Here's a little trivia question for you: Who hit the last grand slam by a pitcher at Shea Stadium?
The answer probably is Jason Marquis.
And unfortunately, Kingman Sr. and I were there to see it Monday night as the Cubs pummeled the Mets 9-5.
The last regular season Monday night game was sadly not one to remember. Jonathan Niese could not repeat the success of his last outing, despite a strong first inning and a curve ball that practically drops hitters to their knees.
More pitcher trivia. Did you know Niese was born in 1986, on the day the Mets won the 7th game of the World Series? Now how old do you feel?
On a positive note, Ed Kranepool pulled down the Shea number to reveal 7 more games at the stadium (7. Get it?). As Met fans know, Kranepool was a Met for practically the first two decades of the team's existence. There was a time as a kid when I couldn't imagine the Mets without Kranepool. But time caught up with him and soon time (or is it greed) will catch up with Shea as well.
Meanwhile, it was "rally towel" night at Shea. Without fear of hyperbole, I can say the giveaway towel is the single worst item ever distributed at a Shea turnstile. The "towel" was about as big as a handkerchief but not as finely made. Fans were throwing them away in the garbage cans about 15 steps away from where they had received the little gems.
As for the game itself...did I mention the Cubs pitcher hitting a grand slam? Marquis drove in another run later.
The Mets are now 2.5 games behind the Phillies and one precious game ahead of the Brewers in the wild card. Santana goes tonight and I will be at Loge13 tomorrow to witness more of Shea's last week. Tomorrow is also the anniversary of the Mets clinching in 1969.