When Star-Before-Our-Eyes Michael Conforto hit his second home run of World Series Game 4 into the Pepsi Porch to give the Mets a 3-1 lead in the 5th inning, raising a delirious crowd of 44,781 to its collective feet, and the smiling young man pumped his fist rounding the bases, I thought the Mets just might have it.
It was the first time in 19-years (Andrew Jones) that a rookie had hit two home runs in a World Series game.
And when fellow-rookie – lefty starter Steven Matz – hurled five strong innings with mom and dad applauding with the record crowd, and setting up the bullpen to protect a 2-run lead, I thought again that the Mets just might have it.
And when Addison Reed retired Kansas City one-two-three in the 7th inning, lifting the Citi brethren up again, I thought again that the Mets just might have it.
And just like that…
As midnight approaches, we’re wishing we could turn back the clock, not for daylight saving’s time, but to erase the nightmare eighth inning that was about to turn the Golden Coach of the Cinderella Mets we were riding in back into a pumpkin. The liver-punch was lethal!
We didn’t want Daniel Murphy and Jeurys Familia to wear the goat-horns, but they would. Murph’s six consecutive-game homerun barrage was one for the ages, yet turned into a distant memory when Eric Hosmer’s ground ball scooted past him and suddenly the score was tied, opening the floodgates for battling Royals comeback.
Would vulture-like boo-birds flock to Murphy, or would his home run tirade be cherished forever? Would he go from Daniel Boom to Daniel Boo?
Mets veteran reserve Michael Cuddyer said it best in the post-game trauma: “If you have selective memory on Daniel Murphy, shame on you. I think anybody that has been following us knows how huge he’s been for us.’’
My wife, Fran, though perhaps said it best: “If he was super-human [God-like], he wouldn’t be on earth.”
We didn’t want Familia to implode for the second time in the WS after being lights out during a 43-save season, and continuing that excellence in the NLDS and NLCS against the Dodgers and Cubbies, respectively. How would his season be remembered, as Mariano Rivera-like? Or will they say that “he couldn’t handle the big stage?”
At the Mets’ moment of truth, it reminded me just how difficult it is for a team to get to the World Series, let alone win one.
Imagine how the Red Sox and their faithful felt when Mookie’s ground ball got through Buckner in Game 6 in ’86, setting the stage for the Mets second championship. Imagine how the Yankees felt when they blew a 3-0 lead in the ALCS in 2004, finally ending “The Curse.” Imagine how Mariano felt in 2001 when Luis Gonzalez’s bloop hit over a drawn-in infield sent the Diamondbacks walking-off with World Series rings.
And imagine how Brooks Robinson felt in ’69 Game 4 when Rocky made the miraculous catch. Or earlier in Game 3 of the WS when Tommie Agee saved five runs with catches for the ages to rob Elrod Hendricks and Paul Blair, respectively. Check out the Youtube video of Agee’s gems, and listen to the memorable calls by Curt Gowdy and Lindsey Nelson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzuaUgaBv80
The Royals aren’t pesky; they’re damn good. The Mets had a win, just as they did in Game 1, in the Halloween bag. In the end, if New York is not able to mount a miraculous comeback, they lose the World Series simply because they were not able to execute.
Can the Mets ever recover from last night’s punch to the solar plexus? The hope from this corner is that after tonight’s Game 5, we’ll be singing the famous Fats Domino lyrics: I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come. Seems too early to pack the bats and gloves in the mothballs.
Editor’s Note 1 to Yoenis Cespedes: what happened to that yellow hitting sleeve and accompanying parakeet. Think you oughta brings those back, please.
Editor’s Note 2 to Mets fans and radio gas-bags: Stop throwing Terry Collins under the bus with all the second guesses: “he should have left Bartolo Colon in the game,” “why did he not use Familia for a six-out save,” “he should have pinch-hit with Juan Uribe instead of Kelly Johnson,” “he should have taken Matz out earlier,” “as soon as he brought in Tyler Clippard my friends started texting me that they were going to lose,” ad infinitim. The Mets manager has pressed every right button this season, cut him some slack! Geesh!
Editor’s note 3, Cespedes/Gasbag combo: One talk show caller had the audacity to call Cespedes a DOG! Granted his World Series has been nowhere near stellar, but this was the guy that carried you to the Division title!