Okay, the Mets stunk it up in extra innings Friday night. Not sure Collins should have gone back to Carlos Torres one night later, but if they keep playing extra innings, Torres will keep being available.
Laura Vecsey was ranting about Cespedes' apparent loaf after the inside-the-park HR. Blessedly, I missed it. I had switched to a swath of "Bird Man," which I had never seen. Michael Keaton. The Mets. You are seeing a pattern here?
Mets fans still have Thursday night, and, as Gary Cohen blurted on the tube, "The play of the year!"
Carlos Torres of the Mets is one of those unsung players that exist on every post-season team – the guys who helped get their teams there.
The Mets of 1969 had pitchers named Calvin Koonce and Don Cardwell. The Mets of 1986 had Rick Aguilera and Randy Niemann, among others.
Amidst this current bizarre spontaneous combustion sparked by the salary-dump arrival, Yoenis Cespedes, there are so many disparate elements. Consider Carlos Torres, tall and lanky, out of Kansas State and San Jose State, who does his job, impassively, maturely.
Torres is rarely interviewed. When he is, he comes off, as Casey Stengel used to say about Wakefield and Anderson and Altman, “a university man.”
Torres has not been as good this year as last year. So it goes. But his exploits Thursday night will always be remembered by hard-core fans. Good grief, I think I have become one.
In the 10th inning Thursday, the first batter Torres faced whacked a grounder off his soccer-style boot and bolted toward first. Daniel Murphy scrambled to recover the ball wide of first and violated the Mets’ own Murphy’s Law: Don’t Improvise, Murph. He flipped the ball sideways, blind, toward first base, classic Murphy, hoping Torres would get there. Like a greyhound, Torres sprinted to the base, caught the ball, and Jeff Francoeur nudged him aside, to make sure not to maim him, I think. First out.
Three innings later, Torres dribbled a ball to deep short and the shortstop messed it up, as Torres again sprinted to first – for his first hit and, as far as I can tell, his first trip to the bases since 2013.
Torres took a lead and dove back to first like a professional pinch-runner, as the Mets’ radio guys pointed out. Then he toured the bases, bolting home on Murphy’s double for the go-ahead run. The Mets scored four runs and Jeurys Familia finished up.
No matter what happens from now on, Mets fans will always remember Torres, this long, lean, pitcher playing the game the way it used to be played, before the gimmick of the designated hitter, by pitchers like Ruth and Ferrell, Gibson and Newcombe, Drysdale and Guidry. Torres hit, in a fashion. He ran. He fielded. He pitched. He was an athlete. National League ball. Real baseball.
In this strange unexpected season, another memory.
(Portrait of a professional long man, after pitching second through fifth innings, 2014.)
8/28/2015 08:15:55 am
Incredible. Every day a gift right now (and knocking on wood constantly). I'm worried about the pitching, though. Hope the young arms aren't spent -- they've worked incredibly hard this year.
8/28/2015 10:06:12 am
Josh, it's true, they really were one of the great flame-out teams. By te next year, Terry Leach, who did not pitch much for the Mets in 86, was their mainstay, with Gooden erratic after his first bust. A cautionary tale. Right now, this bunch is compelling. GV
8/28/2015 10:09:53 am
I*( cannot believe it, but I've become a Mets fan. This began slowly when they hired Terry Collins and stayed with him.
8/30/2015 10:35:35 am
I am glad I didn't write yesterday after the game and waited for today's happy ending to another frustrating outing. The Times story mentions several relievers likely to get work toward the end, but does not mention these three with ERA's at 2.31 or lower and a strike out an inning.
8/30/2015 01:09:21 pm
The chart did not reproduce as I hoped. Here are the highlights:
8/31/2015 02:52:36 pm
Another of those strong young, strikout pitchers, a guy named Colon just struck out 9 in 8 innings, no runs, four hits. Got a single, too.
9/1/2015 06:09:09 am
Ed, sometimes pitchers are at their best when tired....the ball breaks, etc. But he and Clippard have been used a lot lately, for a 20-8 record in August. Familia's new splitter breaks in the mid-90's -- Hernandez was raving about it Monday night. I bet he will not be "available" Tuesday night. GV
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.