So it is technically my job to recap the Mets game yesterday to you, the reader, and talk about things you would care about reading. It is not my job to make it about myself, because you probably don’t care too much about me or my personal experiences. That said, I feel the best way I can fully convey the misery of this game is to include how I experienced it. So I hope you’ll indulge me in the story of how I got very wet and very cold while attending an awful baseball game.
Before the game, I happened to ask an usher what the ticket protocol was if the game was rained out. She didn’t have much information, but she basically said she was told they absolutely have to play this game, so they are going to play this game no matter what. Intuitively, that makes sense, since the Blue Jays do not come back to Citi Field this season. However, the Jays are back in New York in just three weeks, when they face the Yankees on June 5 and 6. The Mets are home throughout that entire week, and both teams have off on June 4. They could have played this game on that day. Whatever, though, I’m not privy to all the information they have.
The tarp came off the field at around 12:30 p.m., with rain still coming down, although it was rather light. Sitting our seats — which were not under an overhang, but too good to abandon — my friends and I were getting a little wet, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. And none of us owned or had any designs on purchasing either a poncho or an umbrella.
The game started on time, at 1:10 p.m., through the rain drops. It’s not often they start games while it’s already raining, but they had to play this game.
Zack Wheeler got the start for the Mets, and looked good through the first three innings, with his only blemish being a Justin Smoak solo homer that clanked off the facing of the
Pepsi Porch Coca Cola Corner in the first inning. But the Mets couldn’t do much against J.A. Happ early on, due in part to the fact that they sent out a lineup featuring Phil Evans batting fifth. In the second inning, Michael Conforto hit a laser to center field that Kevin Pillar made a terrific catch on, but not much else was struck well against Happ.
By the bottom of the third, we were getting quite damp, but it was still an amount of water we could live with. We still were not going to purchase ponchos or umbrellas. But right at the start of the inning, the skies opened up. It rained a lot harder. The drops were getting discernably heavy. Significant puddles were forming on the infield, behind the batter’s box and in the stands, and it’s not like the rain was going to stop anytime soon. This is something that would stop literally any other baseball game. But it did not stop this one. They had to play this one.
While hitting in this rain, Wheeler lost his bat on a swing. On the next pitch, Happ slipped off the mound. What ensued was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen at a baseball game. The umpires stopped play and instructed the grounds crew to come fix the mound. After that, they called the rest of the grounds crew to come and fix the rest of the infield. And so they did. And it took a while. The Jays walked off the field. The game was stopped for 20 minutes while the grounds crew patched up the infield (and did a tremendous job doing so). It was not an official rain delay. The tarp was never put on the field. Remember, they needed to play this game.
In how many other sports do they stop the game entirely so a bunch of dudes in khakis can come out to drop and rake dirt for 20 minutes? Zero, that’s how many. I went to the bathroom during this break in the action, and I overheard Gary and Ron in a deep discussion about the cleat scraper on the pitcher’s mound and the process of removing it and putting it back in the dirt. Also, this:
SNY is showing artistic shots of puddles on the infield while Ron explains how mud is created and we are all living our best lives.
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) May 16, 2018
This is the best sport.
Once play restarted, it had lightened up again, but it was still raining. At this point, we were completely drenched. If you’ve ever gone on a water ride in normal clothes, that is pretty much how it felt to sit in a seat and watch this game after a few innings. We could have bought ponchos, but it was a lost cause at this point. We were too wet to even move.
The Blue Jays struck again in the top of the fourth off Wheeler when Teoscar Hernandez ripped a two-run dinger into the left field corner. Wheeler put two more runners on, but got out of the inning. The Blue Jays led 3-0.
In the fifth, the roof caved in. The inning began with a walk to the pitcher, followed by a Curtis Granderson double, followed by a Josh Donaldson RBI single, followed by a Justin Smoak two-RBI double. It was 6-0 Toronto at that point, the game was effectively over, and not only was I soaked, but I was now shivering because the water seeping through my clothes was making me very cold.
Wheeler allowed three runs in that fifth inning while never recording an out. It was another poor outing for him, as he continues his Jekyll-and-Hyde season. That said, he was looking pretty good before the not-a-rain-delay rain delay, which might’ve thrown him off a bit, so you can at least give him a pass for this one.
After that fifth inning, we decided to do something I never, ever do: leave a game early. Yes, I left in the fifth inning. My pants were so wet they felt 10 pounds heavy; walking to the car was a legitimate chore. My fingers were so pruned that it looked like I had been in a pool for two hours. My ticket, which was in my pocket the whole time, was basically ruined. When I took my clothes off later, I realized that, yes, even my underwear was wet.
It rained a lot.
The Mets lost the game 12-1. AJ Ramos and Buddy Baumann let up three more runs in later innings, and Brandon Nimmo hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth, and still smiled around the bases. After which, of course, the umpires stopped the game so the grounds crew could apply more dirt to the infield.
What a sport.
Photo credit: Noah K. Murray – USA Today Sports