Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Simple Life

If there are any of you Met fans left out there who aren't alcoholics, you might want to consider traveling down that path.

It really is a shock that Tuesday's game ended with a 4-2 score, because Jeff Kellogg's strike zone was the exact opposite of Tim Welke's strike zone in Game 1. Starters Jeff Weaver and Tom Glavine had to hit the heads of pins to get strikes. The scoreboard operator should have been a lot busier. But hitters on both sides were helping the pitchers out by taking bad hacks. Preston Wilson and Albert Pujols certainly took some strange swings at balls that were way out of the strike zone in the first inning when David Eckstein set the table with a base hit.

Of course, both Pujols (home run in the fourth one pitch after what should have been strike three), and Wilson (put the Cards ahead to stay in the fifth...not the best karma when Mookie's stepson beats the Mets) took better swings off of Glavine later on.

Jeff Weaver got squeezed much the same by Kellogg throughout the game, but he too was helped by Met hitters, such as Jose Reyes and David Wright, who swung wildly at bad pitches. Weaver, however, only gave up the one big hit to Jose Valentin in the fourth inning. Of course, that rally immediately preceded the Cardinal rally in the bottom of the inning, continuing their nasty habit of responding to Met runs with runs of their own.

Somehow, Kellogg's strike zone expanded in the seventh for the Cardinal bullpen, as Josh Kinney and Adam Wainright were getting calls that Weaver wasn't getting...officially making Game 5 the most frustrating of the series as the Mets couldn't capitalize with two runners in scoring position and one out in the eighth. And that was pretty much your ball game in a nutshell.

Well it's really simple now, isn't it?

Down 2 games to 3.

Two games left.

Both at Shea.

Do (win them both) or die (dead).

It's that simple.

But it's not time to panic, kids. Winning two in a row at home to take a series in seven games has been done before. And if there's a team that has the talent to do it...if there's a team that has the teamwork to make the dream work, it's the 2006 New York Mets. But if you need hard evidence, let's review some recent history:
  • These very Cardinals did it in the 2004 NLCS.
  • The Angels did it to the Giants in the 2002 Series.
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks did it to the Yankees in the '01 Series (and did it in part with a 15 run slaughter in game 6).
  • The Braves did it to the Cardinals in 1996...and they had to win the last three games of that series.

And if you go back further, you'll see the Twins of 1991, the Twins of 1987, and a certain team that also had to come home to face an ace in Game 6.

So if you've got lucky socks, wear 'em.

If you have a ritual, don't deviate from it.

If you drink, have an extra one.

If you don't drink, start.

And if you have a ticket, remember:

  • Yell. Yell again. Then, yell some more.
  • If you're not sure, err on the side of yell.
  • And don't wait for the scoreboard to tell you to do so.
  • You have all winter to sleep.



Anonymous said...

That may have been the most inconsistent strike zone I have ever seen.

so frustrating....

Benny Agbayani said...


It may be too optimistic looking forward to a well rested Tiger team....however, if the Mets do win this in 7 games, they will be playing through Thursday night and partying well into Friday morning...followed by a trip to Detroit. Can we reasonably expect a sharp Mets team this weekend if we make it there? Does a Game 7 finish give the Tigers a tremendous advantage no matter who they face? In addtion to the home field advantage? If rain affects one of the next two games....will the Series be pushed back a day or will they have to play on consecutive nights?

Metstradamus said...


I have an answer to that question...but in an effort to keep the baseball gods off my ass, I'm going to decline an answer to your first question until Friday night (if necessary).

However, the Series will NOT be pushed back if there is another rainout. Game 7 (if necessary) would be Friday, and the Series still starts on Saturday.

Donkeyhue said...

Tinfoil Hats On!!!

Would ya know Kelloggs born and lives in Michigan. AL is scared. Lets GO METS!!!

Donkeyhue said...

I might have to burn my five dollar Hawaii 50 jersey in protest and sacrifice for the second comment.

The Metmaster said...

"With all due respect sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour."
-Gene Kranz, Apollo 13.

gob iron said...

You hit the nail on the head Metstra. That strike zone was tight for Glavine and Weaver all night and all of a sudden loosened up for Kinney and Wainright. The missed strike 3 to Pujols was particularly frustrating - it's the kind of thing that happened to Glavine all the time the last 3 years here(usually with 2 guys on base and 2 outs - Glavine makes the perfect pitch .. it's strike 3 .. he doesn't get the call and the next pitch is a 3-run homer) but stopped happening this year.

But regardless, I believe the Mets will find a way tonight and tomorrow.

Darth Marc said...

Hi fellas,

It's me.

Just wanted to say I expect a titanic struggle tonight. Should be interesting to watch.

Darth Marc

Unser said...

I hate to say this but David Wright is killing them. Reyes is not helping either with 2 and 3 pitch at bats.

Will be at the game, in the last row of the mezzanine reserved section in right field. Will be screaming quite audibly.

Hey Darth Marc, hope you've been enjoying those Yankee Classics on YES this past week. We're watching in real time.

Ed in Westchester said...

Ignore him.

Metstradamus said...

Ignore all trolls.

Unser said...

MD, you going tonight?

Fakehead said...

I agree with unser that D. Wright needs to step it up, he's been struggling all season. That being said, I think the Mets have the grit to pull these two games out, whether Wright steps up or not. The good thing about this team is that they are a "team" in the sense that they play together, bust each other's balls and most importantly, pick each other up. Let's hope they score some crooked numbers tonight and tomorrow.
Let's Go Mets!

Vicki said...

Honestly, I am thinking of doubling my blood pressure medication.

OJ Did It said...

THe Mets need to cut off the heads of these annoying Red Birds... just like OJ Simpson, the SLICING tailback from USC!!!

Ed in Westchester said...


Anonymous said...

Dear Metstradamus:
FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THOSE 10-year-old MET FANS, the kind that know they can't stay up past the 6th inning so before they're about to fall asleep on the couch they turn on all the lights in the living room hoping that the brightness alone will keep them up another inning...
FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THOSE 40+year-old MET FANS, the kind who when they were 10 remember JONES, AGGEE, KOOSMAN, RYAN AND SEAVER and watching the ticker-tape parade on television....
FOR THE SAKE OF ALL MET FANS WHO 20 years ago hit their heads on low ceilings in basements when Mookie's grounder destroyed the RED SOX....

PLEASE, Dear Mestradamus, please WHEN YOU ARE YELLING TONIGHT, YELL FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT MAKE TO SHEA but who will be there for OUR METS just as OUR FOREFATHERS were there in '69 and '86.


the king said...

Is it just me, or is Shawn Green always in slo-mo out there? He's responsible for around 27 triples this series. And he couldn't even get a run in with 2 and 3rd with 1 out.

Milledge, anyone?

Oh, I forgot, it doesn't matter that he's a better ballplayer, cause he has an "attitude"

Anonymous said...

The Mets have shown that they can come back from adversity and they are at home. However, the "cards" are stacked against them as they are facing the reigning Cy Young and Suppan who shut them down earlier in the series. The Mets have the rookie and some patchwork tomorrow night. Neither of the choices tonight or tomorrow night have been battle tested in this way. This is where not having Pedro or El Duque really hurts. Only 5 of the 15 teams in this situation since 1985 have come back from a 3-2 deficit. Odds are getting thin but they can do it.

I hear a lot of trashing of the Cards...but this is a team that was in a severe tailspin and almost blew the division at seasons end. They are leading the way with Jeff Weaver and Suppan who are mediocre at best. They don't have Mulder or Isringhowsen....meaning they have been bitten by the injury bug in the same way the Mets have. If the Mets get beat in this series, another front-running "favorite" with high expectations will come crashing down...a la the Yankees. Remember, if you don't win it all, it doesn't matter what you did or how far you went in the playoffs. Only losers rationalize second prize saying they "battled".

j m said...

"If you don't drink, start."

Maybe I'm just in a benevolent mood as I await the game, but...

I love you, Metstradamus.