Saturday, April 15, 2006

Soap Dish

Will coverage of today's game be found on the back page, or in Soap Opera Digest?

Because today's 8-2 loss to the Brewers was worthy of a General Hospital storyline. On today's episode, the older man tries to vie for his manager's love as he attempts to pitch his way into Willie's heart, while the younger, slightly off center competitor snickers in the background.

Steve Trachsel didn't do anything to win back Willie's love and change Willie's mind as to who should be the fifth starter on this club as Trachsel's problems with two outs doomed him today.

Take the second inning...please. Two outs and nobody on, and Trax hits Rickie Weeks with a pitch. Two singles later, it's 1-0 Brewers. Then take the fifth (no pun intended, I swear!) Two outs and nobody on again. Rickie Weeks at the plate...again. Weeks doubles, Prince "Earthquake slide" Fielder singles, and it's 4-1.

Of course, it was back in the fourth that made the difference, when Brewers pitcher Tomo Ohka hit a double over X's head on a fake bunt to drive in a run and set up another run with a sac fly. When Tomo Ohka gets more distance on his hit than Prince Fielder gets on his, you know you're in for a long day.

Then, our soap opera takes us to the middle relief saga. And as most people wonder what Willie has against Trachsel, I wonder what he has against Blueback Bradford. Randolph had two opportunities to bring Bradford in but didn't...and it burned him. The first instance was in the seventh inning. Now Darren Oliver's been decent for the Mets, but I have to question the decision by Willie to leave the lefty in against Carlos Lee to lead off the seventh after the Mets had gotten a run back in the sixth. You have Bradford, who last worked on the 7th of April (and has a 0.00 ERA, it should be noted), wouldn't he have been a better choice?

The second instance was the eighth inning. Instead of Blueback, who does Willie bring in? Why of course, Armando Junior. I remember thinking "wow, three runs down is not miles away...this is a fairly important situation, well at least for Julio. I wonder what Rick Peterson saw."

I ask again: What exactly did you see, Rick?

Because I'll tell you what I saw: I saw Armando Benitez. You think Armando is on the DL? Wrong. He's faking his injury so he can sneak himself into a Mets uniform and screw them all over again (that sounds like a typical "Days of our Lives" storyline). If I'm wrong, then that's one hell of an impression Jorge did...from the straight fastball, to the "woe was me" look exhibited by Junior right before he gave up the moon shot to Jenkins. Speaking of which, could Geoff Jenkins have been any more locked in to that fastball?

Blueback did pitch the ninth. The building had long since burned down so it was like hanging a picture on a charred stick, but Bradford didn't give up a run in the ninth so at least the painting looked pretty.


The day was doubly bleak for me as the Rangers continued their slide out of the Atlantic Division lead as they got crushed 4-1 by the Flyers. Days like this are where a swivel chair and two televisions come in reason to use the remote control today. Of course that meant that my day went something like this:

Help your goalie!

Watch the splitter.

Good save Weekes!

Damn that Weeks!



Watch the man in front!

Don't give him anything to hit!

That's a penalty!

He was safe!

What are you swinging at?

Where are you passing it to?

Run! Skate! Handzus dove! Dive Cliff dive! Brashear you wuss! Peterson you putz! Poti you stink! Julio...YOU stink too! Damn damn damn!!!!

Joe Queenan wrote a book a while back which is a must MUST read for all that stumble on to this blog. It's called "True Believers: the Tragic Inner Life Of Sports Fans", and if you can look past the fact that Queenan is a Phillies/Flyers fan, then you will certainly not regret reading this book. On days like today, where the Rangers are on one screen and the Mets are on another, I think back to the book, where Queenan talks about a friend of his that roots for the Rangers, Mets and Jets, and has sympathy for him because those three teams constitute, in his words "the hat trick from hell".

Today, I was in hell. But just think: Two weeks from today, the Mets could lose to the Braves on the heels of a seven game losing streak, the Rangers could lose a first round playoff game, and the Jets will no doubt use a first round pick on some punter with a beer belly named Daisy. You want to talk hell?


Mets Beast said...

M. Damus, I couldn't agree with you more on the Mets and Rangers. First off, if you're going to lose to the Brewers after winning seven straight, at least lose to Chris Capuano or a healthy Ben Sheets, considering they are better than Tomo Ohka. I mean come on Tomo Ohka? Obviously, Ohka's splitter was on, and Trachsel's wasn't. Another disturbing fact is that we scored both runs off of sac flies. The Rangers are doing down-right horrendous right now, and I don't think they will get past the first round, since they will either play the Flyers or Devils. I was cracking my brother up before by saying the opposing team can put all 5 guys on #68 Jaromir Jagr, and they would still lose. Nylander sould skate up with the other 3 with a 4 on 0 and still try and pass it to Jagr. All you have to do is cover Jagr and you win. That's something either Tom Renney hasn't gotten through the team's head or doesn't see what's going on.

Mets Beast

Anonymous said...

Oj is Innocent. Set him free at once.

Metstradamus said...

Beast, don't forget also that they are missing Henrik, Malik, and Kaspariatis. Kaspar is the underrated key to this club. W/O him, there is nobody to clear the front of the net.

The Rangers say that they could have played if this was the playoffs...but this was practically the playoffs and I know that they're being extra cautious but I thought today's game was too important to be extra careful. They need to have as many Game 7's at home as possible.

Besides, I want an Atlantic Division champion t-shirt. I want two division champion t-shirts in the same calendar year. Considering these two franchises, that would be a huge deal.

Metstradamus said...

O.J., shouldn't you be looking for the real killer?

Mets Beast said...

I agree Damus. Only if other Rangers could score goals, we'd be a pretty good team.

Jerryzez said...

Guys this is a great Mets Blog site. Thanks for talking sense. BTW is it me or do you have a problem with "Put it in the books!" too. Thanks for the great site again!

Metstradamus said...

jerryzez, thanks for the kind words, and welcome to the blog.

I don't mind "Put it in the books." "That's a goner!" bothered me more than "Put it in the books" but I think Howie abandoned that. Those who listen to the games on WFAN can probably shed more light on that. I've always been a fan of Howie Rose so I will always have a tough time criticizing his catch phrases.

Peterr H said...

Hi Metsradamus

Jorge Julio is nowhere near the pitcher Armando Benitez was. Benitez was a closer who put up awesome numbers with the Mets but choked in high-profile situations. Jorge Julio is, right now, an absolutely awful reliever. If you're looking to Mets history, a better comparison is Mel Rojas, another once-talented, high-priced reliever who lost his stuff by the time he came to the Mets.

Metstradamus said...


All points agreed, 100%.

But in terms of physical attribues, and the fact that they were both Orioles, and the fact that whenever both of them wear their hangdog face while watching another .210 hitter round the bases, "The Lonely Man Theme" from the Incredible Hulk closing credits plays in my head, I think he's Benitez Jr.

Anonymous said...

I knew we were in for a long day. Trax is 8-20 with more than 5 days rest. How come if I knew this, Willie didn't? I also had given Willie too much credit with Julio. I thought he had figured out that he was a mop up guy, but I guess he forgot!
Let's hope they just wipe out this loss and start again. Hate to see them swoon with those pain-in-the-ass Braves on the way in tomorrow.Today won't be easy tho against Sheets.