Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fearless Forecast

Well, the news just gets better and better, doesn't it?

It seems that the minute that we've all rationalized the loss of Pedro Martinez does Orlando Hernandez decide he wants to go jogging.


Well Met fans, fear not. Because all it means is that my fearless forecast for the NLDS between the Mets and the Dodgers is as up to date as you can get. In fact, there's no need to watch the series, because you can read all about it here...unless of course, you don't want to spoil your fun.

Game One (The Rain In Spain):Willie Randolph fearlessly goes with John Maine to start the first playoff game involving this franchise since 2000 (well, maybe not fearlessly, but he has no choice.) John Kruk predicts that the Mets have absolutely no chance in this series.

After Maine shuts the Dodgers down 1-2-3, the Derek Lowe is about to do the same with two outs and Jose Reyes on third after stealing two bases. They put the shift on Carlos Delgado...and it works as he hits a weak grounder right to Jeff Kent. Kent fields it cleanly, but his throw lands somewhere near Jackson Heights to put runners on second and third, and the Mets would go on to score five unearned runs to cruise to a 9-3 victory.

Bob Klapisch predicts that the Jeff Kent error will band the team together and propel them to victory in the next three games.

Game 2 (Time Change): The game time of Thursday's Game 2 is changed from 8PM to 1PM ET. FOX execs explain because the late switch of Greg Maddux in favor of Hong-Chih Kuo, there isn't enough time to think of new angles to replace the Tom Glavine vs. Greg Maddux storyline. FOX instead runs the Derek Jeter Yankeeography three consecutive times at 8PM.

Glavine goes eight strong innings giving up three runs, prompting Daily News scribe Bill Madden to write that the Mets starting rotation is the worst he's seen since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. But Kuo exploits the Mets weakness against lefthanded pitching and goes eight shutout innings to preserve the 3-0 victory, tying the series at one game apiece. After the game, Kuo goes to his locker to find all his clothes missing, with a note taped to his locker that reads "KNOW YOUR PLACE, LEFTY...from: your opponents."

Game 3 (A Wimbledon Special): FOX announces that the start time for Game 3 at Dodger stadium would be pushed back to 9AM ET (6AM PT). Execs reason that a Steve Trachsel start combined with the Dodgers nasty habit of playing eighteen inning games would be just too cruel for the major league baseball fan to stay up all hours of the night to watch this thing.

True to form, this turns out to be the longest game in recorded history...a 9 hour 45 minute game that goes 10 innings. Jeff Kent threw a two out grounder somewhere in the direction of Orange County in the tenth inning to let in an unearned run, but Nomar Garciaparra's three run home run off of Billy Wagner wins the game for the Dodgers 8-6 in ten innings, and gives the Dodgers a two games to one series lead. The news would then get worse, as since all of the Dodger fans left the park after the third inning, the only fan left in the bleachers is a Met fan who throws Nomar's home run ball back towards the field in disgust. The ball winds up hitting Cliff Floyd in the ankle, and in the process twists said ankle and forces Floyd out of action for the rest of the first round.

Tino Martinez appears on Baseball Tonight immediately following the Dodgers' victory and reports that Nomar is no Derek Jeter.

Game 4 (Intangible): The fourth game, with the Mets' backs to the wall features the return of Orlando Hernandez to action with the Mets needing him the most. FOX announces that since Hernandez is old, the start time of the game will be 11AM ET to make sure he gets to Country Kitchen in plenty of time for his midday special.

Hernandez indeed comes through, pitching a nine-inning, 278 pitch complete game to back up David Wright's 5 RBI day giving the Mets a 9-0 win and setting up a deciding game five. (Brad Penny's back injury forces him out of the game after 2/3's of an inning, but Tom Verducci reports that Brad Penny with no back muscles is still better than any Mets starting pitcher over the last thirty years.)

Gary Cohen calls this the most important Mets victory in the last twenty years. Ron Darling raves about what Orlando's intangibles bring to the Mets as a team. In the hours following the game, Bud Selig asks George Mitchell to head up a commission to investigate whether intangibles are a performance enhancing substance, and whether Hernandez used them illegally. Selig hopes to create a baseball by-law, outlawing intangibles for major league baseball players...except for Derek Jeter, being grandfathered into the rule having been the only player over the last hundred years to ever have intangibles before today's game.

Keith Hernandez, meanwhile, is in his midtown apartment having wine and laughing at Gary Cohen and Ron Darling for having to work during the playoffs.

Game 5 (The Surprise Ending): The deciding game 5 features the starters from the first game, John Maine and Derek Lowe. FOX execs are worried that since Derek Lowe gave the "up yours" sign to the Oakland A's bench after clinching Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS, that this game would start at 2AM early Tuesday, and that's their coverage would be shown on Cinemax for fear of adult content.

Jose Valentin was a late scratch from the lineup for what the Mets called "general mustache soreness". But Ken Rosenthal reports that Valentin actually tore a mustache muscle while trimming it.

Maine is spectacular, giving up only an Olmedo Saenz sacrifice fly in seven great innings. Derek Lowe is better, holding the Mets to only two singles in eight innings, both to Chris Woodward.

The Mets start the bottom of the eighth inning with singles to Endy Chavez and Chris Woodward (his third of the game), but Julio Franco pinch hits and grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. With Chavez on third base, Derek Lowe can't seem to find the plate, walking Reyes and Lo Duca to bring Carlos Beltran to the plate with the bases loaded. Grady Little visits the mound, but is convinced that Derek Lowe has enough left to face Beltran. Lowe responds by inducing a ground ball to get out of the inning, but three runs score as Jeff Kent's throw rolls down a sewer in Nyack. While Shea Stadium is going bonkers, Lowe gives the "up yours" sign to Kent. Then, as Little takes Lowe out of the game, Lowe curses at Little in Italian...then Lowe gives the finger to the Shea Stadium crowd, the clubhouse attendant, and Matt Kemp (John Kruk concurrently reports that Mets players are blaming the whole incident on Lastings Milledge).

So with a 3-1 lead, Billy Wagner gets two quick outs but then he walks J.D. Drew, Wilson Betemit, and Andre Ethier on twelve pitches. Willie Randolph's quick hook brings Aaron Heilman into the game to face Russell Martin. Heilman not only walks Martin to force a run home to cut the Met lead to 3-2, but Heilman shreds both his calves in the process. So Randolph must go to his bullpen again, as Little sends a dangerous pinch hitter to the on-deck circle. Randolph signals for the right hander, and out comes...Doc Gooden?

In an orange jumpsuit?

There are no bounds to what Omar Minaya will do to help the Mets win, and in another stroke of genius, Minaya secretly arranged for an injunction to give Gooden a release from prison for Game 5, so that in case of emergency he could be used. And this was indeed an emergency as the pinch hitter in the L.A. on deck circle is none other than Mike Scioscia.

You can cut the tension with a knife as ESPN's Jeff Brantley wonders if Gooden can get the proper push off the mound while wearing an ankle bracelet.

So Gooden stares in.

Scioscia digs in.

The first pitch to Scioscia...


Scioscia drives the first pitch from Gooden to right-center field. Shawn Green is on his horse as he seems to have a bead on it...but, OH NO! Green's cap flies forward and covers his eyes! He can't see the ball as it conks off of his head! One run will score...two runs will score...but wait!

From out of nowhere comes Endy Chavez making a diving catch of the deflection off of Green's noggin before the ball can hit the ground! The game is over and the Mets win! They win the damn thing 3-2! They advance in five grueling games to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS!

An unfortunate incident follows, as former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda runs on the Shea Stadium field wearing only his skivvies while screaming "GIBBY! SOMEBODY GET ME GIBBY!!! SOMEBODY GET GIBBY A BAT!!!!!"

John Kruk, Ken Rosenthal, and Bill Madden immediately predict that the Cardinals will sweep the Mets in the NLCS.

Jeanne Zelasko says that she still thinks the Dodgers can win this series in seven games.


adoniram said...

Sounds like a good series...

adoniram said...

Also, I don't wanna scare anybody but...

WFAN is reporting that John Maine got his foot stuck in a subway car door on his way home from the team meal this afternoon. Early reports are his knee is destroyed.

You guys hear about that yet?

Also, I believe that SNY is reporting that Tom Glavine will miss his start in Game 2 because he needs to have an emergency root canal.

None of that would be so bad except when you consider that early this morning CNN reported that Paul LoDuca and David Wright were arrested in a scandal involving betting on the Home Run Derby and are currently being held in a federal prison.

I think it'll bring the team together. Go Mets!

Kyle in Newport News said...

I teach adolescents, Metstra, so very little surprises me. Even with his picture staring right at me, though, I would never have anticipated Dwight Gooden's appearance in your game report. A stroke of brilliance, soothsayer.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... this doesn't look good. If Duque isn't gonna be able to pitch for us, we're facing an uphill battle, that's for sure. But I know the rest of our guys will play their hearts out for us. I wonder if we shouldn't give Heilman the ball in game 1. Call me crazy, but how about giving Ollie a shot. He's due for a good start! Ha, ha!

jabair said...

did the 1969 black cat reappear near the mets dugout this year??

Hot Foot said...

You are crazy man, and I DIG that about you!!!

Sean said...

Do we mean Jose, not John, Valentin?

Anonymous said...

But what about Jeff Kent's throw in Game 3 in LA that hit Jeannie Zelasko's mother sitting in the stands? I thought that was pretty significant, since it got Carlos Delgado suspended for a game under the reasoning that if they hadn't had to use that ridiculous shift against him, Kent might have had a clue where he was in relation to first base.

Metstradamus said...

Sean, yes I did. And you'll be proud to know that's the second time I've done that this season.

Anonymous said...

great story, kinda funny

Jaap said...

Simply brill, Metsra, my admiration for your wit and writing grows exponentially with each Met starter relinquished to the DL.

Mike said...

Fine work, Metstra.

At this rate, we'll enter the LCS with Junior Ortiz behind the dish, Joe McEwing at SS, Skip Lockwood starting, and the corpse of Marv Throneberry at first.

LoveEmHateEm said...

A different take on the end of the Lasorda line:

...after which Tommy falls backward ass-over-head while trying to avoid the Slim-Fast vendor.

Mr. Damus...you are the best! PS Could you clear up the rumor that has Eli Marrero activated to start Game 3?

Tommy_Calzone said...

Excellent, Damus!

Glad to see your in mid season form.

Let's hope our boys are as well this afternoon.

Don't worry I'll be there... both calves in shape just in case the jacket needs me.

Ed in Westchester said...

Metstra - a thing of beauty. A nice chuckle on a day when it is needed.

anonymous #1 - Perez pitched Sunday, so no go for today.
Heilman would need to be stretched out ot start. A little late for that.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, of course! From your little typing fingers to Tim McCarver's dumbass lips...

Well, most of it, anyway.

(I've been singing the Jose song since I woke up. Have a good feeling about this afternoon.)

beezermess said...

I think that there is some underlining situation involving Traschel and Randolph that may effect the Mets. Though I am excited about the Mets and looking forward to hearing it on ESPN Radio (because I live in the crappy O.C) I feel that you would want to go with experience for game one. I have confidence in Maine, but I would feel a lot better if Traschel (the human rain delay) started.
I am excited and I am worried at the same time....If the Mets don't sweep at home, then Rangers hockey will start very early...
By the way, Metsradamus...now that you are back from a little hiatus (I know where you went, pal) can you give us a little hockey prediction....considering Opening Night is tomorrow...(what a choice...watch MSG from 7-8 and then switch to the Zelasko-Jeter Network as they grace us with the Mets with Thom Brennaman...are you telling me they are not worth Joe Buck and Tim McCarver....)

Metstradamus said...


I don't think there's a situation with Trachsel. Think about it:

Trachsel's in California.

Why bring Trachsel all the way back to New York for game one?

Especially if he's still working on his personal situation?

Leave him in Cali...let him go for game 3.

paul zummo said...

Trax is back from California (Ed Coleman saw him in the clubhouse yesterday), but I'd still rather go with Maine.

Who starts game four? Starter by committee with Perez and Oliver, and maybe two innings from Heilman thrown in?

Oh, and awesome post Metstra, as usual.

Metstradamus said...

Paul, thanks for the info. I myself would have just left Trax in Cali, but I guess he needs to work out.

But I agree, I go with Maine. Whoever you go with will have to shake off a little rust. Why not go with the hard thrower.

Boy that Kris Benson trade just keeps yielding insurance, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

El Duque is off the roster. Maine starts today. ESPN says the Mets are going with Oliver Perez in game 4. Roberto Hernandez and Royce Ring are on the roster. Defilice is off now.

gjbkhq said...

Your manergerial skills are imploding. Can't Ralph Kiner be activiated for some righty power? Plus he has all the intangibles...no WS Ring, but he's dated everyone who was hot in the fifties, snuck a good drink or two (and a great Spoonerism)in the booths during his tenure, and his full-time job for many years has been playing golf.
Now that's a winner!

Shari said...

Oh my goodness Mestradamus- I just lost it at my desk when you got to the part of Heilman shredding both his calves. Thank you for bringing the humor back into this series- one of your funniest posts to date.

My attitude with the series, is just enjoy the October Mets baseball. it's been 6 years and the last time I didn't feel they derserved to be where they were anyway. if they win this series FANTASTIC if not I didn't expect it anyway-it's just nice to see them win the division and topple the Braves-that alone is enough for me this season.

Unser said...

To all those going to the game today - go CRAZY. We need the 9th man big time today and tomorrow.

Koosman is throwing out the first pitch. Can't they just leave him in to pitch the game for us?

j m said...

I just have one thing to say before this rollercoaster ride begins in earnest:

Let's Go Mets.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...


A great read!