Mets-Cardinals: A 20-Inning, 20-Part Play

Saturday's Mets-Cardinals game lasted 20 innings, the first 18 of which were scoreless. After six hours and fifty-three minutes, the Mets finally won by a 2-1 score. This play is loosely based upon the events of said game.

 


ACT I. FIRST INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

JOHN MAINE. I read this scientific study the other day. It said that if you spend the majority of your waking hours sitting down, no matter what, you run up your risk for illness.
JENRRY MEJIA. Yeah?
JOHN MAINE. Yeah. You increase your risk of getting heart disease, certain forms of cancer, all that.
JENRRY MEJIA. Yeah, but only if you don't exercise.
JOHN MAINE. No, even if you do exercise. That's what I'm saying. You can spend most of your day sitting down doing nothing, and then run ten miles or lift weights or whatever, but all that sitting down will mess you up if you give it long enough.
JENRRY MEJIA. Well, we sit down a lot. What happens to us?
JOHN MAINE. I don't know.

 



ACT II. SECOND INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

HENRY BLANCO. Here comes Al.
ALEX CORA. Al?
HENRY BLANCO. Yeah.
ALEX CORA. What, are you his friend?
HENRY BLANCO. Yeah!
ALEX CORA. I mean, I tagged him up once when I was in LA. We did that hug thing you always do after you tag a guy up during a blowout. But I'm not about to call him my friend.
HENRY BLANCO. Well, I... look. Albert flied out.
ALEX CORA. Ha! I just called you on your s***.
HENRY BLANCO. What?
ALEX CORA. You just called him Albert.
HENRY BLANCO. Well, I--
ALEX CORA. No, it's fine. I get it. You've played for a while, and you wanted to call him Al. So did Cesar.
HENRY BLANCO. Cesar who?
ALEX CORA. Izturis. Just sit and watch. You're good at that.

 


ACT III. THIRD INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

JENRRY MEJIA. Maine says we're gonna die because we sit like this.
OLIVER PEREZ. Sit like how?
JENRRY MEJIA. I mean, he says we expose ourselves to health issues if we sit down all day.
OLIVER PEREZ. But we exercise.
JENRRY MEJIA. No, but this study he read says that exercise doesn't matter. If we're in a sedentary position for too much of the day, we're gonna have health problems.
OLIVER PEREZ. How come?
JENRRY MEJIA. I don't know. Maybe we don't move around enough, and our blood doesn't circulate enough or something?
OLIVER PEREZ. What about all those people in comas? You don't see them moving around.
JENRRY MEJIA. Maybe they still have life energy.
OLIVER PEREZ. What?
JENRRY MEJIA. Life energy. Like they had in The X-Files.

 


 

ACT IV. FOURTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

RYAN LUDWICK. Hey, Al.
ALBERT PUJOLS.
Yeah?
RYAN LUDWICK. Any tips for Santana?
ALBERT PUJOLS. What?
RYAN LUDWICK. Santana.
RYAN LUDWICK. ...Johan Santana. The pitcher.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Oh. Swing at good pitches and don't swing at bad pitches.
RYAN LUDWICK. Well, that's obvious, but--
ALBERT PUJOLS. I'm taking a nap.
RYAN LUDWICK. No you aren't.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Go away.
RYAN LUDWICK. You're playing Tetris.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Leave me the f*** alone.

 


 

ACT V. FIFTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

OLIVER PEREZ. Did you even watch The X-Files?
JENRRY MEJIA. No... my sister had a Scully poster on her wall. Scully had this green glowing thing behind her, and it had "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE" in spooky letters.
OLIVER PEREZ. I'm gonna go get some Gatorade.
JENRRY MEJIA. Could you bring me back some?
OLIVER PEREZ. No!
JENRRY MEJIA. Why not?
OLIVER PEREZ. How often do you see guys in the bullpen walking around and double-fisting Gatorade? Get your own Gatorade!
JENRRY MEJIA. Well one time I was watching a basketball game, and Hakeem Olajuwon refused to get his own Gatorade.
OLIVER PEREZ. Yes. Because he wouldn't drink Gatorade. Because it was a day game during Ramadan, and he is a Muslim.
JENRRY MEJIA. That's racist.

 


 

ACT VI. SIXTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

DENNYS REYES. And...Garcia just grounded out. Three innings. One hit in the entire game so far, right?
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Yeah, I think so.
DENNYS REYES. That's what I don't get about this sport. I mean, look at football. The offense might not score every time, but it does something. Even in soccer, or basketball, or hockey, when possession changes at least twice a minute, something happens. In baseball, a whole possession, if you want to call it that, can end without the offense ever doing much of anything.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. You don't get this sport. But you play it. Good to know.
DENNYS REYES. Which reminds me. How does the infield fly rule work?
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Well, it's subject to the umpire's interpretation, but in most cases a player is out if he tries to steal second.
DENNYS REYES. Always?
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. No. "In most cases." If the base-stealer's jersey number is an even number, divide by four. If it's an odd number, divide by five. If the result is a composite number, he's called safe.
DENNYS REYES. God. I was an accountant once. I left to play sports because I wanted to get away from the cold equations. Now I'm a baseball player, and what do you know? I need a calculator to understand it.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. It's a little thing called life. Shut up and take the money.

 


 

ACT VII. SEVENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

ALEX CORA. Why are you wearing your vest?
HENRY BLANCO. Because I'm a catcher.
ALEX CORA. Yes, you are employed as a catcher, but you aren't catching right now.
HENRY BLANCO. Alex, have you ever played second base?
ALEX CORA. Yes.
HENRY BLANCO. Then you're a second baseman.
ALEX CORA. Uh.
HENRY BLANCO. Look at this catcher's vest. There are horizontal bumps on it. I bet that if you wanted to, you could do your laundry on it. Like they did in the old days. With a washboard. Do second basemen ever wear anything cool?
ALEX CORA. You're missing the point of a washboard. A washboard has slits in it. That way, the dirt and grime are filtered out.
HENRY BLANCO. Why do you always do this? Can't you just humor me? For once?
ALEX CORA. Is that what you want?
HENRY BLANCO. Why am I your friend?
ALEX CORA. Whoa, whoa, this is a one-way street. I sit here because I'm paid to sit here. No other reason.

 


 

ACT VIII. EIGHTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

RYAN LUDWICK. C'mon, Matt!
ALBERT PUJOLS. What?
RYAN LUDWICK. Matt's up.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Matt?
RYAN LUDWICK. Matt Holliday.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Oh, right.
RYAN LUDWICK. What are you-- you're still playing Tetris?
ALBERT PUJOLS. Yeah.
RYAN LUDWICK. That's the most f***ing stupid...what level are you on?
ALBERT PUJOLS. Level 10. It's the highest level.
RYAN LUDWICK. How can you play it when the pieces are moving so fast?
ALBERT PUJOLS. Well, the simple answer is that I play it while people don't bother me.
RYAN LUDWICK. Sorry.
ALBERT PUJOLS. See, that's called a Tetris. When you clear four lines in a row.
RYAN LUDWICK. Wait, it's called a Tetris? Is that why they called the game that?
ALBERT PUJOLS. Could you leave me alone for a minute? I'm kind of busy here. Go stand up and get some Gatorade or something. Stand up. Sitting down all day isn't good for you.
RYAN LUDWICK. Um, okay. Do you want me to bring you back some Gatorade?
ALBERT PUJOLS. No!

 


 

ACT IX. NINTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

OLIVER PEREZ. I was talking to Mejia.
JOHN MAINE. Yeah?
OLIVER PEREZ. Yeah. He says that you say that if we live sedentary lifestyles, we're going to die.
JOHN MAINE. That's it, more or less.
OLIVER PEREZ. And you're okay with that?
JOHN MAINE. Well, I'm not happy about it. But we're pitchers. It's our lot in life.
JOHN MAINE. What are you doing?
OLIVER PEREZ. I'm doing jumping jacks. I don't want to die.
JOHN MAINE. You're not going to die! I mean, you're not going to die soon! I mean, you have decades to live before you even have to start to worry about it!
OLIVER PEREZ. I only have one life to live. I'm not going to abbreviate it for the sake of less worry in my life.
JOHN MAINE. Quantity over quality, huh?
OLIVER PEREZ. No doubt.

 


 

ACT X. TENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

ALLEN CRAIG. I'm bored. You want to play Solitaire?
FELIPE LOPEZ. No.
ALLEN CRAIG. I have a deck of cards right here.
FELIPE LOPEZ. Solitaire is a solitary game.
ALLEN CRAIG. Well, when I was a boy I played Solitaire with my mother.
FELIPE LOPEZ. Well, you are a strange person.

 


 

ACT XI. ELEVENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

JOHN MAINE. Please stop doing jumping jacks. What if the TV cameras see you?
OLIVER PEREZ. Then the TV cameras see me and I live ten years longer than I otherwise would.
JOHN MAINE. Look, it was just some stupid thing I read on the Internet.
OLIVER PEREZ. Don't patronize me!


ACT XII. TWELFTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

DENNYS REYES.
You know, historically speaking, the major American sports were adopted in this country with inverse respect to when they were originally conceived.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. What do you mean?
DENNYS REYES. All right. Well, American baseball was invented in 1845 by Alexander Cartwright. The first football game was played in 1869. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Sure.
DENNYS REYES. Well, the Mayans played a distant variant of basketball centuries before the Europeans played any organizational level of football, and even if you want to chalk up baseball as a distant variant of cricket, cricket wasn't even conceived of until the 16th century. Think about it!
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Think about what? Am I supposed to take some sort of lesson away from this?
DENNYS REYES. No, I suppose not.

 


ACT XIII. THIRTEENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

HENRY BLANCO. Oh my God. I have to bat.
ALEX CORA. I had to bat in the tenth. It's not a big deal.
HENRY BLANCO. How am I going to bat with all this stuff on?
ALEX CORA. You can take your catcher's stuff off before you bat.
HENRY BLANCO. Are you sure? Won't I get fined?
ALEX CORA. No.
HENRY BLANCO. I'm still scared. I'm thinking about running back into the clubhouse right now. Tell them I slipped in the hotel shower and sprained my skull.
ALEX CORA. You can't sprain your... no. Come on, man. Just go up there and make an appearance.
HENRY BLANCO. I don't know.
ALEX CORA. Just swing. Don't look at the pitch. Swing.
HENRY BLANCO. Okay.

{INTERMISSION]

HENRY BLANCO. I flied out!
ALEX CORA. That's my man!
HENRY BLANCO. It was a rush. You know there are tens of thousands of people out there watching you? That was amazing.
ALEX CORA. Tens of...what?
HENRY BLANCO. Tens of thousands of...are you okay?
ALEX CORA. Call the team doctor.
HENRY BLANCO. YOU NEVER TOLD ME WE HAD A DOCTOR!

 


ACT XIV. FOURTEENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

RYAN LUDWICK. Block piece next.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Thanks.
RYAN LUDWICK. Plank.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Thanks.
RYAN LUDWICK. T-shape.
ALBERT PUJOLS. T-shape.
RYAN LUDWICK. Another plank.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Roger.
RYAN LUDWICK. Oh my God. Three lines.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Yeah, that was good, that...
RYAN LUDWICK. Another plank.
ALBERT PUJOLS. AAAHH!
RYAN LUDWICK. TETRIS!
ALBERT PUJOLS. Okay, okay.
RYAN LUDWICK. Okay. L-shape next.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Which L-shape?
RYAN LUDWICK. The kind where it's upside-down.
ALBERT PUJOLS. I can flip it, it doesnt matter if it's upside-down! Which one?
RYAN LUDWICK. The one where--
ALBERT PUJOLS. That's it.
RYAN LUDWICK. I...I'm sorry, man.
ALBERT PUJOLS. F***.
RYAN LUDWICK. Sorry.

 


ACT XV. FIFTEENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

OLIVER PEREZ. Look. I'm scared about all this "sitting down is deadly" stuff. Mejia told me about it, but are you serious?
JOHN MAINE. Yes.
OLIVER PEREZ. You looked it up?
JOHN MAINE. Yes, I did.
OLIVER PEREZ. Don't you worry?
JOHN MAINE. No, I got up and served as a pinch-runner in the 13th.
OLIVER PEREZ. I haven't played all game! I sit around all day for four out of five games! And we've played fifteen innings, and I've been sitting down the whole time!
JOHN MAINE. There's a difference between awareness and worry. Learn to recognize the difference, then proceed accordingly. In the meantime, there's no reason to get all shook about it. Pull your head out of your butt hole.

 


ACT XVI. SIXTEENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

DENNYS REYES. Thanks for relieving me back in the 14th.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH.
Well, La Russa called me in, so it wasn't really my choice to make, but you're welcome.
DENNYS REYES. I wonder whether we're athletes.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. How do you mean?
DENNYS REYES. Well, we possess exceptional talent, no doubt. We wouldn't be in the major leagues otherwise. But are we athletes in the classical sense?
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. I refuse to participate in a debate over what is or isn't a sport, or who are or aren't athletes, because the argument is entirely irrelevant. I am one of the most very obscure of major league pitchers, but when I pitch, people approve, because I continue, no matter how nondescriptively, the narrative of baseball that has spanned for centuries and branched out into tens of thousands of storylines. It means something to people.
DENNYS REYES. Whoa, we're in the sixteenth inning.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Yes, and how many games of baseball are played every year?
DENNYS REYES. Let's see... 30 teams times 162 equals 4860... divided by 2 teams per game equals 2430... plus, assuming an average of four games per division series, 20... plus, assuming 6 LCS games and 6 World Series games... throw in a divisional or wild-card tiebreaker for fun... two thousand, four hundred and sixty-three games.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. We're close to playing the equivalent of one more game.
DENNYS REYES. One more game. Why does it matter?
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. It's baseball, that's why.

 


ACT XVII. SEVENTEENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. CARDINALS AT BAT.

OLIVER PEREZ. Do you believe in God?
JOHN MAINE. Uh...I'd rather not talk about it, if it's okay with you.
OLIVER PEREZ. If I'm going to die for the sake of sitting on a bench during my 20s and 30s, I need to know.
JOHN MAINE. Do you need to know whether there's a God, or whether I believe in a God?
OLIVER PEREZ. Either. Both.
JOHN MAINE. All right. Well, I place a reasonable amount of faith in the scientific community. They harnessed electricity, they developed transistors, and they invented the microprocessor. Each of these, and many others, are beyond the layman's understanding. These disciplines rely on the science of chemistry, which empirically validates the theory of Evolution. I must draw the conclusion that if there is a God, God takes a passive approach toward our development as a species.
OLIVER PEREZ. But doesn't baseball contradict the Darwinian model of Evolution?
JOHN MAINE. How do you mean?
OLIVER PEREZ. Well, to take one example... why do the Royals possess both the best uniform and the worst record in the American League? There's something to be said about market size, sure, but birds of more desirable plumage tend to court their potential mates with greater success.
JOHN MAINE. Hmm.
OLIVER PEREZ. Yeah.
JOHN MAINE. Well, perhaps God is active, but if so, God chooses to act sparingly and specifically.
OLIVER PEREZ. Fair enough.
JOHN MAINE. Whoa, look! Jimenez just threw a no-hitter!
OLIVER PEREZ. Ubaldo Jimenez? From the Rockies?
JOHN MAINE. Yeah! He no-hit the Braves!
OLIVER PEREZ. Ha, the Braves. Hope springs eternal, but winning doesn't! Better check the pipes, fellas!

 


ACT XVIII. EIGHTEENTH INNING. METS 0, CARDINALS 0. METS AT BAT.

FELIPE LOPEZ. What inning is it?
ALLEN CRAIG. Bottom of the... 18th.
FELIPE LOPEZ. Let's play some Hold 'Em. Heads-up.
ALLEN CRAIG. Okay.
FELIPE LOPEZ. All right, I'm big blind, you're small.
ALLEN CRAIG. Fold-check.
FELIPE LOPEZ. What?
ALLEN CRAIG. I check the fold.
FELIPE LOPEZ. Do you know how to play poker?
ALLEN CRAIG. No. But my flopcheck still stands.
FELIPE LOPEZ. Come on, man.
ALLEN CRAIG. If you're rather stare at a baseball game during which nobody has scored in six hours, be my guest.
FELIPE LOPEZ. Sigh. Fine. I fold-check the flop...wait, what are you doing?
ALLEN CRAIG. I'm picking ten cards, shuffling them into a fan, and holding them in front of my face!
FELIPE LOPEZ. Why?
ALLEN CRAIG. I'M A POKER GUY!
FELIPE LOPEZ. I was supposed to be home three hours ago, you know that?
ALLEN CRAIG. GO FISH!

 


ACT XIX. NINETEENTH INNING. METS 1, CARDINALS 1. CARDINALS AT BAT.

RYAN LUDWICK. Okay, I got thrown out stealing.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Hahahaha.
RYAN LUDWICK. If I hadn't attempted to steal, we would have won and the game would be over.
ALBERT PUJOLS. True.
RYAN LUDWICK. Time to play more Tetris.
ALBERT PUJOLS. True.
RYAN LUDWICK. Next piece is a T-shape.
ALBERT PUJOLS. Thanks.
RYAN LUDWICK. How are you so good at Tetris?
ALBERT PUJOLS. I have dedicated my life to pursuing objectively trivial talents that may or may not pay me a lot of money.
RYAN LUDWICK. Oh.
ALBERT PUJOLS. I can fit 13 Micro Machines into my belly button. Want to see?

 


ACT XX. TWENTIETH INNING. METS 1, CARDINALS 1. METS AT BAT.

BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. There's the game.
DENNYS REYES. Yep. We lost.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. And it took...six hours and fifty-three minutes.
DENNYS REYES. Hmm. Everyone who watched this could have watched the first seven episodes of The Wire.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Wow, yeah. The first seven episodes of a television show so great that it transcends its medium.
DENNYS REYES. Or they could have watched the entire first season of Breaking Bad.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Good Lord, that's such a good show. Also, they could be well on their way to finishing the Man With No Name trilogy.
DENNYS REYES. We shouldn't feel guilty, though. The people who watched this game did so because they have already watched the things we just mentioned.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. True.
DENNYS REYES. Well, I suppose it's time to hit the showers.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Oh, I almost forgot. They could have watched Raging Bull.
DENNYS REYES. Good point. They could have watched one of the greatest acting performances in the history of cinema, twice.
BLAKE HAWKSWORTH. Also, they could have watched the 1980 US vs. Russia Olympic hockey game, as well as the hit 2004 film "Miracle."
DENNYS REYES. But as you said... this was baseball.
DENNYS REYES. It wasn't just baseball. It was April baseball.

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