Maybe Jerry Manuel just didn't want his final game to end. Why else would he pull his two best hitters, David Wright and Jose Reyes, in the ninth inning, just so they could leave the field to standing ovations? It's the sort of thing you do when the game has already been decided, not when it's a 1-1 tie and neither team is generating any offense. When the game went into extra innings, the announcers soon began making comparisons to April's 20-inning game.
Sure, it didn't really matter who won or lost the game (though a Met win would have given them a tie for third with Florida instead of a second straight fourth-place finish). But the few remaining fans at Citi Field would doubtless have preferred to save their cheers for the end of the game with a walkoff win, which now had that much less of a chance of happening.
The game staggered into the 14th inning (with Reyes and Wright's lineup spots batting twice each) before Manuel decided it was time to put this miserable season out of its misery.
He brought in Oliver Perez.
For me, the highlight of the game came when Ollie actually struck out the first batter he faced and the remaining fans began a loud chant of "M-V-P!" Ollie, perhaps panicked by what he took to be increased expectations, quickly reverted to form and hit the next batter before walking the next three to force in a run.
Now the game, and season, were all but over. But Manuel had one last dubious managerial decision left. Pat Misch pitched eight innings on Friday night, but that didn't stop Manuel from bringing him back to pitch in relief on one day's rest. The way Manuel deals with injuries and injury risk, his next job really should be in football. Fortunately, it only took Misch three pitches to get out of the inning with a double play.
Now the Mets are done and I get to hear Squawker Lisa get insulted over the Yankees selling wild card t-shirts. Met fans don't even get "Tied for Third Place" t-shirts. At least we have our own postseason fireworks to look forward to, perhaps as early as Monday. Regime change can't come soon enough.