October 19, 2006
With Ezra, his brother, and their dad
The less said about this game, the better. What a heartbreaker. This was the toughest loss I've ever experienced in person.
I had been on a nervous high all day. I'm not even sure how I made it through the day. As the subway pulled into the station, I checked the voicemail from Stone Groove who wanted to pass along the information that the Oriole Bird and Screech the Nats mascot wanted him to let me know that they were pulling for the Mets.
But when David Wright drove in a run in the bottom of the 1st, it relieved some of the tension. Oliver Perez was great and I was so damn proud of a team that had John Maine and Oliver Perez on the mound for the two biggest games of the year. However, after the Cardinals tied it at 1 and the Mets couldn't do anything off of Jeff Suppan, things kept getting scarier and scarier.
Perez hops over the line after another good inning.
And nothing was scarier (up to that point) than the 6th inning. Scott Rolen's blast to left was about to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. It would have been a disaster. But somehow, somehow, Endy Chavez played the role of Spiderman. He leapt and made one of the best catches in postseason history. He came back down to Earth, hit the cutoff man, and doubled off Jim Edmonds to end the inning.
The Mets had momentum and the World Series was in their grasp! That catch will forever be etched in my memory as one of my greatest baseball moments ever. The place went absolutely crazy. The Upper Deck was rocking like RFK used to. Our seats were directly underneath the bouncing seats. I thought that if I died right then and there, it wouldn't be the worst way to go - crushed by a ballpark at the height of my baseball induced delirium.
In the bottom of the 6th, Scott Rolen's error set up the Mets with a bases loaded situation with only one out. But they just couldn't push the run across. Chavez flew out to end the inning. I wondered if our Sunday friend would have yelled out "You suck Endy!" or if his catch would have kept him in her good graces for at least a few minutes.
The bases loaded sixth inning.
Neil Diamond singalong - the fans were whipping themselves into a frenzy.
And then the 9th happened. With a runner on, the .216 hitter, Yadier Molina hit a 2 run homerun to give the Cardinals the 3-1 lead that Chavez had denied them three innings earlier. As the ball sailed over the left field fence, I just kept thinking that it wasn't real, that somehow it was going to go foul, or that it would be caught, or that the referees would call it back because of an offsides call or something. But none of that denial changed the reality. And the Mets were in big fucking trouble.
But they had one more comeback in them. Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez started the inning with singles off of rookie reliever Adam Wainwright. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Willie Randolph went for it. He pinch hit Cliff Floyd who could barely walk. Why not bring in Chris Woodward or someone and bunt? Could Floyd pull a Kirk Gibson? I was just hoping that he didn't hit into a double play. I was relieved when he merely struck out. But what a wasted out. I would have rather seen the tying run on 2nd rather than on 1st. Oh well.
With 1 out, Jose Reyes hit a wicked flyball right to Edmonds in center. If it had been a little to the left or right, the Mets would really have been in business.
With 2 outs, Paul Lo Duca walked. The bases were loaded. Carlos Beltran was up. They were going to do it! The tying run was on second base and the winning run was only a ball hit into the gap away! This was going to be the greatest ending to a Game 7 ever!!!
The first pitch was the only one that Beltran really had a chance at hitting. And he took it. The second pitch, he fouled off. And then, Wainwright let loose with an unhittable curveball. And the misery began.
Ollie! Ollie! Ollie!
Movie I took right after The Catch.
TV footage of Endy's Catch.
A great video that someone took while sitting in the Upper Deck of The Catch and the ensuing happiness.
The Noiseboy's Take
All in all, it was quite a memorable season. But what a tough way to end it.
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