Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Pair Of Carloses Beats King High Howard

I realize it's a big literary risk to compare tonight's Mets game to the greatest scandal that the sport of baseball has ever seen...but I will anyway. I've already butchered the blogosphere beyond recognition, why not one more stain?

For the first four innings, didn't Oliver Perez remind you of the scene in "Eight Men Out", when Dickie Kerr is throwing that one-hitter against the Reds in Game 3 of the '19 series, where all he's doing is smiling and jumping around throwing that one hitter with that funky delivery while Kid Gleason's in the dugout with a look on his face as if to say "hey, this kid is actually kind of talented"?

Then of course, Ryan Howard comes up with the sacks full in the fifth and smacks a little reality into Oliver's life with a grannie. Life isn't so much like the movies now, is it?

Luckily, the Mets have a few players who can do special things like Ryan Howard can.

They have Carlos Beltran, who not only got the Mets going with a two run jack in the first, but whose acting may have been so good that he didn't need Gil Hodges to come out with the spare baseball pre-scuffed with shoe polish to get the hit by pitch call in the fateful seventh inning.

They have Carlos Delgado, who not only hit a bomb in the sixth to bring the Mets to within one run, but tied the game with a long enough sacrifice fly to move up not one...not two...but three runners, which started the vicious Philly cycle of walk the righty to get beat by the lefty.

They have Jose Reyes, who started the seventh inning rally off of former Met and current human white flag Rick White, and scored that tying run via the bat of Delgado. There has been some MVP talk surrounding Reyes over the past few weeks. But I'll give you another phrase that you would have to start using as it applies to Jose, Jose Jose Joseeeee. And that would be "leader". Watch Reyes score on the sac fly a little more closely. Notice that the wide eyed "happy to be there" look is now completely gone. See Jose clap with purpose. Watch as he points to guys to encourage them with a whole new sense of picking up other guys. Folks, you've witnessed the complete maturation of Reyes. For the first time, Reyes has 0% doubt that he's not only a major leaguer, but a damn good one too. We know Reyes can make others better with his play on the field...now we see Reyes devoid of the worry about whether he has the goods to play in this league taking on the responsibility of encouraging teammates to be better during his own down time.

They have Paul Lo Duca. Boy, when there's a game changing rally, Lo Duca has a hand in it, doesn't he?

They now have Shawn Green, who's habit of losing his cap every time he reaches second gear in the outfield has made him this generation's John Pacella. The Mets can only hope that Green will be responsible for more hits in Shea Stadium than Pacella was from the mound. Yeah, Green pressed swinging at two pieces of Aaron Fultz slop in his rush to impress his new organization and his new fans. That's OK. At least there is a rush to impress his new organization, and his new fans. The Mets are a better team for it.

And when Green's liner barely eluded Pat Burrell's hands of stone, the Mets had the lead again. The Phillies have now only begun to understand the method of Omar Minaya's madness. Sure, he was forced into trading Xavier Nady, but Minaya puts no fear, plenty of conviction, and perhaps an ounce of passion into every move he makes. A lesser GM would have feared that acquiring Shawn Green would be akin to admitting a mistake by trading Nady, thus giving up his whole freakin' farm system. Omar doesn't worry about that. He worries about improving the Mets in any way possible, but not at all cost. He gets it.

They have Endy Chavez. I know a phrase like this has been used before...probably in reference to some random hall of famer, but I'm going to use it anyway. Endy Chavez, right now, can roll out of bed and get three hits.

They have David Wright. Just wait until he starts hitting.

And because the Mets have all that and more (like a bullpen that keeps putting up bagels) at their disposal, the Mets now also have a magic number.

15 comments:

Coop said...

OK so I was at the game tonight and I have to say this...I imagine most faithful readers have all seen the film Major League...the line about Vaughn "Let's teach this kid some control before he kills someone." I liken that to Ollie's performance tonight...a little questionable, but leaving me hungry for more. I think he just needs to refine his craft once again, and call it a day. He was good, not fantastic, but good enough to make me think Omar might actually *know* what he's doing.

Magic Number is 20? Man, I like that.

Jaap said...

It's amazing how far Jose Reyes has come from the days of the dodgy hamstrings and the frustrating lack of continuity. Whilst David Wright gets most of the press as the Mets' up and coming star, Reyes has quietly put together a Rickey Henderson-like season. Lucky for us to witness such a bold transformation.

adoniram said...

Rickey Henderson like is exactly right.

I was looking at Reyes numbers a couple days ago and thought "jeez, this guy might put up .300/20/85 this year with 65 steals to boot." First name I thought of was Rickey Henderson.

Now if only Reyes could get that .420 OBP going too!

But seriously. Reyes gets better every week, but even if this is the best he ever gets... I'll take ten years like 2006 gladly.

dmg said...

this is still a bit of a reach, but if reyes hits five more home runs and five more triples, he'd be the first player to have 20 or more doubles, triples, home runs AND stolen bases in the same season since...willie mays in 1957.

yes, that's how good he's been.

jabair said...

we got a magic freakin number!!!

when was the last time we had a magic number?? 1988??

damn im getting old!!

Unser said...

Well put on Omar. He must have some pixie dust working or something. He's gotten a positive end result with just about every transaction, even if it takes one or two extra moves to get there.

I think Green will be an important player in the post season. He adds patience to this lineup. And lankiness too . . . you always need someone who's lanky in your lineup.

On his weekly WFAN spot on Friday, Willie seemed to imply that Chavez is his starting left-fielder even after Cliff gets back. I can't really argue with that.

adenzeno said...

I could have gone a few more years wiout seeing JOHN PACELLA's name- I saw him pitch in the Dome in the 80s and yes his hat fell off every pitch...

Anonymous said...

dmg,

and if reyes gets 200 hits (he is on pace for 199) he will be the first player EVER to have 200 hits, 20 doubles, triples, homers and SBs in the same season. EVER!!
the 200-20-20-20-20 club....wow

also reyes is also close to being the first player in ML history to lead the majors in Triples, runs, and SBs in the same season, although it is actually kind of strange that noone has done it. J-rey is incredible.

kyle in newport news said...

That girl is wearing mismatched shoes!

adoniram said...

That is indeed extremely odd that nobody has led in triples, runs, and steals before. I would have guessed that that would have happened many times Seems like they should go hand in hand.

Interesting. What a great game this baseball is.

Mike said...

I'm assuming someone led his league in SBs, 3Bs, & Rs before.

Anonymous said no one ever led the majors in all three categories. It's hard to lead the majors in any two categories, let alone 3. I'm not going to look it up right now, but I wonder how many, if any, guys have ever won the triple crown (hitting or pitching) for the entirety of MLB?

Anonymous said...

Here is your list:

1967 AL Batting Carl Yastrzemski BOS 579 AB 189 H 44 HR 121 RBI .326/.418/.622
1966 AL Batting Frank Robinson BAL 576 AB 182 H 49 HR 122 RBI .316/.410/.637
1956 AL Batting Mickey Mantle NYY 533 AB 188 H 52 HR 130 RBI .353/.464/.705
1947 AL Batting Ted Williams BOS 528 AB 181 H 32 HR 114 RBI .343/.499/.634
1942 AL Batting Ted Williams BOS 522 AB 186 H 36 HR 137 RBI .356/.499/.648
1937 NL Batting Joe Medwick STL 633 AB 237 H 31 HR 154 RBI .374/.414/.641
1934 AL Batting Lou Gehrig NYY 579 AB 210 H 49 HR 165 RBI .363/.465/.706
1933 AL Batting Jimmie Foxx PHA 573 AB 204 H 48 HR 163 RBI .356/.449/.703
1933 NL Batting Chuck Klein PHI 606 AB 223 H 28 HR 120 RBI .368/.422/.602
1925 NL Batting Rogers Hornsby STL 504 AB 203 H 39 HR 143 RBI .403/.489/.756
1922 NL Batting Rogers Hornsby STL 623 AB 250 H 42 HR 152 RBI .401/.459/.722
1909 AL Batting Ty Cobb DET 573 AB 216 H 9 HR 107 RBI .377/.431/.517
1901 AL Batting Nap Lajoie PHA 544 AB 232 H 14 HR 125 RBI .426/.463/.643
1894 NL Batting Hugh Duffy BSN 539 AB 237 H 18 HR 145 RBI .440/.502/.694
1878 NL Batting Paul Hines PRO 257 AB 92 H 4 HR 50 RBI .358/.363/.486

Anonymous said...

For Pitching there are more:

2002 NL Pitching Randy Johnson ARI 24-5 2.32 334 SO
1999 AL Pitching Pedro Martinez BOS 23-4 2.07 313 SO
1998 AL Pitching Roger Clemens TOR 20-6 2.65 271 SO
1997 AL Pitching Roger Clemens TOR 21-7 2.05 292 SO
1985 NL Pitching Dwight Gooden NYM 24-4 1.53 268 SO
1972 NL Pitching Steve Carlton PHI 27-10 1.97 310 SO
1966 NL Pitching Sandy Koufax LAD 27-9 1.73 317 SO
1965 NL Pitching Sandy Koufax LAD 26-8 2.04 382 SO
1963 NL Pitching Sandy Koufax LAD 25-5 1.88 306 SO
1945 AL Pitching Hal Newhouser DET 25-9 1.81 212 SO
1940 AL Pitching Bob Feller CLE 27-11 2.61 261 SO
1939 NL Pitching Bucky Walters CIN 27-11 2.29 137 SO
1937 AL Pitching Lefty Gomez NYY 21-11 2.33 194 SO
1934 AL Pitching Lefty Gomez NYY 26-5 2.33 158 SO
1931 AL Pitching Lefty Grove PHA 31-4 2.06 175 SO
1930 AL Pitching Lefty Grove PHA 28-5 2.54 209 SO
1924 AL Pitching Walter Johnson WSH 23-7 2.72 158 SO
1924 NL Pitching Dazzy Vance BRO 28-6 2.16 262 SO
1920 NL Pitching Pete Alexander CHC 27-14 1.91 173 SO
1918 AL Pitching Walter Johnson WSH 23-13 1.27 162 SO
1918 NL Pitching Hippo Vaughn CHC 22-10 1.74 148 SO
1916 NL Pitching Pete Alexander PHI 33-12 1.55 167 SO
1915 NL Pitching Pete Alexander PHI 31-10 1.22 241 SO
1913 AL Pitching Walter Johnson WSH 36-7 1.14 243 SO
1908 NL Pitching Christy Mathewson NYG 37-11 1.43 259 SO
1905 AL Pitching Rube Waddell PHA 27-10 1.48 287 SO
1905 NL Pitching Christy Mathewson NYG 31-9 1.28 206 SO
1901 AL Pitching Cy Young BOS 33-10 1.62 158 SO
1894 NL Pitching Amos Rusie NYG 36-13 2.78 195 SO
1889 NL Pitching John Clarkson BSN 49-19 2.73 284 SO
1888 NL Pitching Tim Keefe NYG 35-12 1.74 335 SO
1884 AA Pitching Guy Hecker LOU 52-20 1.80 385 SO
1884 NL Pitching Charley Radbourn PRO 59-12 1.38 441 SO
1877 NL Pitching Tommy Bond BSN 40-17 2.11 170 SO

Mike said...

Anon-

Those are the guys who've won the Triple Crown for their leagues. Thanks for listing them.

But how many of those guys actually won the triple for the majors? Any?

For instance, I know off the top of my head that DiMag hit 46 HRs in '37, so Medwick couldn't have won the MLB triple crown. Or Kiner (with 51) keeping Ted from taking it in '47. We can see from your list that Foxx & Klein split themselves up in '33.

Shea Gadfly said...

Magic number is now 18!!!