Picture: Samuel Basel
Welcome back to the Amazins in Astoria, a season long chronicle of my life in relation to the 2022 New York Mets.
For the first entry in the series, click here.
For the previous entry in the series, click here.
April 18th-Rained out
The weather in New York at this time of year is really the worst. One day you walk out with a coat, and you practically melt right on Steinway Street. To account for the apparent heat wave this week, you dress a bit lighter the next day, only to be shivering on your way to lunch. Such was the dilemma I'm juggling in my head while deciding whether or not I wanted to buy ticket to tonight's game. I've already got tickets for tomorrow (can't miss Scherzer vs. my boy Logan Webb), but I'm just dying to get out to Flushing as soon as possible for a game.
By the early afternoon, the rain doesn't let up, and the game gets postponed to tomorrow, meaning that my ticket for Tuesday night is upgraded to a single ticket doubleheader. Free baseball for me!
Game 11 vs. San Francisco Giants (7-3)
Coming out of the office at around 5, I don my Mets cap on top of my business casual outfit, and I'm ready to go for my first game of the year. A tough day for Megill so far in this matinee, earning 4 runs in 6 IP. The bats today really make up for it though, as the 5th inning sees 4 Mets get hits, including a double from Lindor to tie the game. I've pretty much gotten these updates throughout the afternoon via my phone notifications, but once on the train platform, I pop in my headphones for the radio broadcast.
Before I do, I'm approached by a guy who exclaims "LGM BABY! LGM!" before giving me a fistbump. He's also rocking the business casual with a hat, but instead of a Mets dad cap, it's a leather fedora. I let him know that Lindor tied the game, and he pumps his fist into the air.
"That's what I'm talkin about," he says. "It's good that Megill got earned some runs now. He's gotta remember he's human before it's too late." I laugh in agreement, even though that take is one I constantly flip flop on, and get on my train to Flushing.
By the time I meet my friends, and arrive at the gate, it's still tied 4-4 heading into the ninth. As I am scanned into the game, the trumpets begin to play. When selecting these trumpets as his entrance music, I'm sure that Edwin Diaz was hoping to instill fear into opposing batters. While I think they do to some degree, I think they also work on Mets fans themselves, as it's really hard to determine which Edwin Diaz you'll be getting from day to day.
Luckily, as I find my seat in 512, it's the good one. Diaz walks Bart, strikes out Slater, and forces Belt to ground into a double play. In the bottom of the inning, a freshly shaven Luis Guillorme comes in to pinch hit with one out. John, co-host of the wOBA Wonderboys, turns to me and predicts that Guillorme is going to rip a grounder into shallow left. For some reason, Guillorme bunts into a groundout that moves some runners up, and two strikeouts from Jankowski and Dom Smith send this game into extra innings.
At this point, is it fair to say that I'm getting a little too much free baseball today?
Ottavino gets the Mets through a quick top half of the inning, and in the bottom Starling Marte walks with one out to get the winning run at the plate. On an 0-2 slider, Lindor lines one into center, sending Marte home and giving the Mets their tenth win of the season. After hitting his first ever walk off as a Met, Lindor is showered in water and other dugout snacks. As they head into the dugout to prepare for game 2, my friends and I debate whether or not they players shower in the middle of impromptu doubleheaders
Game 12 vs. San Francisco Giants (8-3)
In between games, the PA lets us know that first pitch for Game 2 will happen at 7:30. With about 40 or so minutes of time to kill, my friends and I grab some snacks. Refreshments in hand, we're walking back to our seats when all of a sudden, the upper refreshment area behind homeplate becomes a wind tunnel. Clutching my chicken fingers to my chest for dear life, I sprint through hail back to my seat, as the grandstands have created a sort of buffer from the elements. In just a few minutes, the storm subsides, leaving a nice rainbow outside the stadium, and a few wet seats just in time for first pitch.
As the Mets retake the field, they've changed into their blue uniforms, making it obvious that they do shower in between doubleheader games.
Scherzer takes the mound in the top of the first to thunderous applause. He fans Yastrzemski on a four-seam, then tricks Belt with a cutter in the high left corner. Every time the count gets to two strikes, the entire lower bowl of Citi Field is on their feet. They've tasted blood, and they want more. As Ruf grounds out to end the first, Scherzer is treated to another ovation. The crowd spends the tops of each inning pretty much entirely on their feet as Scherzer puts on a pitching masterclass.
For a player not on the Mets, I'm a pretty big fan of Scherzer's counterpart on the mound tonight in Logan Webb. It's not really anything about his style of pitching, which is definitely great, I just loved his energy in all of the games against the Dodgers last year. His night is not as great as Max's. While he gets through the first two innings relatively unscathed. In the third, Lindor and Alonso are able to get on base, putting themselves in prime position to score on an Eduardo Escobar double. Dom Smith sends Escobar home on a single to center, and it's a 3-0 ball game. Marte grounds out to finish the 3rd, but Webb's night finishes with 2 outs in the 4th. Just before his exit, Luis Guillorme singles on a grounder to left field, fulfilling John's prophecy.
As for Scherzer, he's held the Giants hitless through 5.2 innings. He's been throwing heat pretty much the entire time, but I can tell that as the game progresses, he's having a bit more trouble finding the zone. There are few pitches just inside or outside that get the crowd frustrated, but while they boo, I have to admit that this ump is calling a pretty decent game, at least from my angle. It doesn't help scherzer however, as he walk Yastrzemski and Belt. Ruf hits a line drive to end the no hitter, and get the Giants on the board for what will be their only run of the day. Some good fielding from Escobar gets the Mets out of the sixth, and Scherzer strikes out one more in the seventh before leaving the mound for the final time. He finishes the day with 10 K's.
As Drew Smith and Trevor May close out the 8th and 9th, respectively, I leave Citi Field pumped that the Mets are the only team in MLB with 9 wins, although I may not come back until I'm more sure that it'll be warmer.
April 20th-Game 13 vs. San Francisco Giants (9-3)
As Drew Smith and Trevor May close out the 8th and 9th, respectively, I leave Citi Field pumped that the Metos are the only team in MLB with 9 wins, although I may not come back until I'm more sure that it'll be warmer. s that Fordham head coach and former Nova assistant Kyle Neptune will be taking his place. For the next few hours, I have to take off my Mets writing hat and don my Fordham writing hat once again, folllowing all the updates I can on this pressing matter.
By the time I finish my Fordham fan therapy session on Twitter Spaces, and the news cycle stops for the night, the Mets have lost 5-2.
Whatever. Nothing matters. The Sun will swallow the Earth one day and my teams wil no longer be able to break my heart.
April 21st-Game 14 vs. San Francisco Giants (9-4)
It's a 1 PM first pitch for the Mets, but today, I'm a Tigers fan, as every baseball fan should be today. At any point in today's game against the Yankees, Miguel Cabrera has the chance to join the 3,000 hit club. Even though I can only listen to it on the radio today, I'm very excited to be tuned in for this moment, and it's clear that the Detroit broadcast crew is excited to be airing it.
In the bottom of the 1st, Miggy walks up for his first PA of the day, and the crowd buzzes in anticipation. Teeing up the at-bat for the moment, the announcers talk about the nerves of not only Cabrera, but of Montgomery on the mound, and whether or not you want to be the guy who lets up that hit; "how bad do you want to be a part of history?" Fortunately for Montgomery, Miggy flies out to left, forcing the Detroit crowd to hold their breath for a few more frames.
In between commercials, I swear that they're playing the music from the Twilight vampire baseball scene, but going back into the broadcast later, I can't find it. You'll just have to trust me.
Miggy strikes out twice in the 4th and the 6th. In the 8th, the Yanks are down 1-0 with 2 outs, and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Cabrera steps up to the plate. "They wouldn't dare walk him," says the broadcast. "There'd be a riot." I guess the Yankees don't have a radio in the dugout, because that's exactly what they do. I understand that it's not a bad move from a baseball perspective, but man is it hard to do something like that and not look like the worst sports ever. In an attempt to avoid the history books, the Yanks found a worse way to enter them.
Cabrera is probably done for the day, so I flip back over to the Mets radio broadcast that's just wrapping up. As the crew discusses a 6-2 win over the Giants, I try to digest how big of a series this is going forward. Yes, it is just three wins, but it's three wins against one of the best teams of 2021, and a definite playoff team come October.
April 22nd-Game 15 at Arizona Diamondbacks (10-4)
An 8:40 first pitch is not ideal for a Friday night, but it's movie night, so I've got the game on my laptop off to the side.
It's an offense night for the Mets, for both teams honestly, as batters spend the night knocking each other around the bases one blooper at a time. It's an onslaught at first, with the Mets up 5-1 by the middle of the 7th. Peterson, while not throwing the same heat that Scherzer's been this year, gives the infield some very playable balls, and allowing just 1 run in 5.1 innings.
In the final 3 innings, the Diamondbacks must have realized that they had to score runs to win a baseball game, and embark on a tear. Even though Walker and Varsho's homers to tie the game at 5 are frustrating, I really can't fault Shreve. Two playable pitches over two innings full of some nasty stuff does not a bad pitcher make. Either way, this one heads into extras, where Starling Marte drives in the winning run off of a photo finish RBI single. In the modern era of baseball, I'm very happy that we have a Mets manager who has really mastered the art of the Manager's Challenge.
April 23rd-Game 16 at Arizona Diamondbacks (11-4)
The Mets lose 5-2, but I'm too busy at a party debating rodeo sports to notice. At the end of the night, I come to many conclusions; a.)The Mets will make the playoffs without sweeping a single series b.)Bull riding is more dangerous, but bucking broncos are probably way worse for your neck over time.
April 24th-Game 17 at Arizona Diamondbacks (11-5)
It's laundry day, so I'm folding clothes while I watch the Mets avoid dropping their first series of the season. Another close one at first, the Mets hold a narrow 2-1 lead after 6 innings, with the go ahead run coming from Starling Marte reaching home on an error. In terms of fielding, I'm really impressed with the Diamondbacks throughout the game, and begin to question whether they're as bad as their record shows.
In the 7th, my doubts fade, and I realize why their record may be a fair assessment of their quality this season. Replacing JB Wendelken on the mound, Edwin Uceta has a meltdown. He walks JD Davis, allows a Guillorme single, hits, McCann, and walks Jankowski to let Davis score. Hitting Marte, Uceta has now walked in two runs, and I think this one is done barring any D-Backs homers.
I finish folding my laundry, the Mets win their twelfth game, and my roommates and I end our weekend eating some dinner at the pub down the street. As we pass one of the bars on Broadway, a group of people in full Yankee regalia are sitting at the window table. How embarrassing for them.