’00s Mets: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Pt. III

Baseball can be a rough game sometimes. Sure, professionals are paid quite handsomely for their efforts, but no matter how great they usually are, sometimes it’s just one of those days.

On the eve of the Mets finding out Carlos Delgado required an extended stay on the DL with hip surgery, things truly got ugly on May 18th, 2009.

The Ugly

Gary Sheffield’s RBI single to right had tied the game at 2 in the 8th inning, and would eventually lead to extra innings against the LA Dodgers.

gbuiii4

Angel Pagan with the correct amount of mope after the disastrous 11th

In the top of the 11th, Angel Pagan’s RBI triple put the Mets ahead 3-2. Except…it didn’t. Good ol’ Ryan Church missed the bag rounding third, was called out on the appeal play, and Pagan was sent back to first. “I just feel terrible,” Church said. “I mean, touching the bag is a simple thing to do. But obviously, I didn’t. I think it might have turned the momentum a little bit.” Yeah, Ryan. Just maybe. The Mets would leave the frame without a tally.

In the bottom of the 11th, Carlos Beltran and Angel Pagan combined for one of the more embarrassing moments of the season. The second of the three errors captured in this fan video is, well, unsightly:

“I called for the ball like six times,” Beltran said. “But Pagan stood in the middle and I couldn’t put my glove on the ball. On a ball like that, I have priority. If Pagan would have called for that ball, my job is to get out of the way. He’s been in center field before, so he knows that when the center fielder calls for the ball, everyone has to get out of the way.”

All that calling, nothing to show for it. After intentionally loading the bases, Orlando Hudson’s weak grounder found its way to Jeremy Reed, who capped off the five-error night with a wide throw to home on the force-out attempt. The Dodgers would take the charity win, 3-2. Games like this are most regrettable to me because I immediately think of the 4 hours and 45 minutes I’ve just wasted, given such a calamitous finish. There’s always tomorrow, but damn, does that ruin today.

Oddly, it seems like the Mets are almost always on the short end of the stick when it comes to errors directly affecting the game outcome. But there’s at least one handout of which the Mets were on the right side on April 18, 2008 against the Nationals.

Another extra inning affair would see both sides go silent through the 13th inning. In the bottom of the 14th, Damion Easley would single off Joel Hanrahan to lead off the inning. Hanrahan then gave Easley second base on a wild pitch, and third base on an errant pickoff attempt. After two intentional walks, Hanrahan would complete his gift wrapping.

With Beltran and Pagan’s communication breakdown against the Dodgers still stuck in my head after all these years, I couldn’t help but purchase a bottle of Boulevard Brewing Co’s Calling IPA.

gbuiii2Calling pours a light yellow-orange, with a head that dissipates after about 45 seconds. The nose is resinous, with some light citrus and a bit of alcohol heat.

Given the resin in the nose, the taste is surprisingly sweet and moderately hopped. Make no mistake, Calling is a legitimate DIPA at 8.5% with a bite to match. But I’m pleased that Boulevard went this route; the honey sweetness with a bit of tea, and a mellow hop blend almost seem to deliberately thumb their nose at the contemporary notion of the “American IPA.” Although Boulevard names eight (eight!) hops utilized, the citrus of the Amarillo along with Australian Topaz and Galaxy mellow spicy character shine brightest. The bitterness on the very back of the tongue is just sticky enough to linger, but more as a pleasant reminder than a nuisance.

gbuiii1Scouting Report (20-80 scale)

See        65

Smell      60

Taste      65

Feel         65

Overall     65

I’ve been extremely pleased with all the beers in this series. All three have been big, but remarkably distinctive. Usually, I have loads of trouble picking out specific hops and what their effect are on a beer, but despite the sheer volume of individual hop varieties, Calling makes deft use of each one, from aroma, to bittering, to taste, to finish. Comp – a bit of a stretch: big and hoppy, Todd Pratt.

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