Thursday, July 03, 2008

World Of Hurt

Hey, I don't want to be the grumpy one all the time. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that even though it took a rain delay to make Pedro Martinez seem whole again, I'll say that I saw enough out of Petey to believe that he does in fact have something left this season. Even though he stunk in the first inning as per usual (.407 BAA against in the first inning this season), and had his usual problems in the fifth (.520 in the fifth ... much better), I'll always be reluctant to bury Petey until he walks off the mound for the final time, cradling his rotator cuff in his glove hand.

(Editor's note: This blogger made the same mistake with Tom Glavine before he had two decent seasons at an older age than Pedro.)

And I do suppose that I was heartened by the Mets coming back from an early 4-0 hole to take a 7-5 lead in the seventh. Guts and fire ... great. But good teams show guts and fire, and then not give it back. The Mets haven't proved that they're anything above mediocre this season. And the disheartening thing about last night's disaster was that the big blow came off of a pitcher who has been one of the rocks of the 'pen in Pedro Feliciano. And a lefty batter at that ... albeit a lefty batter that has rocked him on a grander stage.

(Editor's note: Also seen in both last night's game and the 2006 NLCS: Carlos Beltran striking out looking in a big spot. Last night it was the top of the eighth with a runner on third and one out at 7-5 Mets. Beltran's next up in the "keep 'em fresh" day off rotation.)

But Chris Duncan's home run only tied the game. Then came the ninth. And admit it ... admit it right now: before SNY went to commercial after the top of the ninth, and you saw Carlos Muniz make his way out of the bullpen to face Albert Pujols, Rick Ankiel, and Troy Glaus, you got that sinking feeling in your stomach that Muniz was in the same position as all of those no-name ensigns on Star Trek that got killed on all those missions going out with Kirk, Bones, and Spock. Sure enough, Ankiel came within a few feet of winning the game before Glaus did the walk-off deed and sent Muniz back to New Orleans with not so good memories.

Ron Darling was asked after the game if the Mets would rather lose like last night than a 7-1 lifeless dud, and he said something to the effect of "no way ... they've had lifeless duds all season. Last night was much better." It's a non-aggravating way of saying "at least they battled". And that's what it has come down to.

But here's your perspective alert of the night: As much as we complain, take solace in the following:

  • The Mets are only 4.5 back in a mediocre division.
  • They have a four game set with the Phillies coming up.
  • At least the Mets aren't moving.
Don't take that last one lightly. They say if it could happen to us, it could happen to anybody. And before ground broke on the Brooklyn Dodgers Shrine (Ebbets Queens), I firmly believe it could have happened to us. Yes, there are nights like tonight I wish the Mets would have moved to Oklahoma City (many of those nights coming in the last ten months). And no, I have no first hand knowledge of any discussions the Mets might have had in the last ten years about possibly moving to another market. And despite my natural leanings towards conspiracy theories, those discussions probably never existed.

But no ... considering this city's history with franchises exiling to California, I assume nothing. So yes, I'm thankful that what happened to the Seattle Sonics has not happened to the New York Mets (despite what happened last night). So I leave you with this:

(Editor's note: What I really hoped to find was an old Mello Yello commercial which featured former Sonic Gus Williams. The above was the closest thing I could find. Sorry.)


Rickey Henderson said...

It was a tough loss, but Rickey would definitely take it over any of their more limp and lifeless defeats this season.

Chris Selland said...

Glad you mentioned Beltran's strikeout - and the connection to the '06 NLCS.

The image of him watching strike 3 go by - with the bat on his shoulder - perfectly defines this team for me. Everyone strikes out but SWING THE BAT!

Playoff teams find a way to win games like last night's.

Unser said...

Ugh. That loss kept me up late, even after the game ended.

Here's my upside - they are starting to play better and there's half a season left to play. I'm with you on Petey - something tells me he'll figure it out.

And its time to play Easley everyday until he stops hitting.

Anonymous said...

new york liberals 7
st. louis patriots 8

life is good! God loves the heartland!

weesle909 said...

Another bullpen failure. It's almost as if, on any given night, there's someone in the bullpen who doesn't have it. And it's the manager's job to find him and insert him at just the right point in the game...

Daniel said...

beltran lost the game. a sac fly with wright on 3rd gives the mets a 3 run cushion and then its wagner, not feliciano, pitching the 9th

Schneck said...

The Mets are like that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry is convinced that he always breaks even no matter what. I think he tried to throw 10 bucks out the window and it somehow came back to him. At some point before the season is up, the Mets will have a 6 game winning streak followed by a 6 game losing streak. Mark my words.