Thursday, June 30, 2005

Lucky Charms

Here is an example of the curse the monacre "Metstradamus" carries. So it's the top of the first, and from my spot in box 226G I can't really distinguish is Pedro Martinez is getting squeezed or not by home plate ump Alfonso Marquez. But it certainly seems to me that Mike Piazza's glove is moving very little.

So flash forward to the bottom of the second as Pedro's pitch count is already up to 47, and now it's Jon Lieber's turn to get squeezed by Marquez. With Piazza was at the plate, and Todd "Tank" Pratt behind the dish, I'm thinking "you know, on a muggy day like this, and two star pitchers on the hill, this isn't the time to shrink your strike zone." No sooner do I think it does Tank think the same thing, and voices his displeasure to Marquez. Before you know it, Tank and Charlie Manuel are tossed, Piazza no doubt is laughing because of his own episode not that long ago, and now I'm thinking "get out of my head!!!"

Well before you know it, Chris Woodward is driving in two runs, and the Mets are on their way to a 5-3 victory. And speaking of Woodward, I want to take the liberty of proclaiming myself Chris' lucky charm. I've been present at three games (3-0). Woodward didn't play the first game. In the last two, he's three for eight with a HR, a double, a triple, and four RBI's. Woodward should know that anytime he needs me in the house, I'm there. However I'm probably best used sparingly as a backup lucky charm, which is the role that Woodward himself is used in.

Other observations:

I don't know how many other teams use this on Cliff Floyd, but that shift is silly. I think it caused more problems for the Phillies today than it solved. First, Floyd laid down a bunt down the third base line and got himself the easiest base hit he'll ever get. Then in the seventh inning, Carlos Beltran stole third because Tomas Perez was practically behind second for the Floyd shift. And even with Beltran at third, the Floyd shift was still on. Beltran could have easily stolen home if he wanted to after already stealing second and third (and doesn't Carlos Beltran stealing two bases make you want to breathe a sigh of relief?) All because of the shift. Of course the shift didn't wind up costing the Phillies any runs, but it sure as heck didn't prevent any problems for the Phils.

Also, while Pedro was at bat in the second with runners on first and second, David Wright bluffed a delayed steal of third on the first pitch to Martinez as Tomas Perez charged the bunt. After that pitch, shortstop Jimmy Rollins cautioned Perez about staying close to third. Next pitch, Perez charges, Martinez deadens a bunt to Lieberthal behind the plate, and Wright should have been a dead duck. But Perez was too far in, Lieberthal hesitates but tries to get him anyway, and everyone is safe. Even though that didn't cost the Phillies either, I suspect that miscommunication like this are why they're sinking like a stone.

I have Chase Utley on the hate list today, but basically it's only because he's not a Met, and he's good. And after hustling all the way down the line on an easy ground ball to second base in the sixth inning (which a lot of players would mail in, and it's sad that players are singled out for hustling rather than for not), I promise that after today, Utley is off the hate list forever.

Sometime during the game, the P.A. system played Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". Memo from those of us who are still tormented by the trade of Scott Kazmir...that's not funny.

The Mets alternated video footage of a Phillie fan and Mets fans, you know that basic stuff that most ballparks do to get the fans to alternate between boos and cheers. The boos for the Phillie fan were half hearted until he revealed that the t-shirt he was wearing was not only a Phillies shirt, but a Pat Burrell Phillies shirt. Then the boos were vociferous and heartfelt.

And a final note: check today's boxscore and pay particular attention to the top of the seventh inning. Bell was relieved by Ring.

Of course.

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