Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Worth The Wait

The only thing worse than sitting in a rainy ballpark for 2 and a half hours is sitting in a rainy ballpark for 2 and a half hours and then seeing your team stink up the joint. Well, Mets fans sat in a rainy ballpark for 2 and a half hours. Then the Mets and Phillies got going. Thankfully, the Mets did anything but stink up the joint as they reached .500 again with a 5-1 win over the Phillies.

It turned out to be a great pitching duel with Pedro "Petey" Martinez going seven strong, striking out 6 and giving up 4 hits, two walks and one earned run. Jon Leiber pitched well too, going 6 innings and only giving up 6 hits and one earned run. But Charlie Manuel curiously pinch hit for him, trying to scratch a run off of Martinez in the top of the seventh even though Leiber's pitch count was only at 79. With a runner on second, a tie game, and Martinez humming along it wasn't a bad move, but Jose Offerman popped out to end the threat and the move would immediately backfire on Manuel.

In the bottom of the seventh with one down, Jose Reyes singled and stole second off of reliever Terry Adams. Reyes had an outstanding night going 4 for 5 with 2 steals and the hit in the seventh was huge. After a Kaz Matsui walk, Carlos "The One Man Marketing Machine" Beltran came up with the Mets in need of a timely hit. Timely hits have come around about as often as Kevin Brown smiles so far this season. But Beltran is proving to be that special someone looking to earn his paycheck rather than collect it with a ski mask and a gun. Carlos belted a three run dinger off of Adams and put a dent in the big scoreboard, as he gave the Mets a 4-1 lead. If Warner Wolf was still employed he would have said "turn your sets off there". Those who saw Beltran's homer in person are glad they waited 2 and a half hours at soggy Shea.

Fire up the tabloids: Ramon Castro played in his sixth game on Monday. Four of those games have been with Martinez on the hill. It will be fun hearing Willie Randolph try to convince us once again that Martinez doesn't have a personal catcher, and that Pedro and Mike Piazza are getting along just fine. Sure. Pull my other leg Willie, it plays "Jingle Bells".

Fans alert as ever: Gotta love tonight's crowd. Jose Reyes bats in the bottom of the eighth with four hits in four at bats, and on a 3-1 count the fans start chanting "Walk! Walk! Walk!" Reyes took a borderline strike before grounding out hard to third base. We may see a Mets no-hitter before we see a Reyes walk this season. Counters are stuck at zero on both categories.

The Left-handed Nolan Ryan update: Scott Kazmir struck out nine Yankees in six innings tonight, while giving up 8 hits and two walks. Would have beaten them but was victimized by a brutal Damon Hollins error in right field. The legend of the next Nolan Ryan continues, while I continue to beat the dead horse that is Victor Zambrano. Speaking of dead horses...

Quote of the night: Mets radiocaster Gary Cohen discussed the in-progress Nationals/Dodgers game during a scoreboard recap in the ninth inning. He guessed that Esteban Loiaza must have flown to L.A. the night before from D.C. because he was pitching great against the Dodgers, one hitting them through 5 innings to be more precise. Talking about the Nats lineup, who flew over Sunday night/Monday morning to L.A. with the rest of the team, Cohen took a dig at a former Met when he astutely suggested: "six innings and no runs against Scott Erickson, the Nationals must be tired" as broadcast partner Howie Rose cackled in appreciation.

I'm disappointed I didn't think of that one.

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