Friday, May 20, 2005


Any game you get Derek Jeter to strike out three times and witness him committ two errors is a game you have to win. The Mets though, were victimized by key strikeouts and errors their own selves in a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the crosstown rival Yankees.

Victor Zambrano wasn't the best he could have been, but when stacked up against our low expectations he was Cy Young. He walked 6 batters in 5 and 1/3 innings, but should have escaped without giving up more than one run. With the bases loaded and one out, Zambrano got Robinson Crusoe Cano to ground to Kaz Matsu-E. But he bobbled the belt high double play hop and the go-ahead run trotted home to give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. WPIX's Tom Seaver said that the Cano grounder took a funny hop, to which I respond "on what planet?" Matsu-E blew it, plain and simple. Then Doug Mientkiewicz, who had an AWFUL night, butchered a grounder by pinch hitter Ruben Sierra to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.

The ultimate indignity came in the seventh inning, after Carlos Beltran cut the Yank lead to 3-2 with an RBI base hit. Joe Torre brought in Mike Stanton, who did absolutely nothing but polish off clubhouse spread leftovers in his two seasons as a Met, to face Cliff Floyd. Floyd, with Beltran on first, lined out hard to Tino Martinez to end the threat, which means Stanton did his job. Mike Stanton threw batting practice fastballs that 99 lb. lefthanded batters hit 500 feet when he was a Met, but now he's motivated. Nice. He hasn't had the kind of accuracy he had tonight since the 2000 World Series, when he hit the clubhouse television with champagne at the sight of Bobby Valentine. If there is a symbol for the 2005 rivalry for me, it's Stanton.

Roberto Hernandez then got old before our eyes in the ninth, getting knocked around to put the game out of reach. Sure, the Mets looked great sweeping Chico's Bail, I mean the Cincinnati Reds, but the Yankees are great at being the magnifying glass that exposes all of warts and ugliness in Queens.

Heroes and Zeroes:

Heath Bell cleaned up the mess caused by the Flushing "D" in the 6th, striking out Jeter and Tony Womack swinging to stop the bleeding. Heath Bell is a hero.

Doug Mientkiewicz struck out with the bases loaded in the first, made the key error in the sixth, and lost his concentration after a close play at first allowing Tony Womack to go to third base where he would eventually score. From Olympic hero to interleague zero.

Kaz Matsui drove in the Mets first run with a triple, but butchered the double play and struck out in the 8th with two runners on and down by a run. Tonight, he's Kaz Mat-zero.

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