BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH: METS 11 (2) – 4 NATIONALS
The Mets, tonight, sat on the edge of a giant cliff. The letters SWEEP written into the dirt of the plains below.
The Washington Nationals poking them with a stick, their toes inching closer, closer, to the edge—to the point where that N.L East lead might collapse back toward the imaginary.
And then, this eighth inning.
My 600-word "Nats sweep" story is deleted. A 700-word "Mets win" is in its place. If anything changes, I'm just pitching my laptop out the press box window.
— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) April 19, 2018
It’s cold in New York, still.
The Yankees are getting all the attention.
The Yankees, so far, aren’t that good.
But the Mets, they just scored nine runs in one inning.
The Mets might be the best team in the National League.
How did this happen.
Mets are 13-4, 1st Place in the NL East by 3 Games, and 5 games over the Nationals, the teams biggest competition for the division. Lets take panic mode off 😂 #LGM
— Joe Fiorante (@Fiorante7) April 19, 2018
Well, it happened like this, down 4-2 in the 8th:
Conforto singled. Cespedes singled. Cabrera singled.
Frazier singled. Gonzalez walked. Lagares doubled.
Rosario walked. Conforto walked.
And Yoenis Cespedes, back up to bat with the bases loaded, did what we all knew he just might do.
He did this:
Cespedes bombs a grand slam on an 0-2 count.
— The Big Inning (@big_inning) April 19, 2018
I feel, sitting many miles away in the Midwest, like I’m missing something significant in New York. Like that city, once again, feels like the center of some kind of universe. That it’s not merely rats and pigeons and filth and money and the crowded chock-full subway car of evil incarnate.
That it’s where things are happening.
Happening now, happening at the end of the 7-line train. Happening in Queens, at Citi Field, where the 2018 Mets of all teams are leading the National League.
How many times did the Mets score in the bottom of the 8th inning? pic.twitter.com/AkC3JV4A83
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) April 19, 2018
I’m starting to feel that New York magnetism.
Like I’m off the plane at LaGuardia, the bus driver slipped me a pill, whisked me into a disco nightclub, and I’m dancing my ass off to Donna Summer songs wearing a Cespedes jersey, eye black on my cheeks, big gold chains around my neck, feeling like I myself just hit that grand slam. Feeling that New York thing, calling my name from the murky immoral depths of Midtown, of Wall Street, of far east Queens and every last corner of that city.
Citi Field, calling my name, sounding the alarms around major-league baseball.
That the Mets are for real.