Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stealin' Is Good Fun

I can't stop laughing.

This game was hysterical. And put aside for the moment how long it was, although that aspect provided enough laughs in and of itself. But this was dark comedy. Sinister, even.

Because the Mets stole this one.

Stole it. Like Danny Ocean from Terry Benedict. Like the Hamburglar steals from the metrosexual clown. Like Robby Alomar stole paychecks for years as a Met.

Like Chase Utley stole second in the sixteenth.

Ah, but no. Chase Utley was called out on a gift call (close, but still a gift). What's that you ask? Why yes, I guess the alleged umpire conspiracy is over. It wasn't the only gift the Mets got either, as Billy Wagner's 3-2 pitch to Ryan Howard was high and inside, yet called a strike. It must have been a "face your former team for the first time" call.

And even before that, with the Mets down 8-5 in the eighth, there were more gifts. (I think I get it is the new black...30 is the new 21...and May 23rd is the new Christmas!) Phillies pitcher Ryan Franklin got to two down with nobody on, and Endy Chavez up. Now pitchers supposedly work on those plays where you cover first like, I don't know...all of spring training? So Chavez hits one of those toppers and Howard flips to Franklin, who beat Chavez to the bag, and he dropped the ball. Must be that World Baseball Hangover...oh wait, he wasn't in the tournament? Oh...then I can't help him.

After a Chris Woodward pinch hit double...yes, Woodward is cut the Philly lead to 8-6, came proof that it wasn't going to be Philadelphia's night. You see, Jose Reyes has this annoying habit, that sometimes goes into recession but rears its ugly head now and then, of swinging at pitches that are hurled in the general direction of London. Lucky for Ryan Franklin, he likes to throw pitches towards London, so this would be a great match up for Philly right? Sure it would...especially as Franklin got Reyes he threw one headed towards Reyes ankles. As Jose Reyes cocked his bat to swing that flawed lefthanded swing, Met fans all over town made that initial move to the kitchen to start searching for dessert. After all Reyes, who did nothing before this at bat and nothing since, was surely going to strike out on the pitch that was headed towards LaGuardia.

Instead, it was a non-stop flight over the right field wall. Please keep your seat belts fastened until the plane taxis down the runway and comes to a complete stop...eight innings later.

Another gift? Well how many games have you witnessed where the pitcher who takes the loss is the most impressive pitcher of the night? Ryan Madson started his eighth inning of work out of the pen when Carlos Beltran took him deep to finally end it. (And good for Beltran, who if not for the presence in this city of Alex Rodriguez might be the player who gets ripped for not coming through in the clutch...I guess not being the most covered baseball team in the city you play in has one or two minor advantages.) A close second was Cousin Oliver, who pitched four scoreless for the win (hey wasn't Oliver one of those scrubs who was just supposed to take up space?) Madson really did deserve a better fate, although you could say his work tonight kept the Phillies bullpen a small bit fresher than the Mets' pen...who along with being outstanding tonight, basically went through everyone. Hereby giving the Phils the advantage in the next two, with Alaaaaaay Alay Alay Alaaaaaaay making his debut tomorrow (today) and Jeremi (heart over the i) Gonzalez going Thursday afternoon.

But Madson was robbed tonight...robbed by the New York Mets. And stealin' is fun.


Now go give 'em nine tomorrow Alay. No pressure.

Speaking of Soler, I know that it's en vogue to shorten language nowadays. You know Mickey D's instead of McDonald's (first time I heard that I thought it was a completely different restaurant), KFC instead of Kentucky Fried Chicken, IMHO, LOL, ROTLMFAO, DJSMBHFB...I mean, it's FUBAR!

But during the post game show, when Ron Darling referred to Soler as the Cuban de-fect...which has an entirely different meaning than what he actually is: a Cuban defector... I finally got my proof that we as humans have gone completely insane.

Ronnie, I thought they taught you better at Yale!


Speaking of the idiot box, does it scare you that during extra inning games, Gary Cohen gets all Phil Rizzuto on us...breaking out the home run call for a fly ball to medium center field by Cliff Floyd?

Someone wanted to go home.

Or perhaps someone wanted to see good things happen to a good person who's going through a bad stretch. So was tonight the turning point for Cliffy, who was two for five with two walks tonight? Well, if this was last year when Floyd had a greater role in the offense than he does now, I would be hesitant to say he's coming back. But with other alphas in front of him with more expectations heaped on them, this could be the game that snaps Floyd out of it. Even his outs were loud tonight. It's a good sign. Let the climb begin.


Kermit said...

Starting to get a little worried about our bullpen for the long term. they are just eating innings right now and you have to play to win each game, but I worry that come September and October (there, said it) I wonder how much they'll have left in the tank.

elliot said...

Hey, Metstra - you watched the longest game of the season and then watched the post-game show? Wow! You ARE a maniac.

j m said...

That photoshop is dope, yo. The price is right, indeed. Wait...access to this site is free?

Meanwhile, Cohen's accuracy has gone from laser to cheap flashlight beam. An inning earlier, he called a base hit by the Phillies on what became a double play for the Mets. At least he's still got a sense of fairness, botching extra inning calls for both sides.

In some ways, this is as bad as listening to Murph in his later years, when he didn't always know where the ball was.

(Though I give him credit for not losing his shit and laughing hysterically when Darling called Soler a defect.)

iamSINATRA said...

I went to bed mad and woke up very happy.

Dammit all. I missed everything.

Unser said...

I'm with Kermit. Can we get at least one starter who can eat up innings? Otherwise, this bullpen will break the record for most innings pitched in a season. Whether they will be effective innings in another story. I heard a trade rumor - Victor Diaz to the Cubs for Glendon Rusch. If the Cubs throw in a minor league pitcher, I'd consider this.

j m said...

I'm in no rusch to ever trade for Glendon Rusch. Get it?

Whitney said...

Holy cow, I was thinking the Gary Cohen/Phil Rizzuto analogy after the 3rd flyout was announced with all the vigor of a walk-off bomb. Nicely done.

iamSINATRA said...

Oh sweet Jesus...I would love Rusch. He's friends with my little brother...and this was AFTER his stint with the Mets.

Yes, his stats are bad this year...but at least I'd get free tickets out of the deal.


Jaap said...

Fantastic post and I don't mean to quibble (but I'll try anyway despite being crap at geography) - a pitch in the direction of London would have been somewhere between first base and the right field foul pole, wouldn't it? And a pitch headed to LaGuardia would have been over left field somewhere, wouldn't it?

In any event, I was quite pleased to have fallen asleep around half one in the morning listening to the game and wake up again at 5 in the morning to catch the ending. Gotta love those timezones!

By the way, isn't it time we all start petitioning for an All Star game at Shea? When was it last, 1964 or something? One more before they tear the auld stadium down?

bmc said...

Sorry for the non sequiter, but I think your hate list is out of date. Allow me to suggest an alternative:

1) Chase Utley
2) Chase Utley
3) Joe Buck
4) Tim McCarver
5) Chase Utley

Metstradamus said...

Kermit, with Orlando in the fold and either he or Soler in long relief when Bannister gets back...problem solved?

Elliot, I never claimed I was sane.

Jaap, I'm not 100% sure. But I can tell you that when I flew back from Dayton we banked around Shea (after seeing the Manhattan skyline, the IKEA in Elizabeth, NJ, and Queens Boulevard from the plane) and I could swear we landed on the first base side. But it's not like I'm this world traveler or geography expert so...I have no clue.

But it's a great excuse to tell you that seeing Shea Stadium from an airplane for the first time, after seeing airplanes from Shea Stadium all the time, was really damn cool.

BMC, no Pat Burrell?

Jay said...

Cohen did wanna go home, that was the first thing out of his mouth when Beltran hit the walkoff homer.