I won’t panic. But I will find it hard to sleep.
It’s not because they lost. I expected the Cardinals to win. Because of Carpenter. It’s not so bad to lose to their ace, the best pitcher in your league. But it’s bad to have him beat, to have your offense working, to get the lead and lose it twice, and then to have defeat sneak up on you, laughing at you, making you feel weak when you had been feeling strong.
We have to keep the wolf at bay. This just happened. Things happen. Wagner is a great pitcher. Mota is a great pitcher. Nothing is different today than it was yesterday. We have not heard the sucking sound, the rapid loss of air. The Series is tied. And we have the better team.
Look at how good the Mets were even tonight. Think of Delgado’s two home runs. Think of the swift slap in the first that sent the ball so quickly to the scoreboard in center. Think of how he is so strong that he could nudge an outside pitch, awkwardly and with just his arms, over a left field fence 400 feet away. Think of what happens when he has a full swing and sends the ball so high into the black above the lights in right. Think of Delgado, think of him laughing and smiling in the dugout. Think of his handsome, unsweating cool that makes his teammates so calm and so happy.
Think of Reyes back in the groove. Think of his eyes. Think of him shaking his crazy man curls and smiling like a satyr. Think of his headfirst slides that make you want to scream. Think of how he jumps up from them in a split second and claps his hands.
Think of Paulie LoDuca and how often he has made you happy.
Tomorrow night Steve Trachsel, who has been a Met the longest, will put things right. He and Glavine are the two dads who will calm us down. Trachsel will be himself, slow and smart. He will have his stubborn face as he sets out to prove that he is a very fine pitcher who has never deserved being thought of as a journeyman.
The Mets are all right. They are hitting and fielding and they are loose in the dugout. Tonight we lost because a mediocre bullpen beat our great one. The odds are that this won’t happen again. I’m talking about odds. I know that anything can happen. This is baseball. But the Mets have everything I am able to give them. They may win and they may lose. But they’re good. So I am filled with hope. They look as if they’re having fun, even though I’m a nervous wreck. I’m having fun too. This series is very exciting. I refuse to believe that they will not beat the Cardinals.