Sunday, May 22, 2005


You don't give teams extra outs...especially good teams. The Mets gave the Yankees extra outs in the 8th and the Yankees took advantage of them to take the rubber game of the weekend series, 5-3.

The ugly 8th wasted a great performance by Pedro Martinez, putting to rest the "Father Knows Best" discussion once and for all. Pedro went 7 innings, and gave up 4 hits, one walk, one run and 6 K's in 99 pitches. Martinez was also an integral part of the Mets rally in the second, when he tapped to Alex Rodriguez with two outs and runners on first and third. It should have ended the inning, but "The Cooler" booted it and the first run of the game scored. Then Jose Reyes drove in the second run of the game with a single to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Cliff Floyd made it 3-0 in the third with a mammoth homer to right center off of Carl Pavano.

But the 8th inning was the downfall. David Wright, who made a spectacular catch in the stands with 2 outs and the bases loaded in the first, booted an easy Tony Womack grounder with one out. Then Ruben Sierra hit a tailor made 4-6-3 DP to Miguel Cairo, but Reyes booted the turn in his zest to turn two instead of just worrying about one and everyone was safe. Then after a double steal, A-Rod fouled out and the Mets were almost able to pull the Houdini-style escape. But Hideki Matsui, who is becoming as big a Met-killer as anybody out there, lined a good Roberto Hernandez pitch to left to tie the game, and Bernie Williams followed with a long double to right field to give the Yanks the lead for good. Should the Mets have walked Godzilla? I think so. But in the long run it didn't matter.

It's hard to fault Wright and Reyes, who have been great this series, but theirs were blunders that should never happen. Luckily they're young enough to learn.

Why this hurts: This hurts because the Marlins (who are now clearly the favorites to win the division over Atlanta in my mind), have just swept the Tampa Bay Never Rays, and gained two games from the Mets in the process, and are now 3 full games up on New York, including 5 in the loss column. Just another reason why the 7 games against the Braves and Marlins this week are bigger than the three that just passed.

The pig strikes again: Once again, Mike "Pig" Stanton rememberd once again that his purpose in life is to destroy the Mets, whether he's wearing their uniform or not. For the second time in three days, Stanton retired Cliff Floyd on a hard hit ball, getting out the big lefty hitter he gets paid to get out. Of course, the Mets sent along close to a million dollars to the Yankees in the Felix Heredia trade, so it's the METS that are paying him to get Mets out. Nobody makes the word "puke" a noun more than Mike Stanton.

Who's rump was saved? None other than Rodriguez. Can you imagine the wrath that "The Cooler" would have felt had the Mets not had an implosion of their own? Between booting Pedro's grounder and popping up in the 8th for what should have been the final out, A-Rod would have been the biggest Bronx zero since, well, since Randy Johnson on Saturday. Yankee fans, admittedly, don't have much to brag about, since the two games they won really were like the episode of South Park where little league teams tried to lose on purpose so that they wouldn't spend their whole summer playing baseball. No such luck for the Mets.

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