Sunday, September 20, 2015

Met Fans Won't Shut Up, But Their Team Gets Shut Out


Met fans, invisible for years, have come out of the closet. They're everywhere now, with their little blue & orange caps perched on their little empty heads, their little blue & orange T-shirts pulled over their copious guts, their little blue & orange bumper stickers on their 1986 sedans.

They've come out of the closet. And, you know, unlike being gay, being a Met fan is a choice, and it is a deviant, unnatural, repulsive lifestyle.

As their former object of hate, John Rocker, once said, "How many times do you have to beat a team before their fans shut up?"

At least one more than the Yankees have, apparently. Met fans won't shut up, even when the evidence says they should. But yesterday, their team did get shut out.

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Yesterday, on a day when the Yankees really, really needed Michael Pineda, who's struggled lately, to come with his good stuff, he did. True, Joe Girardi tempted fate by taking him out after just 5 1/3 innings and 86 pitches, but he allowed 4 hits, 1 walk, and no runs.

And in the top of the 1st, before he had to throw a single pitch, he got a lead. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a single, Brett Gardner added another, and Carlos Beltran drilled a ball deep down the right field line, into the 2nd deck, the "Pepsi Porch." 3-0 Yankees, and not only hadn't the Mets yet come to bat, they hadn't even gotten so much as an out.

It was Beltran's 16th home run of the season, and the 389th of his career. That's as many as Johnny Bench, and 1 less than Graig Nettles.

The Flushing Heathen booed Beltran. Was it because of his strikeout to end what is still their last postseason game, Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series? It shouldn't be: In 2012, in accordance with the team's 50th Anniversary, the Mets held a fan vote for their All-Time Team, and their fans voted Beltran their all-time center fielder.

(Then again, these idiots also chose Mike Piazza as their all-time catcher, ahead of Gary Carter, who's not only in the Hall of Fame, but, you know, was actually good at playing the position. And was dying: You'd think the sentimental vote would have put him over the top.)

So why were they booing Beltran -- before the homer? Maybe they weren't booing him, but the team for whom he now plays.

As Met fan Jerry Seinfeld put it, "Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify, because the players are always changing; the team could move to another city. You're actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it. Basically, you're rooting for laundry. 'Boo! Bad shirt!'"

Except these Met fans didn't boo any other Yankee nearly as vociferously as Beltran. Not even Alex Rodriguez, when he came on to pinch-hit. And they hate A-Rod, because he's a steroid cheater. Not like their beloved Piazza. Or their beloved Bartolo Colon. (rolleyes)

Anyway...

Brian McCann hit his 26th homer of the season in the 6th, driving in Beltran ahead of him. That made it 5-0, which turned out to be the final score.

Both home runs were hit off Noah Syndergaard, the pitcher Met fans, playing on his Scandinavian heritage, have nicknamed Thor. Well, this Thor got hammered. Or, you could throw in an MC Hammer joke (though the real MC Hammer roots for the Oakland Athletics, and even worked for them as a kid), and say, the Yankees could touch this!

And yet, Girardi still nearly futzed it all up. How many pitchers does it take to shut the Mets out? If you're Joe Girardi, apparently, it takes seven.

He brought Justin Wilson in to finish the 6th. He brought Caleb Cotham in to finish the 7th, even though Wilson had struck out the previous 4 batters. (Cotham then got a strikeout. How many pitchers does it take to strike out the side?) He then, and this is slightly understandable, brought Dellin Betances in to pitch the 8th.

Then came the 9th inning, and what could have ended up as Girardi's pièce de résistance. He brought on James Pazos. Got a groundout. Okay, nicely done. So, leave him in, right? Right. Except Girardi went wrong, and pulled him for Chris Martin. Martin got a strikeout. Just 1 out to go for a shutout. But then he allowed a pair of singles, and I'm like, "Uh-oh... " Thoughts of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series went through my head. Granted, we're not the Red Sox, but...

Girardi decided that, with a 5-run lead, 1 out to go, and the run that would tie the game still being 2 batters away, he had to bring in his closer, Andrew Miller. He induced a force-play groundout to end it.

Yankees 5, Mets 0. WP: Pineda (11-8). No save. LP: Syndergaard (8-7).

And the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays, moving the Yankees to within 3 1/2 games of 1st place, 3 in the loss column.

So the Yankees are now 3-2 vs. the Mets this season, meaning that the best the Flushing Heathen can now hope for is a "draw" in their "cup final."

The series concludes at 8:00 tonight on ESPN. CC Sabathia, who's been better as of late, starts against the Mets' alleged ace, Matt Harvey, who would be the 4th starter (at best) on the Yankees.

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Rutgers lost 28-3 to Penn State last night. Pathetic. In the words of former college football star Forrest Gump, "And that's all I have to say about that."

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