Friday, April 29, 2005

Nats go deep...Seo deep!

When you consider that Jae Seo was perilously close to being out of the organization not so long ago, it really is amazing that he's giving the New York Mets good innings in 2005. But tonight, Seo was victimized by the longball and didn't get any support from the bats as the Mets dropped under .500 in a 5-1 loss at RFK Stadium tonight to the Washington Nationals (12-11).

Seo went 5 innings, only giving up 3 hits and one walk. Unfortunately the 3 hits were solo home runs, and one of them was against the opposing pitcher, Livan Hernandez. As unforgivable as that sin is, the starting lineup, and once again the bullpen, failed to provide any support. The Mets (11-12) actually mustered 10 hits but couldn't get the big one when it counted against Hernandez, which was much the same story when Livan faced the Mets last Sunday. That day at Shea, the first four batters reached base as Mike Piazza drove in three runs with a double, but couldn't knock him out. Same story tonight as Hernandez pitched like a bulldog.

Seo also gave up dingers to Jose Guillen (his 6th) in the 4th, and catcher Brian Schneider's second in the 5th before giving up Hernandez's first jack of the year. Reliever Heath Bell didn't take long to make sure the Mets were out of range, giving up two runs in the 6th in just eleven pitches. Bell got the first two outs before hitting Guillen (good thing this wasn't a Red Sox/Devil Rays game or else there may have been a rumble after that), walking Termel Sledge, then giving up a two run double to Vinny "If I played my whole career in Coors Field I'd be a Hall of Famer" Castilla giving the Nats a 5-1 lead.

The Mets tried a patented ninth inning comeback off of Luis Ayala, putting runners on first and third with one out via a Cristian Guzman throwing error putting Jose Reyes on base and a Kaz Matsui single. This is a good sign. See, during the Mets heydey in the 80's and early 90's, win or lose, Mets teams more often than not made some noise in the 9th with a hit or two. Under Art "We Battled" Howe, the Mets frequently went down 1-2-3 in the last frame. This alone is a sign that the team is under much better leadership now than in recent seasons. But the big boys couldn't get that elusive big hit, as Chad Cordero relieved Ayala and struck out Carlos Beltran. Then Mike Piazza meekly grounded to short for the final out.

The bats have to pick up tomorrow night against Nats starter Zach Day. With Victor "are my ten minutes up yet" Zambrano headed to the hill, things could get mighty ugly. This game will be on free TV for Time Warner cable customers, but Zambrano might make fans wish the game was blacked out.

Diamond Ring: Lefty Royce Ring, who joined the Mets organization via the Robby "Definition of Bust" Alomar trade, made his Mets debut tonight in the 8th, inducing a fly out by Sledge for the final out in the inning.

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