So last night I went to a ball game and it was great. So these days my feelings feel of a size that wasn’t built for bodies, and but when I was at the game, suddenly it didn’t matter, in that everything I felt took on the size of the stadium and the crowd and the moment, whose end was infinitely finite, and repeated over and over and over again. Because that’s a fucking thing about baseball! Everything ends in a weird broken and repeating cycle and it keeps going until somebody wins, and if the weather sucks everyone just says let’s wait til it’s better outside, and so in a lot of ways maybe baseball is better than life? But so in this game there were home runs and hit batters and a series of confusing things that lead people who are real and serious professionals to just hold up their hands and say WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED CAN SOMEBODY TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED, which was amazing, because anyone in this world can be confused and say WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED CAN SOMEBODY TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED (which can I just say how nice it is to be reassured at how confusing it is at times to be alive), and here are some real professional baseball players (using this term loosely to describe the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies) and then the umpires, whose entire job consists of deciding what happened, that’s it, that’s their fucking job, they said SORRY WE DON’T KNOW EITHER and sometimes you just don’t get to know things and you have to keep going because something else has to happen, and sometimes you get to just stop everything and try to figure it out. In that those are things that happened. So anyway I met my Uncle at the old home run apple because he texted me the night before to tell me that Harang looked OK, which I took to mean in terms of his pitching, because he does not look OK normally, and he asked if I wanted to go to the game on Tuesday, which I did. I didn’t see any baseball last year, because I was boycotting the Phillies, because I thought they were stupid. The boycott began with the Delmon Young signing and Ruben Amaro saying that an RBI was way more important than a walk, which to me represented a fundamental misunderstanding about the game of baseball, in which a body needs to be on base for a run to score, which a walk or a hit by pitch are the easiest ways to do it, in that unless it’s a home run (most of the time) whether or not you get on base depends on the ability of the players on the field to convert the hit into an out. You cannot convert a walk into an out, at least in terms of getting to first. It’s a base on fucking balls you guys. They just give it to you. And so anyway while we’re waiting to get in because I was nannying because I live in Brooklyn and live as best I can in what ways I can, I get an alert on my phone which says that Chase Utley has homered and the Phillies lead 1-0. My Uncle, being a life-long Mets fan, is not entirely pleased.
Anyway we sit down and we’re right on top of the fucking dug out. And anyway The Mets get on the board and we order beers and burgers from a guy taking orders for things, and David Buchanan, who is starting for the Phils, he doesn’t look great. Harvey is cruising through this shit and I feel like at one point he had 27 pitches thrown, 29 for strikes, because math is irrelevant. Throughout the night Buchanan’s ERA jumped like fucking time travel. 12.40, 19.29, 18.66, 16.99. It was great. Who doesn’t love time travel? Anyway Buchanan still looks like shit and then he hits a guy! Nobody is happy! Harvey has a shitty bunt and Granderson singles, barely, to load the bases, and I feel like honestly it wasn’t so much a single as Ruiz just dropped the ball and fucked up the play and he looked at the ball like FUCK and the ball sat there saying nothing, because it is a ball, and it’s full of shit and confusion and wrapped in the hide of a dead animal, just like the rest of us, and at some point Duda laces a bases clearing double, and the Mets are up 4-1. THEN CUDDYER GETS HIT BY A PITCH AND TAKEN OUT OF THE GAME. IT’S THE SECOND INNING, GUYS. THE SECOND FUCKING INNING. THIS IS HOW MUCH BASEBALL HAS HAPPENED SO FAR, WHICH IS ALL THE BASEBALL. Murphy flies out. Fuck you, Murphy. Plenty of things happen in the top of the third, although they do not involve our beer, or our burgers, so we buy some Miller Lite’s that are bigger than our faces from a man who asks us if we need anything. We also need some peanuts. What more we may need isn’t worth talking about because I am pretty sure the guy with the beer and the peanuts has enough to deal with. At some point Freddy Galvis does or does not get hit. Nobody knows what happened! They are unsure! We throw up our hands in surrender to the Gods! Terry Collins challenges the call! It is the third inning and two of his guys just got hit and this fucker is still in the game so what the fuck? The umpires, WHOSE JOB IT IS TO DECIDE WHAT JUST HAPPENED AND THEN EVERYONE HAS TO AGREE OR ELSE THEY GO HOME AND SIT DOWN QUIETLY, review the play. Due to something about whether or not Harvey stepped off the mound, they find that they cannot come to a distinct conclusion, and Galvis is awarded the base. Terry is furious, and Harvey is a punk. A punk who has already gotten 5 strikeouts, and walked nobody, and only let up one run. But then Utley’s up, and he laces a single to score Revere, and then Howard strikes out, because of course he does. And anyway nothing happened in the bottom of the third. Nothing. Especially not those beers and burgers. Then Cody Asche homers for the Phils and it’s 4-3, and then Harvey gets another strikeout and who cares. The nothing happens in the 4th. Those beers and burgers we ordered early finally came. The guy is apologetic, and I want to give him a hug, because life is fucking hard you assholes. The burgers are fine though. They are warm, and taste of fire and meat. We continue to eat our peanuts. THE IN THE FIFTH, DAVID BUCHANAN LINES A DOUBLE TO RIGHT. HE HAS NOW GOTTEN AS MANY BASES AS HE HAS HIT BATTERS, WHICH IS REALLY SOMETHING! Then 2 outs, one advancing Buchanan to third, then the motherfucker hits Chase Utley, who promptly steals second base, because fuck you. AFTER THIS RYAN HOWARD REACHES ON CATCHER INTERFERENCE. TERRY COLLINS IS VERY MAD, AND IS EJECTED FROM THE GAME TO GO AND SIT WITH HIS FEELINGS LIKE THE REST OF US HAVE TO. Except me, because everything is happening. SO MANY THINGS HAVE HAPPENED IN THIS BASEBALL GAME AND I DON’T HAVE TIME TO THINK ABOUT MY FEELINGS. My life has taken on the size of the stadium. Anyway then something weird happens where Duda doubles and comes around to score but it’s unclear if he touched the plate and everyone is like WAIT HE DIDN’T and Chooch is like SHIT I GOTTA TAG THE PLATE and Duda is like NO NO NO NO NO and anyway it turns out it didn’t matter because he did tag it the first time, but man, that was WEIRD. BECAUSE NOBODY KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYERS. In the sixth, nobody scores and nothing weird happens so fuck it let’s move on. The Mets hit for Harvey, so he’s out. He threw 95 pitches, 64 for strikes, but struck out 8, walked nobody, gave up 3 runs on 5 hits, and hit 2 batters, one of whom was Chase Fucking Utley. The seventh was also boring except that I was hanging out with my Uncle and drinking beers on a spring night watching baseball, which was great, and but so Murphy hit a homer and so the apple came out. In Queens, when a Met hits a home run, a big apple emerges from center field. It’s like a metaphor except it’s real, which I was told by someone prettier than I am is what happens when something is literally the thing that it is. If this doesn’t make any sense, good. Periodically throughout the night a guy named Joe C was coming around to make sure we all were who we said we were because I guess sometimes people aren’t who they say they are, and then need to prove it. Anyway I understand your loneliness Joe C. Sometimes I think about buying a burner just so that somebody will always text me back, too. And then Chase Utley homers to lead off the 8th because Chase Utley is the greatest Phillie since Mike Schmidt who I am too young to have actually seen play and one day in 2007 I sat down in my apartment in Philly on 17th and Mt. Vernon and a game was on and Zeppelin was playing and this guy was at bat and his swing was so fucking compact and amazing and he just smacked the shit out of the ball because baseballs are full of shit, just like the rest of us, and anyway Chase Utley is why I like baseball. He went 3-3 with 2 homers, an RBI single, and they hit him with a pitch so he stole a base.
OK then everyone is basically out and nothing else happens. In the 8th though, Wright singles and steals second, but he pulls his hamstring. The Mets are going with a 4 man bench and have now burned all their position players save one: backup catcher Anthony Recker. So he’s at third if you were wondering who’s at third. A backup fucking catcher. JUST TO RECAP: 4 hit batters, 4 home runs, several misplays at the plate, and a backup fucking catcher is now playing third base. I have not thought about my personal life at all since the moment I saw the diamond, and everyone assembled as though something could happen at any moment, which in this fucking game it did. At every moment either nothing or everything was happening. It was a real Schrödinger’s Cat of Emotions at CitiField. OK now we can go to the ninth. So the Mets are up 6-4, it’s the top of the ninth. Jeff Francoeur, Perennial Rookie of the Year Candidate and All Around Idiot, has been playing right for a hot minute, and he homers. It’s 6-5. Everyone else strikes out. That’s it. That’s the game. Then I went back to Brooklyn.
And holy shit you guys. My team didn’t win but a lot of things happened that normally don’t happen at a ballgame, and they all happened one after another in orders that made little to no sense in terms of a progression of things, and it was just exciting as hell to be there, because as much as I’d have liked to have won [because I get to conflate myself with the team I root for because of metaphor and hometowns and hyperbole and straight foolishness], I got to see something I wouldn’t normally see, and feel almost a part of it. Which is, I think, maybe something.