The British pop band Wang Chung recorded the catchy theme to the 1985 film, “To Live and Die in LA.” The song’s lyrics reflect the fact that while the City of Angels attracts many starry-eyed types their dreams are frequently snuffed out rather quickly by cold reality.
I was thinking of the song in light of the Mets’ frustrating trip to Dodger Stadium in which they lost 3 out of 4 games to the home team. The Dodgers are a talented team with a matching big payroll so losing to them is ordinarily not a disgrace.
What was bothersome however was that the Mets had split the first two games and had a three-run lead (8-5) going into the bottom of the ninth inning in the pivotal third game. Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who is normally a sure thing in these game-ending situations, imploded as he gave up four runs to transform a badly needed win to a gut-wrenching loss.
A similar Mets’ debacle in LA in recent history took place literally a decade earlier. In May 2009 Mets outfielder Ryan Church missed touching third base trying to score on a hit and was properly called out which nullified a run. That bonehead faux pas cost the Mets as they went onto lose the game in extra innings. It also became a key reference point for that disappointing season.
It’s to be seen whether last Wednesday’s tough loss will have the same carryover effect but the short-run aftermath had to have been troubling for Mets fans. The Mets’ offense took the following night off as they wasted a fine pitching performance by their much maligned starter, Jason Vargas, losing 2-0.
Our Flushing heroes then moved onto Phoenix where they won the first game of their three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, hanging on by a score of 5-4. The next night history quickly repeated itself however as relievers Jeurys Familia and Robert Gsellman gave up four runs in the eighth inning to turn what appeared to be a 5-1 win for starter Jacob deGrom into what would become a painful 6-5 11-inning loss. The mediocre D’backs won the rubber game of the series the next day, 7-1, which wasn’t a surprise since “Never on Sunday” has become a de factoMets theme song.
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