Thursday, April 09, 2009

Blood Thinners, Anyone?

Now I know how Fred Sanford felt.

I just assume these days that most Mets games are going to end up just like Wednesday's nine inning marathon did. Frankie Rodriguez has to know ... and if he doesn't he'll learn ... that he can get all the saves and break all the records he wants when he's wearing Anaheim red ('xcuse me ... Los Angeles of Anaheim red). But when he closes games for the orange and blue, being behind on the count 2-0 is automatic. From Sisk to Orosco to Franco to Benitez to Looper to Wagner, Frankie Rodriguez is just the next victim in the chain. Honestly, what makes him so special that he can just get through ninth innings without some sort of challenge ... whether it be not having his best stuff, or an umpire being talked into a call by the runner?

Or tonight, both?

Go ahead and watch that play where Delgado pulled himself off the bag to try to throw out Brandon Phillips going to third base in the ninth. It's okay to admit that Delgado was, in fact, off the bag. But he's the issue I have with it: If Carlos was indeed off the bag, it was by a couple of inches at most. And Bill Welke was way out of position to make that call. Welke was talked into the call by Edwin Encarnacion, who gets the Lee Mazzilli award for that stunt.

But Frankie caused a lot of his own problems by pretending that 2009 was actually 2008, and also by pretending that he was Aaron Heilman in a very demented game of charades where it's easy to mimic "blown save". Rodriguez, however, had the intestinal fortitude to reach up to the top shelf and pull down some of those pitches he saves for a rainy day and finish off the Reds once and for all.

(Hey, I'm not complaining. Frankie's replacement in Anaheim just gave up three runs in the ninth and blew his first save. Uh-oh.)

So now with the entire back end of the pen having gone the first two games, it would be nice if Oliver Perez could give the Mets a little length for the day game after the night game. But the optimist in me says that Perez will probably put the Mets behind by about seven runs by the time you read this, so Rodriguez, J.J. Putz, and Sean Green aren't going to be needed anyway. If I were Brian Stokes though, I'd start warming up now. (Billy Wagner is already warming up ... but he'll only be effective on eleven months rest.)

(Yeah, I said optimist. I could have said "down by forty runs".)

Mike Pelfrey won with less than his best.

Oh, and you're a true connoisseur of baseball if you were more impressed by Delgado's single to the left side to drive in the sixth run than you were by his tape measure blast in the first inning. If Jerry Manuel's 80 pitches in 6.6 seconds drill is truly going to have this effect on Delgado, maybe teams will stop playing the dopey shift on him.


Gary Sheffield's outfield workout before Wednesday's game didn't go so well.

To Gary Sheffield's credit, he has yet to leave roadkill on my doorstep for anything that I've written on this blog. But because he was preparing for a season where he didn't have to play the outfield, maybe he ate the roadkill.
“I knew I was just hitting, so I kept weight on just to be able to hit and keep my strength. Now I’m asked to do something else, so I have to get the weight off and be able to do both.” -Gary Sheffield


number15 said...

there is a better chance that sheff wins a gold glove and the roberto clemente award this year than perez giving us length today

Coop said...

What I want to know is - whatever happened to the "lights out" closer. It's sad when it's Lidge these days.

Unser said...

I don't think Delgado was off the bag. At best, it was very close. Awful call - I can't remember the last time I saw that.

Feliciano - did I hear Darling or Cohen say that he had a great year last year?!? He was terrible - worse than Joe Smith or Scott Schoenweiss. Walked the lead-off man too many times and had far too many outings like he did last night. Yes, he's a lefty specialist but if he can't get in a stress-free inning of work with the team up by 5, that's a problem.