Let’s Go Mets!

Getting tickets to playoff games can be a maddening experience. It certainly was when I dealt with a scalper to buy tickets for the 1999 Playoffs, but that’s another story for another time.

The Mets actually were smart this year. Knowing they had limited seats, they had fans register for a lottery and those who won were entitled to buy up to 4 tickets for any one game for the first round. A similar lottery was held for the second round. All entries were tossed into a giant pot for the Holy Grail – World Series tickets (should the Mets advance that far).

I won tickets for round one and Deb won for round two so we’re happy people.

Yesterday, we attended the second game of the divisional playoffs, accompanied by Peter and Kathleen David. Haven’t seen Peter since the summer, and he’s looking terrific, having rid himself of unneeded weight.

Every seat and then some were filled and the air was electric with excitement. Before the first pitch, I said to Kathleen, “All I want is for Glavine to pitch a clean game.” I got that and then some as he threw four-hit shutout ball for six innings. In the meantime, the Mets scored four runs and things were moving along.

The offense was steady if unspectacular. The defense was terrific starting with a sparkling play by David Wright in the first and better stuff that followed. And the bullpen has become the story so far, with terrific work from a bunch of unsung heroes.

On a personal level, I loved it that Julio Franco, a few weeks younger than me, managed an RBI pinch hit single that worked because he hustled to beat the throw to first. Every time he goes up and pinch hits, fields or even steals a base, I take some pride in his accomplishments.

We enjoyed the game, enjoyed the crowds and despite returning home after 1 a.m., were delighted to have been in attendance. Now, I just want them to take the first round while still in Los Angeles.

A side note: it didn’t get a lot of play but I thought it was rather classy that San Diego invited Lee Smith, the former Cardinals’ reliever, to throw out the first pitch. Receiving the toss was not the catcher but instead, Trevor Hoffman, the Padres reliever who surpassed Smith in the all-time saves category this season. It was a literal passing of the torch. (And it was nice of the Mets to have the great Ralph Kiner toss the first pitch last night.)