Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tug McGraw Would Have Enjoyed This Game

The Phillies-Mets game last night was insane. 13 innings. One Phillies reliever, Clay Condrey, jump-started a key rally with a double, his first hit since 2003. Two Phillies starting pitchers served as pinch-hitters. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz played third base in the ninth inning. Mets reliever Aaron Heiman threw 60 pitches in 3 innings and didn't give up a run. The Mets blew a 7-0 lead with Pedro Martinez on the mound, in part because they used as a closer a guy (Luis Ayala) who couldn't cut it in middle relief for the Washington Nationals. The guy who got the winning hit (Chris Coste) went 4-for-4 after bing inserted into the game in the 8th inning. Add it all up, and the Phillies win moved them into first place, one-half game ahead of the Mets.

Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports describes why this rivalry is so damn entertaining...

Rationality is in short supply this time of year, so, yes, there is an explanation for those black helicopters Jimmy Rollins sees when he peers into the New York Metsdugout.

The perceived slight from the last time Rollins and his Philadelphia Phillies saw the Mets, the one where Jose Reyes hit a home run, wagged an index finger, danced in the dugout and capped it with the kind of handshake kids execute to get into supercool tree houses. Well, Rollins has carried it for more than a month because even if it was innocuous, he always finds something.

Please understand, were Nelson Mandela to wear a Mets uniform, Rollins would bury a spike in his ankle. Orange and blue make him turn red. He embodies this rivalry, and it is the best sort: one perpetuated by feelings of contempt and not bushels of leftover hype from seasons past.

Game 2 of the series is tonight, while my fantasy football draft is taking place. If it's as exciting as last night, I may be excused when I select Michael Vick in the third round.


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