This, My Friends, Is Why We Don’t Leave Games Early

I’m an eternal optimist. I mean, sure, I’m typically snarky and sarcastic, and I have a terrible potty mouth.. but I always try to find the bright side of things, and I don’t give up on my teams until the very end. It drives me absolutely bonkers when my husband turns off a game out of frustration because our teams may have seemingly blown it. HE TURNED OFF the Minneapolis Miracle game just before the most epic play in Vikings history happened and we missed the whole thing. So I present to you, reason number eleventy billion why you need to stick it out until the very end.

Before I get into the unbelievable story from Tuesday night, we need some backstory. In the NL Wild Card race, we have the Nationals and Cubs in the top two spots. But there are still a few teams that are trying really hard to swoop into that number two spot – the Phillies and Diamondbacks are 2.5 and 3.5 games behind the Cubs, and the Brewers and Mets, while not totally eliminated, have the tiniest sliver of a chance to catch up, being 4 and 5 games back. Now, we all know that the Brewers and Mets probably won’t be able to leapfrog into that #2 spot. But the Mets, what with their amped up pitching, Pete Alonzo hitting bombs all over, and their absolute refusal to roll over and die, are trying really hard to stay alive. Even I, the eternal optimist, know that their chances are basically nil, but their magic number for elimination is still 20, with 24 games remaining sooooooo it COULD happen, right?

So the Mets, trying their hardest to get a win as they come up on series (serieses? what is the plural?) with the Phillies and Diamondbacks, were at the Nationals on Tuesday night. They thought they had the game in the bag after a 5 run top of the 9th, and a lead of 10-4. Many Nats fans likely decided to beat the rush out of the stadium and high tailed it out of there, frustrated that the Nationals’ 2 run rally in the 8th wasn’t going to be enough to put the game in reach after all. Even Max Scherzer, the game’s starter that went 6 innings, admitted that he had stopped watching the game in the 9th.

But wait!

The bottom of the 9th is upon us. Thus begins the emotional roller coaster:

  • Victor Robles gets on base with a single. Still 10-4, no outs.
  • Howie Kendrick flies out. Still 10-4, 1 out.
  • Trea Turner doubles, Robles scores. 10-5, 1 out.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera singles, Turner to 3rd. Still 10-5, still 1 out.
  • Anthony Rendon singles, Turner scores, Cabrera to 2nd. Score is now 10-6, still just 1 out.
  • Mets start to sweat a bit. Luis Avilan comes in to pitch for Paul Sewald.
  • Juan Soto singles. Cabrera to 3rd, Rendon to 2nd. Bases are now loaded, still 10-6, still 1 out. Mets are just praying for a double play at this point, and they bring in Edwin Diaz to pitch.
  • Nationals counter the pitching change with a pinch hitter. Ryan Zimmerman comes in and lines a double, scoring Cabrera and Rendon, Soto is at 3rd. Score is now 10-8, STILL just 1 out. Mets are now collectively shitting themselves. Nats replace Zimmerman with the speedier Michael Taylor, just in case they get a chance to tie it up.
  • Kurt Suzuki hits a 3 run home run. GAME. OVER.

Any Nats fans that had been in attendance but then had to hear this all go down from outside of the stadium are no doubt kicking themselves for leaving early. I guarantee you, there is at least a handful of people in the DC area this morning getting an earful from their significant other for leaving or turning off the game early. Kids are probably furious with their parents for making them go to bed at a reasonable time on a school night, causing them to miss this. Hopefully this game will remind people that Yogi Berra and Lenny Kravitz had it right when they said “It ain’t over til it’s over.” Let this be a lesson to us all, my friends. NEVER. LEAVE. EARLY.

TL/DR: Nationals mounted an epic comeback. Never leave or turn off a game until it’s officially over. #lifelessons

PS! Don’t forget to enter Moonshots and Mustard’s contest for a free pair of Twins/Indians tickets for this upcoming Saturday’s battle for the AL Central! Winner will be chosen live this evening.

What say you, readers? Leave a comment below.