I sat down at 10:15 last night to watch the Mets take on the Giants. With Matt Harvey going up against Tim Lincecum, I thought the game would be a speedy one – 2 good pitchers working quickly. But I forgot that I was watching the 2013 Mets and sure enough 5 and a half hours later I was still watching this same game.
9 innings after Matt Harvey exited the game – the Mets scored the go-ahead run on a Brandon Crawford error in the 16th. After allowing the lead off man to reach base in the bottom of the inning, Parnell was able to record 3 outs and secure a win (at 3:45 Eastern Standard Time). 16 inning games are typically an aberration but this year’s Mets are trying to make them the norm.
Yesterday was the 4th time the Mets have played into the 15th inning or later this season. And it’s not even the All-Star break! The Mets and Dbacks played a 15-inning game just 4 days prior on July 4! (Don’t forget about the 13-inning game against the Dbacks on July 1 – but even that feels short by comparison).
Taking into account all of their extra inning games this season, the Mets have played almost 4 and a half extra games this season. It’s truly incredible and Monday night (actually Tuesday morning) was the first time the Mets earned a W in a 15-inning plus affair. They’re now 5-6 in bonus baseball this season.
As a fan, I don’t hate it – it’s exciting to watch close games and each inning the pressure intensifies. But sometimes as games go deeper and deeper (I’m theorizing a 12-inning threshold), things get sloppy. Add to that the fact that two of these 15-inning games have come against the Marlins – one of the worst teams in the league who the Mets still have trouble beating anyway – and it begins to feel more like an exercise in mediocrity.
Turning the game off is not an option because I’m not going to miss the end. So, listening to Gary and Keith is always a good way to get through a long game. Keith was in rare form last night. In the 15th inning he was openly discussing his travel plans for getting back to his brothers place after the game. He was worried that it was getting late and his brother needed to get up early for work tomorrow. Keith is so funny during long games because you can tell he wants nothing more than to get the hell out of there.
Gary was his usual entertaining and informative self. He even thanked the New York audience for sticking with the broadcast well past 3 AM. No problem Gary! You made it fun to watch 5 and a half hours of Mets baseball. Seagulls took over the stadium from about 11 PM local time on which only added to the uniqueness of the game. I’ve never seen so many seagulls in my life and often they would fly in front of the centerfield camera obstructing my view of the game. It’s easily the first time a bird has ever obstructed my view of a game while I was laying in bed.
The final game time was 5 hours and 26 minutes – the fourth longest game in terms of time that the Mets have played this season. I still can’t get over that. The 20-inning game vs MIA lasted 6 hours and 25 minutes. Maybe that’s why that one felt a little torturous. The most exciting marathon game this season was easily the July 4th 15-inning game that went back and forth game against Arizona. Game-tying solo HRs in the 13th and 14th before the Dbacks finally put it away in the 16th was definitely giving the fans their money’s worth.
5 games over 5 hours this season and it’s not even the All-Star Break. Hopefully the All-Star game doesn’t turn into a 5-hour affair at Citi Field just by osmosis. The Mets may not be going anywhere this year but we will always have the marathon first half to look back on. Maybe they can add even more to the legacy before the break. The Mets and Giants are at it again right now – game tied 2-2 in the 4th. Hope Keith is ready for more bonus baseball.