For a meaningless game in a meaningless lime green ballpark, game 161 actually had some intrigue.
First off, Adam Greenberg, the man who was hit by a pitch in his only major league plate appearance in 2005, and was brought back thanks to an internet campaign by a filmmaker which convinced an out of the race team to give him a one-day contract. That day was Tuesday, and that team was the Miami Marlins. A team which never comes to my mind when I think "philanthropic". The Marlins doing something nice? Being involved in a feel good baseball story? It confused and saddened me. But then when I realized that this wasn't totally for the good of the game, I heaved a sigh of relief.
Adam Greenberg shirt $24.99/jersey $100 Offer available at all retail locations! That's according to Marlins Park scoreboard.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 2, 2012
Funny how it takes the Mets forever to get certain players' jerseys and shirseys on the shelves, but the Marlins have Adam Greenberg stuff ready for a one-day appearance ... with only a small portion going to charity. So while this was a nice thing to do (and I'm happy it happened ... I'm one of the people that signed the change.org petition), of course it's tinged in the color of money grab. What else is new with the Marlins? But all things equal, I'm happy for Greenberg (better he plays in a meaningless game than Roger Clemens coming back at the age of who gives a rat's ass), who got his second plate appearance, and first at-bat as he struck out on three pitches. This will be a movie at some point. Maybe a dual movie featuring the stories of Greenberg and R.A. Dickey, culminating in the strikeout.
(The movie doesn't need to show the end of the game.)
Then there's Dickey, going for win number 21 tonight and furthering his case for the Cy Young award. He gave a quality start, but didn't get the run support to procure the victory as he left after six innings down 3-0. Maybe if Heath Bell was a starter instead of a reliever and imploded in the second instead of the eighth, as he did on Tuesday, maybe Dickey gets blackjack. But if anything, he did more for his Cy Young case in the locker room after the game than he did on the field tonight (and making a Cy Young case takes all season, not the final two or three starts):
R.A. Dickey will undergo surgery Oct. 18 in Philadelphia to repair a torn abdominal muscle.
Dickey said he originally injured the muscle on a cold night against the Phillies on April 13. The pain was manageable throughout the season, although he recognized the eventual need for surgery back then. In his final 2012 start, the Cy Young candidate felt the tear worsen or comparable pain in the second inning and gutted through the remainder of his outing.
So R.A. Dickey won 20 games with a bad team, a knuckleball, and a torn abdominal muscle? And no ulnar collateral ligament? Jeez can we just give the man his Cy Young?
As for the game, it unnecessarily went 11 innings thanks to Heath Bell, who will probably throw Greenberg under the bus at some point and blame him for Bell's bad outing, since he's already blamed everybody else. But the game started to come unraveled when Jose Reyes hit a triple off Collin McHugh, and for some reason Jordany Valdespin didn't make a relay throw to third base. (Remember when Ruben Tejada made a heads up play in a meaningless game and I gave him credit? Well fair is fair, so what the &$#@ were you doing Valdespin??? You are so not the man right now!) McHugh then wound up loading the bases with two walks, and then after striking out Rob Brantly, Donovan Solano grounded up the middle on a drawn-in infield (why the middle infielders weren't at double play depth with one out I have no idea), and the Mets lost again to the awful, awful Miami Marlins. This should be punishable by no post-game spread.
What made it hurt worse? Well, besides the waste of a blown save by BelLOL? The former Met who started the rally saying things like this:
Had a pregame chat with Jose Reyes, who offered up this gem: "Nobody thought we were going to be behind the New York Mets at this point."— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 2, 2012
More Reyes: "When I left the Mets, I knew I was going to a better situation."— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 2, 2012
Dammit Jose, you make it so hard to defend you. Now I'm going to have to cut you out of the movie. Get me rewrite!