Friday, May 19, 2006

Episode I: The Phantom Unit

I've gotta start with this: I love Randy Johnson.

Before he became a member of the Fast Crumbling Empire, he has been one of my favorite pitchers of all time...in no small part because he's always been a Yankee-killer. Killed them in 1995 with Seattle. Murdered them in 2001 as a member of the Diamondbacks, where he won three games against the Yanks (including winning game 7 out of the bullpen, just 24 hours after winning game 6), yet only shared the World Series MVP that year.

And he's still killing the Yankees, even while wearing those pinstripes.

Randy Johnson signs a big contract with the Yankees, after basically orchestrating his way on to the team...and in a sure sign that the karma may be turning in this town, Randy Johnson with the Yankees has now become Randy Jones with the Mets. The Big Unit, supposed Yankees Ace, can barely out-pitch Jeremi Gonzalez at this stage.

Anyone who thought tonight's game was a mismatch due to the pitching matchup, and you were out there, obviously hasn't seen Randy pitch all year. Tonight didn't worry me because Randy Johnson was on the mound. Tonight did worry me because of the litany of pitchers wearing that uniform who...and I'm going to steal Shari's signature phrase here...stunk on ice for months only to come up big when the Mets were the opponent (Doc Gooden, David Cone, Denny Neagle). Johnson could have been the latest Yankee to use the Mets as his own personal Robitussin.

But being down four to Randy Johnson isn't the end of the world anymore, as evidenced tonight. Thankfully the bats, led by Carlos Beltran and X, made sure of that as every time the Yankees scored, the Mets either scored or made the Big Onion work hard in the bottom of the frame. Like it or not, the Mets new and improved lineup needs to make a concerted effort to provide runs in excess when the likes of Jeremi Gonzalez or the newly bald Jose Lima En Vivo are on the mound. Tonight, they made it happen thanks to the once, future, and forever Yankee killer, the Phantom Unit.

Yeah, I hate him for wearing the uniform...but I love him for killing the uniform.

***

It was two games in one tonight, as the fifth inning ended six-six. But when Song 1 Verse 2 began, it was Aaron Heilman on to pitch three perfectos at the Yankees tonight in innings 6, 7, and 8. There will be some who say it's Heilman showing why he should be in that rotation. There's validity to that.

But it's also why he should stay right where he is. I'll maintain that he's too valuable to take out of that pen, especially when Jeremi with an "i" and Lima with three "L's" are going to man the back end of the rotation. (But alas, not for much longer, as Lima En Vivo's Met career is reportedly muerte.)

So go to Soler (who's name you can sing via the soccer anthem: A-laaaaay, Alay Alay Alaaaaaay...Aaaaaa-laaaaay, Sooooo-leeeeer), go to Pelfrey if you have to. But keep Aaron Heilman right where he is, and make sure he keeps coming up with efforts like he came up with tonight.

***

And finally, speaking of signs that karma in this town is turning: Two Sandmen entered the ninth inning tonight. But only one exited unscathed.

Exit Light.

Enter Wright.

When else does this happen?

Only now, when the Mets have Paul Lo Duca...staking his claim as the greatest clutch hitter in the history of clutch hitting...does this happen.

Only now, when the Mets have David Wright...staking his claim as the greatest two strike hitter in the history of two strike hitting, does this happen.

Only now, when the Mets are on WPIX and the Yankees are on WWOR (had to be a first tonight), does this happen. Could that have been the answer all along?

And speaking of broadcast outlets, the only question now is: will FOX recognize this victory, or will they completely ignore it in their pre-game show tomorrow, as they did in 2004?

Maybe only now...they will.

(And speaking of biased media coverage, SNY's pre-game show tonight seemed much more Met friendly than Thursday's coverage...thankfully. I thought that I would be fair and mention that.)

16 comments:

Jaap said...

I think they should start calling him The Big Eunich.

Metstradamus said...

I've actually heard that before. I don't know why I didn't think of it. One of my Yankee fan friends (why that's plural I'll never know) who lives in Chicago keeps calling him the Big Onion, so that sticks with me.

Tommy_Calzone said...

WOW WHAT A GAME!

Funny thing I noticed at Shea tonight for the first time since the dawn of interleague the Met fans seemed to outnumber the Yankee fans.......

the bandwagon is gettin heavy eh?

Our team. Our Time. Our TOWN?

G-Fafif said...

This is ridiculously off topic but I feel compelled to report it. I'm watching the Braves and Diamondbacks on Fox Sports Arizona and they're giving the Snakes' upcoming schedule, including games against the Mets at "beautiful Shea Stadium." They paused and then they snickered that it's beautiful if you like the smell of stale beer and scavengers and the elevator ride if the elevator ever comes.

Eyes on the prize and all that, but it's Braves 9 Diamondbacks 8 and I can't say I much care whether Arizona can do us a favor tonight.

Fuck you Diamondback homer dick announcers.

But only a hundredth as hard as the Skanks.

Who SUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!

Metstradamus: Where Faith and Fear Comes to Curse

G-Fafif said...

On the other hand, the Diamondbacks themselves said nothing wrong.

Arizona 10 Atlanta 9. Great night all around.

Metstradamus said...

Mark Grace is the same guy who jinxed a Petey no-hitter by yelling out from the announce box "Hey Pedro! YOU'VE GOT A NO HITTER!"

Then again, Gracie started the winning rally against the Yanks in Game 7 with a single off Rivera so he's not ALL bad.

But I can get him on a future hate list if you wish.

Metstradamus said...

And I happen to enjoy the smell of stale beer, thank you very much. And Mr. former baseball player most hits in the 1990's Gracie should learn to climb stairs if the elevator doesn't come.

jabair said...

the mets on channel 11 and the skanks on channel 9.. and to top it off, reyes has more walks than stolen bases.. whats next? some guy on a blog predicting the future of the mets??

i dont think posadabino strained his back, he just didnt wanna deal with the big pussy and his big pussybino attitude...so he just grabbed his mask and walked off...

the bullpen: 6 IP, 2H, 8K, 0 runs..

watching DW dick slap marianobino and jizz all over john sterlings face.. priceless...

fredster said...

... and the Phils lost too. Everything's coming up roses!

Brian White said...

The Mets also lit up Randy Johnson in the '99 NLDS.

Anonymous said...

As I remember it, Eunich dominated that game with like 38 strikeouts until the eighth or ninth when edgardo alfonzo hit a grand slam that hugged the foul line to put the mets up.

Anonymous said...

Great fucking post...

Let's humiliate this team, no mercy.

Let's go Mets!

jabair said...

i want the cheaper braden looper back!!

Mets Beast said...

I WANT FRANCO!

jabair said...

less than 24 hours after DW jizzed on mariano, braden wagner jizzed on himself infront of a sell out crowd

Brian White said...

Sorry - had to respond to anonymous:
http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B10050ARI1999.htm