Timmy Trumpet not playing ‘Narco’ has Edwin Diaz, Mets reminder

Let the trumpets play. Let Timmy Trumpet do his thing live for the Citi Field crowd, with a Hollywood opponent in town and the US Open going down next door, just to show how the Mets can be the biggest act in this town, or in any town, when the home team has the lead in the ninth.

That was the goal before Tuesday night’s Mets-Dodgers opener, before an Australian visitor named Timothy Jude Smith, who goes by Timmy Trumpet, threw out a looping ceremonial first pitch then took a lunar leap into the arms of his catcher, Tyler Naquin. The 40-year-old musician and former childhood cricket player had never before attended a baseball game, and yet his spirit has been so present in Queens for five joyous months.

“Narco” belongs to Trumpet, to his Dutch collaborators Blasterjaxx, to Edwin Diaz, and to the entire fan base. It’s New York’s summer anthem of 2022, and when I asked the VIP dressed in a Mets jersey graced by Diaz’s No. 39 what inspired him to come up with the song, this is what he said:

“I was kind of thinking about being on a horse galloping into battle.”

Does anything describe Diaz’s journey from bullpen to the mound better than that?

But here’s the problem, and the only problem, with that journey: It’s never guaranteed. The Mets have to do an awful lot of things right to get Diaz on the mound, and Tuesday night, damn it, Buck Showalter couldn’t get him there.

It didn’t take much to wreck this happy ending. Three out of four Mets relievers did their jobs (Mychal Givens pitched two scoreless innings), but Joely Rodriguez faltered in the seventh inning and turned a 3-3 game into what would be a 4-3 Dodgers victory.

One disappointing and rainy night against a great team isn’t the end of the world, especially when Jacob deGrom is pitching the middle game, and when Timmy Trumpet promises to return for that start like he did on the way out of the building Tuesday night .

Dishes
Edwin Diaz and Timmy Trumpet at Citi Field.
Stefan Jeremiah

“I’m really happy,” Diaz said of Trumpet’s decision to be there Wednesday night. “I think he’s coming back because I didn’t pitch [Tuesday]so I hope I can get the ball [Wednesday] and hear the trumpets.”

Diaz said he was going to pitch the 10th inning in the event his teammates tied it in the ninth. Of course, they couldn’t even tie it in the ninth against a pitcher they’d DFA’d earlier this year, Jake Reed, who had an 11.37 ERA in five games with the Mets. Reed celebrated his first career save by doing a dance worthy of fifth-set tiebreaker victory in the US Open final.

Meanwhile, the Mets wore the body language of lost opportunity. Though it was merely a temporary setback, it spoke to this long-term truth about the team’s postseason goals:

They are only as good as the number of times they hand Edwin Diaz the ball.

Against the growing possibility that the closer would never appear Tuesday night, Timmy Trumpet — who had shown up at Citi Field wearing dark shades and a Frank Sinatra fedora — was summoned from his own bullpen in the seventh to play “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and to fire a T-shirt launcher into the crowd. It wasn’t “Narco,” but hey, it was something.

Charles Wenzelberg/New York Po

All in all, it was a fun day to be at the ballpark, even after fighting the tennis traffic. The Mets had the game’s best closer spend some time on the field with Trumpet. With mixed results, Diaz tried teaching him how to grip a ball and throw it. They answered questions near the Mets’ dugout about their improbable cosmic connection, and Trumpet jumped out on the grass and delivered a quick rendition for the assembled press. He’d also practiced some on the third-base side with the trumpet-playing Mr. and Mrs. Met.

“A lot of pressure,” Showalter grumbled before the start of his pregame press conference. “I’ve got to bring [Diaz] in regardless?”

Someone wanted to know the answer to that question.

“No,” the manager shot back, “[Trumpet] will be back for other games.”

Dishes
Timmy Trumpet is at Citi Field
Robert Sabo

Trumpet will be back for one more, then is scheduled to leave the country Thursday for a Friday show in Singapore then a Saturday show in Thailand. No, this isn’t going to be easy. Why couldn’t the 43-win Nationals be in town instead of the 90-win Dodgers, who aren’t in the habit of cooperating with the opposition’s plans?

Either way, the comical pressure to deliver Diaz a live Trumpet performance spoke to the not-so-comical pressure of what his team will face when seeing the likes of the Dodgers in October. If the Mets are to win the whole thing one season earlier than Steve Cohen’s three-to-five-year projection, they’ll have to make sure a certain someone gets in the games. The biggest games.

“I can’t wait to see Diaz play this [song] at the World Series, for a victory,” Trumpet said. “I’ll be there for that one.”

But only if the Mets can get their all-world closer the ball

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