Short of driving in the winning run, fate did everything possible to set up the Mets for success last night. Their magic number was down to one; they were playing for the division title. The all-killer, no-filler line up was pencilled in. Pedro was pitching. And they were playing hapless Bucs. The proverbial lamb was staked in the center of the coliseum and the big bad lion was set to pounce.
I realize these metaphors are corny, but they pale compared to what was streaming through my mind last night just before game time. I was amped up. It had been a good day at school. Maggie, now all of seven weeks old, was awake and content, and the Mets were going to raise a glass and hoist a flag.
Then the Pirates crushed the Mets. Easily. Pittsburgh starter Pat Maholm breezed through the Mets line up and the Pirates jumped on Pedro for four runs in three innings, literally reducing the guy to tears.
Sure, the Mets are still going to win the division (and may in fact have already done so, I didn't stay up to catch the Phillies/Astros score), but losing that way to that team and watching Pedro crumble against a second-rate offense, well, it's simply not the way it was supposed to be.