2010 Gameday

Gameday: Phillies (81-60) at Mets (69-71)

Philadelphia Phillies (81-60) at New York Mets (69-71)

Roy Halladay, RHP, (17-10, 2.36 ERA) vs. Jenrry Mejia, RHP, (0-3, 3.86 ERA)

Time: 7:10 p.m at Citi Field
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 68
Twitter: @philliesnation

I’ve got an uncle who lives in what people up there call Central New Jersey but everyone else calls Greater New York. He’s a Mets and Cowboys fan, but I love him anyway. Since I was old enough to follow sports, he and I have carried on a pointed but friendly repartee about our respective teams–he didn’t rub in the 2000 MLB season too much, and I’ve tried to go easy on references to the 2007 and 2008 division races and the Pickle Juice Game.

But something funny has happened to our dynamic over the past three years or so. I’ve stopped making fun of the Mets in front of my uncle. Entirely. At first, my uncle picked up the slack, taking on the sardonic, jaded, self-loathing tone I knew as an Eagles fan under Rich Kotite and Ray Rhodes, and as a Phillies fan under Terry Francona. But in recent months, even my uncle has stopped making fun of the Mets, and our baseball conversations have turned from back-and-forth barbs to solemn expressions of awe, despair, and bemusement. Long story short, the Mets have moved beyond being a joke that makes itself and into Oakland Raiders territory. Mocking the Mets anymore is, to paraphrase the author Bruce Brooks, not so much like mocking a double amputee as it is like challenging him to a footrace.

On a happier note, the celebration of the Jewish New Year ends about the same time a certain Phillies pitcher takes the mound, meaning that we can go from High Holy Day to Halladay with little or no interruption.

Opposing the good doctor this evening will be a man with parents who hated him so much Chone Figgins’ name looks normal by comparison. Jenrry (pronounced “Henry”) Mejia burst onto the scene this spring, unleashing a thunderbolt fastball and hammer curve from his 6-foot frame. He’s struggled some with his control this year, with almost an even K/BB ratio, but he’s only 20 years old. Not only does his age mean he has time to straighten himself out, but it also makes me feel incredibly inadequate to be 23 and doing nothing more exciting than “grad school.”

Also be sure to check out Corey Seidman’s interview by Frank Gray of Mets Gazette. They talked high-points, low-points, and about the upcoming series.

Lineup: Victorino (CF), Polanco (3B), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Ibanez (LF), Ruiz (C), Valdez (SS), Halladay (P)

Your gameday beer: Old Crow Bourbon Whiskey

If you’re watching nine innings of Mets baseball, beer just ain’t going to cut it. And come to think of it, Citi Field this season has been the site of some offensive displays that make a kindergarten slapfight look like Operation Rolling Thunder by comparison. The point is, if the Phillies manage 4 hits and a walk and lose 3-1, you’ll wish by the end of the night that you had tried sterner stuff than that MGD 64 you’ve been nursing all night. Fortune Brands, which owns Old Crow, makes some spirits you might actually want to drink (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Sauza Tequila), but this is bottom-shelf rotgut. It’ll make you wish for death.– Michael Baumann


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