You could cut the tension at Citizens Bank Park with a child's plastic spork.
Lead changes. Tie ballgame late. Extra innings. One hit could end it all.
SOMEONE WAS GOING TO WIN THIS GAME. THE LEAGUE MANDATES THAT ALL GAMES HAVE WINNERS. THERE WAS NO ESCAPE.
The Phillies and Mets played baseball Friday night until one of them scored at least one more run than the other team and had retired the required number of players in order to complete the game. It took more than the standard nine innings, but when it was over, one of the teams was declared the "winner."
Whoever wins this game, whether the Mets or the Phillies, gets the honor of finishing fourth in the NL East. Lots at stake here.— Bill Baer (@CrashburnAlley) May 31, 2014
Being forced to watch this Mets / Phillies game is punishment for shoplifting in some countries— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) May 31, 2014
SEND BOOZE— Dennis Deitch (@DennisDeitch) May 31, 2014
You sit through 11 innings of a Mets Phillies game you should get the Congressional Medal of Honor— Sean (@SeanWats) May 31, 2014
Franzke - "Where else would you rather be?" LA - "Do you want me to answer that?" Franzke - "No, no I don't"— Franzke & LA (@FranzkeLA) May 31, 2014
this game could possibly last forever— kurtwearshats (@kurtwearshats) May 31, 2014
Oh yes, it was an unforgettable night at the ballpark.
There were many details that led us to our ultimate destination. The Metropolitans took a 3-0 lead in the 2nd off of A.J. Burnett, thanks to a Lucas Duda RBI double, a Travis d'Arnaud RBI groundout and a Ruben Tejada RBI single.
The Phils answered in the bottom of the 3rd with a Chase Utley RBI groundout, then took a 4-3 lead on a Domonic Brown three-run home run in the bottom of the 4th, only to see the Mets jump back on top in the top of the 5th, thanks to a 2-run double by our old friend Bobby Abreu. A Brown RBI groundout in the bottom of the 5th knotted the score at 5...
...and then we all sat around for what seemed like six blissful hours, watching two teams play riveting, scoreless baseball. We saw a home plate umpire get hit in his special place by a wild pitch. We saw Bob Abreu steal his 400th career base. We saw a rare 1-2-3 inning from Antonio Bastardo.
We saw lots of things. Then, it finally happened.
In the bottom of the 14th, Chris Young, ironically playing right field as a defensive replacement for Abreu, dropped a routine Marlon Byrd lead-off fly ball in the wind, resulting in a two-base error. Carlos Ruiz followed with a single to center that put runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. Cesar Hernandez was intentionally walked to load the bases.
REID BRIGNAC? REID BRIGNAC. WALK-OFF SINGLE. GAME OVER. Phils win 6-5 and force a TIE FOR FOURTH PLACE in the NL East.
Ah, but the calendar is ever-turning, friends. It is a relentless beast, galloping forward, charging, bucking, nostrils flaring. Tonight turns into tomorrow, which is where we will find our heroes once again.
In fact, there are still three more of these taut, madcap events yet to go this weekend. And because you won't be able to wait until the evening for a third night in a row, baseball will be played in the afternoon, thus allowing your body to more easily ramp down following the excitement you witnessed tonight.