Friday, May 04, 2007

Desert Elixir

Closers beware. Damion Easley is your worst nightmare.

First, it was Brian Fuentes. Now, it is Jose Valverde looking for a therapist, thanks to Easley's ninth inning blast which led to a 9-4 Mets victory.

It's the circle of life, you see. Last year, Jose Valentin was the old (or for you politically correct folk, "experienced") second baseman who took advantage of an injury to return to baseball relevance and have a solid season. This season, Valentin's circle starts to head back to the beginning, as he is now injured, and Easley is the aged second sacker taking advantage with some well-timed home run daggers.

Last season, it was all of those first inning runs that made the difference. For a 2007 change of pace, the Mets decided to wait until inning nine and give everybody agita. The Mets won yet again in a place where they have dominated over the past few seasons, outscoring Arizona 93-24 since 2004...and 76-16 in eight games in Arizona! (I'll ask again: Is there any way we can make some last minute changes to the Citi Field plans to include a roof and a swimming pool in the outfield? I asked this last season, and finally the wire services have picked up on my idea...without giving me credit, of course.)

Let's also acknowledge the good work of Aaron Heilman, since we spend a lot of time focusing on the bad. And let this be a lesson to all of you aspiring eighth inning set up men out there (or as the frequently absent Keith Hernandez would say: "All you kids out there"), pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning while tied or down by a run is just as important as pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning while up by a run. Yes Aaron, I'm talking to you. Now do you see? Now do you see the lift that you can give a club going into the ninth inning when you simply keep the game close? There's no glory in it...much like the glory you seek by being a starter. But choosy baseball fans know that pitchers who excel in their roles will get just as loud an ovation at the twentieth anniversary reunions as do the glamour positions on the team if you just do your job.

And welcome back to power hitting, David Wright. Sugar Pants' second home run of the season was a long three run job to right field which may or may not signal the return of Wright to his "comfort zone". We know the Mets have returned to their comfort zone which is the zip code of 85004...Phoenix, AZ. Nothing but comfort here.


And speaking of comfort, the Mets are so comfortable with the depth of their pitching staff, that they have designated Chan Ho Park for assignment. Jorge Sosa, who would have pitched on Monday instead of Park if they had known about Orlando Hernandez's injury a bit sooner, will probably be the one coming up. Make no mistake, Sosa scares me half to death, but his numbers in New Orleans are impressive...especially the lack of home runs that he has given up. So once again I repeat to myself: "In Omar We Trust...In Omar We Trust...In Omar We Trust". I'm writing it on the blackboard 100 times.

Speaking of Omar, how could he have been accused of having a batting practice conversation with Miguel Cabrera? Cabrera's gaining so much weight and bulk that he was near everybody on the field and ten guys in the stands at the same time.


Mike said...

Damion Easley, home run threat.

elliot said...

Last night, the Mets showed something. In the 9th, down by a run, 1 out, Shawn Green hit one hard but right at Tony Clarke - a defensive replacement. It went past him for an error. Then, LoDuca worked the count to 2-2, and he took a very, very close pitch that the ump called ball 3. I don't know if it was a ball or a strike, but it was too close to take.

So, the Mets had two breaks in that inning. A playoff type team will jump all over an opportunity like that, and the Mets did. LoDuca walked, Easley homered - bang bang, it's over.

The Mets did what they had to last night.

Unser said...

Sugar Pants?

Props to LoDuca too - great at-bat in the 9th.

I'm loving Easley's post game interviews - this guys comes off as such a professional, totally relaxed. I'm comfortable with him at the plate in any clutch situation - he may not come through, but he's got the right approach.

I hear there's an APB out searching for Delgado's 2006 swing. Keep your eyes open. . .

Devon said...

Can we get someone to investigate Shawn Green for stealing Delgado's black book? It only makes sense, no?

Josh said...

Instead of Jorge Sosa, they decide to call up a middle reliever with a career major league ERA of... INFINITY.

Um, interesting choice...?

Does this mean Sele is going into the rotation?

Metstradamus said...

Josh, not necessarily. Urdaneta may only be up until that turn in the rotation comes up, at which point Urdaneta returns to New Orleans, and Sosa comes up. But it is anyone's guess at this point.

6th Floor blog said...

devon, you say it in jest, but I think Delgado is a big reason why Shawn Green (and not just Shawn Green ) are doing as well as they are. He's a very intelligent hitter who is imparting his knowledge to his team, and it's great.

In 4 years, Delgado, Glavine, El Duque and (hopefully) Julio Franco will be gone, but guys like Beltran and Wright and Reyes and Maine and Perez will still be here, hopefully imparting the knowledge learned from those guys onto a new crowd of young call ups.

We're on pace for 102 wins. Imagine when everyone actually starts clicking together?