The New York Mets and LA Dodgers just played the worst baseball game I have ever seen.
In an extremely tight game that ultimately wound up in a 3-2 victory for the Dodgers in 11 innings, the Dodgers did just about everything possible to lose, in a conventional sense. LA was outhit by the Mets 12-5, went 0-11 with men in scoring position, left 14 men on base, had five starters hit 0 for the game, and watched Cory Wade blow a save.
The only thing was, the Mets went above and beyond normal suckiness to achieve National Baseball Hall of Suck and Museum caliber suckiness.
At the end of the game, the scoreboard showed “only” 5 errors by the Mets, but the Mets made about every mental error it is possible to make, from Fernando Tatis giving up an easy out and foolishly coming home against speedy Juan Pierre in the first, to horribly failed bunt attempts, to miscommunication in the outfield, to Ryan Church scoring easily on a double to put the Mets on top 3-2, only to have the run erased upon appeal because he forgot to step on third base. Oops.
But nothing summed up the game quite like the decisive bottom of the 11th inning. First, Mark Loretta walked. Then Xavier Paul hit the lamest, easiest flyball to center that you ever saw, all high and floaty and slow and just begging to find solace in the warm embrace of a glove.
Naturally, Carlos Beltran and Angel Pagan spent more time shouting at each other than watching the ball, which fell harmlessly between them and thus spurned, trickled mournfully away toward the wall. So now Loretta was on third and Paul was at second.
The Mets were of course in a desperate situation now, in a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 11th with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, so they were forced to intentionally walk the mighty Juan Pierre and bring Beltran in as a fifth infielder.
Naturally, the Dodgers did all they could to kick that gift horse right smack in the teeth, with Rafael Furcal bouncing a lazy, tailor-made double play ball right to drawn in first baseman Jeremy Reed.
But the Mets would not be denied the loss they so desperately sought. And Reed delivered with a miraculously sucky throw in the vague direction of home plate. With all the time in the world, and Mark Loretta still so far up the third base line, you wondered if he were even paying attention, Reed hurled a screwball so ridiculously far to the left of desperately diving catcher Ramon Castro that the degree of separation could only have been achieved by the intervention of a higher power.
And Vin Scully had the perfect call: “Marv Throneberry lives again!”
It was just that kind of game for the Mets and Dodgers: anything you can suck at we can suck at even more. Even when the Met’s scored a tying run in the 8th, it was on Gary Sheffield hitting the weakest, softest, most surrenderous seeing-eye grounder you ever saw.
You wanted to award both teams with losses. And maybe give the Mets 2 or 3 losses, if not more.
But that’s the way baseball goes sometimes, and as professional ballplayers, these guys will have to block it all out and come back strong tomorrow.
“Don’t feel bad, guys,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre deadpanned to his shockingly victorious team in the clubhouse after the game. “Tomorrow we’ll beat them.”