Think about what has transpired: Bangor Maine, Sunday's starter, gets placed on the disabled list and Bartolome Fortunato takes his spot. Jose Lima Time is told to get ready to start for the Mets on Sunday, with another move pending.
Then, Victor Zambrano strikes out three of the first four batters he faces, and then slinks away looking like he's about to cry with a fairly serious elbow problem. Looks like the other move has been made to make room for Lima Time. Darren Oliver comes in and holds the fort against Atlanta to help out a tired bullpen, and when it's all said and done, Armando Junior...of all people...notches himself a win and a save...all in a matter of 16 hours.
"Paging Mr. Pelfrey...Mr. Michael Pelfrey, white courtesy phone."
Maybe instead of "Amazin" the slogan should be: "Inexplicable."
By the way, I've had requests for a "Games we would have lost last year" counter. Frankly, the title is too long and there's no marketing possibilities in long titles. But count today's victory in that particular counter. This game would have been lost in the ninth last season...no doubt about it. But it wasn't without some Armando-like tendencies from Jorge Julio. He did his best to give everyone a heart attack by giving up a run in the ninth and putting the tying run on third base with two outs and Edgar Renteria and his 22 game hit streak at the plate.
Yeah, last year, the Mets lose this game, especially after Zambrano, in a start where he needed to help out his bullpen and go six or seven, instead gets four outs. But this year, they win. I wish I can give you a good answer why. Because by all rights and purposes, Darren Oliver, Pedro Feliciano, and Jorge Julio sound like castoffs from last year's bullpen. But against the Braves in a series where the Mets needed to stomp on this team and let them know that the road to the division goes through Queens this season, these three along with Chad Bradford got it done, and got Country Time and Filthy some rest in the process.
But the fun doesn't end there, oh no my friend. Because Sunday, Siete de Mayo...finally...it's Lima Time.
Cats hide their illnesses better than dogs and humans.
So apparently, does Zambrano.
"I kind of knew that might happen, I knew to be ready. We talked a couple of days ago. I didn't know how serious it was." -Darren Oliver
Willie Randolph, you know...the manager, was apparently unaware of the problem. Darren Oliver had a better idea of Victor's injury than the manager of the club.
That thud you heard was Zambrano's trade value hitting the bottom of the ocean.***
Best ERA in the National League headed into Friday.
First place in the division by a healthy amount.
A winning percentage of seven hundred even.
You'd think the Mets would get a bit of respect and care in the press. Instead, we get this: