misty night in Flushing. We're on the LIE heading east when, at around the county line, we hit a massive pothole in the left lane.

It's dark, the road is wet, it's tough to see — there wasn't much Grant, the driver, could have done to avoid the hit. The front left tire is blown, and there's too much traffic to make it over to the right shoulder, so we pull over into the space between the HOV lane and the median, flashers on.

Unfortunately, Grant doesn't have a spare. So he calls AAA to get a tow truck, and we have to call a cab since there are four of us and only two will fit in the truck. Meanwhile, we're sitting there for a half-hour waiting (hoping not to get smoked from behind by a drunk drifting out of the HOV) and not one cop — Sheriff, Suffolk County, or otherwise — passes by or stops. Remarkable. But they'll appear from out of nowhere when I roll through a four-way stop at 3 mph.

We needed a ride from where we were, about 200 yards west of Exit 49, to the park-and-ride at Exit 58. But the LIE is closed eastbound at Exit 55, and our driver doesn't get off the expressway early enough, so we get stuck with all the other cars getting squeezed onto the service road. I finally get home after 12:30 a.m.

So what did we learn? We learned that you have to do a better job pitching around Troy Tulowitzki. Two outs and a base open with Jose Lopez batting behind him? Yeah, you can't put anything near the plate. Niese was certainly trying to be careful, but he failed. And he failed again an inning later when he left a 1-2 pitch over the plate, resulting in a homer by Spilborghs, who was hitting under .200. Not good, because that run proved to be the difference when the Mets scratched a run back in the seventh.

It's basic stuff, but critical, like making sure you have a spare.

Doubleheader today, and the Mets could really use a sweep with Dickey and Capuano on the hill. Fingers: crossed.

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