"Dying mules have a few kicks left."
This quote has been attributed to
- Mike Piazza discussing the late stages of his career
- Omar Minaya trying to trade Mike Piazza
- John Franco at the unemployment line
Obviously, the correct answer is 1. It can be 2, but after taking three of four from the first place Nats, it probably will not be as the Mets continue to try to convince us all that they will be buyers.
Piazza's 3 hits were the driving force behind today's 3-2 eleven inning win, stopping the Nationals one-run victory streak, and also their streak of home series wins, which started in April. Dying Mule tied the game with a double in the fourth, then after a single in the seventh, Piazza came up in the 11th after a Carlos Beltran double and Cliff Floyd was walked to set up the double play.
After Piazza's dying quail landed in short right, Jose Guillen (more on him later) tried to chuck out Beltran at the plate but Beltran was safe and the Mets took a 3-2 lead. Then the Mets played their new game of "Let's Create Outs". If Mike Piazza knew that dying mules have a few kicks left, then why didn't he know that dying mules can't take second base off of Brian Schneider? Piazza was out trying to take second after the ball got about two inches away from Schneider. Then Cliff Floyd tried to score, but Jamey Carroll made a great play to get the ball back home and Floyd was out. So the Nats did get the double play, but it was a 9-2-6-2 DP and the Mets took the lead for good as Braden Looper nailed down the save.
Credit Kris Benson for getting in and out of trouble all day, and for getting out of a bases loaded jam and Bowling Ball Baerga at the plate in the 5th. It had all the makings of Baerga getting his first big hit in 12 years, but after getting to 3-1, Benson made good pitches and got it done. He's shown all the heart and toughness that Lloyd McClendon claimed he didn't have...too bad Benson will miss the upcoming Pirate series.
Heath Bell almost sunk the Mets by walking recent Zephyr Matt Cepicky with first base open, one out and pinch hitter Guillen on deck. But Bell got Guillen on a long fly ball and then got Brad Wilkerson on a check swing looper to third. The Mets had lefty Royce Ring in the pen, but instead of bringing him in to face the lefty Wilkerson, Willie Randolph left the strikeout pitcher in to face the strikeout prone Wilkerson. I liked the call when it happened and it certainly worked out. It was a well deserved W for Taco Bell.
Today's game also provided a moment of zen for myself. Ted Robinson and Fran Healy were discussing Jose Guillen's bronchitis, which they thought was a cover up for Guillen being benched for his public hissy-fit about Esteban Loiaza not retailiating after Pedro Martinez hit Guillen. It was comical how Robinson and Healy weren't buying the bronchitis bit, espciallay after Guillen looked fine swinging against Bell in the ninth. Then in the top of the 11th, Healy brought up the Chris Woodward contusion/bruise, and said:
"you know Keith, Seaver and myself had Chris Woodward out for the season, and he played the next day."
Yet Dr. Healy still diagnosed Guillen's bronchitis as bogus. Thanks doctor. (Although it really could have been bogus.)
And for what it's worth, we're all thinking of you in London. There was a time you did the same for us.