Esteban Loiaza had the gun.
I swear to you, my loyal readers, that I told Yankee fans during the offseason that they should keep Loiaza for 2005, for the sole reason that he started pitching well in the ALCS after he learned a cutter grip from Mariano Rivera. You think Yankee fans would take back Loiaza at this point? He's 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA now after pitching 8 strong innings and leading the Nats to a 3-2 win over the Mets, and he was lights out tonight against a Mets lineup at the crossroads of Cameron Dr. and Reyes St., a lineup that was one ninth inning away from total disaster over the last four games. Was it Michael Ray Richardson that once said "The ship be sinking"? Well it'll be time for Pedro to proclaim "El Barco Hunde" if Willie Randolph doesn't figure out something quick with the lineup.
So here is what I think the scenario should be, and if I'm wrong tell me. But if...
- the Mets win the next two against Washington, they have a shot at the division albeit faint.
- the Mets split the next two games, they should strictly think wild card.
- the Mets lose the next two games, they should strictly think "who can we sell?"
You can think two ways about Chad Cordero. You could either think:
- He's been pitching an awful lot and he gave up two runs (one inherited) today...he's on the down slide. Or...
- He only gave up one hard hit ball tonight to David Wright, and wouldn't have given up a run if it weren't for Jose Guillen's horrible throwing decision.
I'll go latter, but Frank Robinson had best be judicious in the use of the man known as "The Chief".
Thanks Chris Woodward, for not being seriously injured after I proclaimed myself your good luck charm. I would have been crushed.
Danny Graves pitched the 8th inning for his first taste of a somewhat pressure situation, and threw a wicked back door slider for a strike to Vinny Castilla that turned him the wrong way. Graves pitched a scoreless frame. Could this be the start of a career resurrection? Or was it a fluke?
And be on the lookout for All-Star break grades. They should bring forth an interesting discussion.