None necessarily to be found during last night’s Mets game (vs. St. Louis Cardinals: L 3-0; leave me alone, numerologists) but one to be found while watching the game with a friend who knows very little about baseball that I don’t tell her.

Joel Pineiro (assume the tilda over the n) doubles.  Because Tony La Russa’s cute as a button, Brendan Ryan bats ninth.

Friend: “Wait, why’s that guy batting ninth?  Doesn’t the pitcher usually bat ninth?”
Me: “Very good.”
Friend: “So why’s he batting ninth, the shortstop guy?”
Me: “Because Tony La Russa’s cute as a button.”

Brendan Ryan bunts.

Friend: “Bunt!  To get the runner to third!”
Me: “Shh shh shh shh shh!”

Livan Hernandez picks up the bunt.  Omir Santos indicates first base.  Livan checks third.  No one there.  Not Joel Pineiro, certainly.  Brendan Ryan makes it safely to first.

Friend: “Wait, why’d he look over at third?  I mean, I know if he went to third, you want him out because he’s closer to home base.”
Me: “Home plate.”
Friend: “Right.  But there was nobody there.  He could’ve gotten the guy out at first.”
Me: “Yes, probably.”
Friend: “And the catcher guy was telling him… well, that sucks.”
Me: “Yes, definitely.”
Friend: “I mean, isn’t this pitcher guy like, crafty, or whatever?  He coulda made it out without a… um, run.”
Me: “Indeed.”
Friend: “Now the pressure’s on everybody.  Seems unfair.”
Me: “Life is rarely, if ever, fair.”

I’m fairly certain that few people watching last night’s game had a similar experience.  And given the awful tidiness of last night’s game, that’s a damn shame.

The hit and run with Livan Hernandez at the plate: que?  Have we regained such faith in Luis Castillo’s bald tires or were we expecting a double play?  Given the way the first five frames went, I guess pressure had to be applied.  But I’d much rather see the Mets try and freeze Yadier Molina with the “top” of the order than the “bottom” (again, I see little distinction at this stage). 

I know you apply the heat when the pot’s on the stove, but to extend a heinous metaphor, Livan went up without a pot holder, or even one of those flexible trivets.

A “trivet,” by the way, is a straight-up plate, or stone, or even piece of high-test textile one uses to protect a table from the heat of a dish or pot.  There.  Now you’ve learned something, too.

When the Mets lose a game and I need to travel from site of game-watching experience back home, I try to find a consolation song to listen to.  Lately, the song I’ve been using is “Agnes, Queen Of Sorrow,” by Bonnie “Prince” Billy (a.k.a. Will Oldham).  Excusing the portion of the song which breathes a reference to the passing of a child, I feel it sums up my experience as a fan in this long lean period.  One verse keeps cycling in my head:

If you wait another day
I will wait a day
If you wait another day
I will wait a day
Every time I think you say
It’s time for us to go our way
I say wait another day

Not getting rid of me that easily, gentlemen.  I seem to have taught a friend who’s admitted to having the memory of a goldfish that you don’t bat the pitcher eighth unless you’re Tony La Russa; you try for a bunt with nobody out and the runner in scoring position; if your catcher tells you first base, you throw to FIRST BASE.  That there’s a moral victory for me.  And I’ll take it.  See youse mugs tonight.

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