Saturday, June 11, 2005

Angels Cure Cancer

Well, maybe not cured it. But their three HR's helped the cause by raising $60,000 for prostate cancer research at the Mets pitching staff's expense in a 12-2 shellacking by the Anaheim Angels (yeah, I called them the Anaheim Angels. Let Arte Moreno sue me.)

Kaz Ishii cruised through his first five innings and the Mets had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, then the fun started. Kaz Ishii attempted to pull off a successful sacrifice with runners on first and second but instead got the lead runner forced, and then he had to run the bases. After advancing to second base, Miguel Cairo scalded a liner down the left field line off Bartolo Colon which was caught by Garrett Anderson. At that point, Ramon Castro was at third tagging up to score. Kaz Ishii, meanwhile, was almost at third base as he obviously failed Dae Sung Koo baserunning school. As Castro chugged home, Ishii was running full tilt scrambling back to second. Luckily, Anderson's throw was wide and Ishii was not doubled off allowing Castro to score.

But that was the turning point of the whole game, because with all the running around Ishii did (for no good reason I may add since if he could have laid down a bunt in the first place he wouldn't have been in the position to lose his wind and look stupid on the Cairo sac fly) he was undoubtedly going to tire out in the bottom of the sixth. And sure enough, with ball one well high and well outside to Chone Figgins I thought "uh oh." Two batters later the game was tied, and it might as well have been over as after Ishii gave up three more runs on a Steve Finley dinger, the Mets turned it to the back end of the bullpen.

Speaking of the bullpen, I know I've gone on about the horrible numbers of Danny Graves. But I'll tell you what, I've never looked so forward to the arrival of a pitcher with an ERA of a billion, a WHIP of 300, and the temprament of Ed Belfour on a bender as I do right now. Because anybody is better than the Abbott and Costello duo of Mike DeJean and Manny Aybar.

It's bad enough that Willie Randolph didn't have anybody ready in the pen after Ishii played Richie Ashburn on the bases, but it was the perfect opportunity to give Aaron Heilman some meaningful work. Even if you insist on leaving in Ishii after the Erstad homer, and let him give up three more runs, Heilman on the mound down 5-2 isn't the worst situation in the world Buuuut nooooooooooooooooooooooo! Instead we get DeJean, who immediately gives up a double to Orlando Cabrera and an RBI single to a pitcher who bats maybe three times a season. (My sources tell me that after the game, DeJean wrote to his local congressman to blame the city deficit on David Wright.) And then after Royce Ring gives us a good outing, we get Aybar: The Human White Flag (trivia: what former Mets pitcher originally held the nickname "The Human White Flag"?). Then to pour salt in the wound, Randolph warmed up Heilman with the Mets down ten, the only situation that Randolph sees fit to use him these days. If Aaron Heilman was buried any further he'd be sharing construction tips with Jimmy Hoffa, but DeJean and Aybar still get work. Does this make sense to anybody else?

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