Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bench Marks The Spot

For a while there today, it looked like the highlight of today's Mets game was going to be the in-game entertainment, as during the Nationals brand new "Presidents Race" (a D.C. style sausage race) featuring George Washington and Big Stick Roosevelt in between innings, Mr. Met crashed the race and would have won had it not been for the interference of the Nationals mascot, Screech. (Would that make Mr. Met Al Gore while Screech played the part of the Florida ballot boxes?)

Well Mr. Met couldn't pass Abe Lincoln, but the Mets wound up passing the closest thing they'll have to a playoff test the rest of the year as they beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 at RFK today. And no, I'm not insinuating for a nanosecond that the Washington Nationals are a playoff calibre team...what with Brian Schneider attempting to throw out David Wright stealing with a throw that went to Halifax, the concurrent grounder that rolled up Marlon Anderson's arm, and Austin Kearns' throw from right field that ended up in Towson, that much should be obvious.

But with the game tied at 1-1, and Blueback Bradford facing Alfonso Soriano with the bases loaded and two outs, I'd say that constituted a pretty good idea of what to expect when October baseball rolls around. Bradford got Soriano on a high chopper to end the inning (yeah, Soriano probably would have been safe had he ran hard from the box but I guess that's another reason why Soriano's Nats aren't going to sniff the playoffs this year...and also let me add that second base is allegedly Jose Valentin's worst position, yet his play on the Soriano chopper looked like he has been playing the position for ten years), and the test was passed.

The Mets' reward for a passed exam? Michael Tucker (who looks eerily like Lou Myers from "A Different World") comes up with his first home run in a Mets uniform to give them the lead for good. And think of how ironic it is that Michael Tucker comes off the Mets bench to give them the victory, and it was a part of the Mets' spectacular 2005 bench that helped turn the momentum away from his Nationals and towards his former employer.

Give some credit to Steve Trachsel...not so much for only giving up one run in 6 and 2/3's, but for the relative expeditiousness included in Trachsel's repertoire (two long words in one mouthful wins me today's Scrabble award!) I thought I was safe being in transit during the start of today's game. How much could I miss's Steve Trachsel for crying out loud. I'll miss a half an inning at most.

Imagine my surprise as the Mets were in the bottom of the third inning at 1:40 PM. I thought the game started at noon or something.

And along with Bradford, let's also thank Cousin Oliver for bringing some versatility to the table...from mop-up man, to long man, to seventh inning guy, to eighth inning guy all in the span of a few months. And all this from a guy nobody in the baseball watching community expected squat from this season...certainly not me.

And to end things, let me tell you that as a former softball first baseman, catching pop-ups from sun to shade is harder than it looks. Good job, Mr. Delgado.


Anonymous said...

If the choice is Ledee vs. Wilson, I have to agree with you. Is there any serious cost here, in terms of giving anyone/anything up for his services?

Anonymous said...

4 hits, the lead off and clean-up men go 0 for 8, hitters 5 through 9 go 2 for 17 . . . and we win the game?

Translation #1 - The Nationals really stink.

Translation #2 - It's our year.

Also, check the standings - the Cardinals are tanking. We might face them in the first round. The Dodgers are looking strong - I'd love to get some payback for 1988 . . . and for that leaving Brooklyn thing.

Anonymous said...

Re: Preston Wilson - note the following stat provided by Metsblog (Matt Cerrone):

In 77 at-bats against left-handed pitchers he is hitting .312, he’s batting .316 in 177 at-bats away from Houston and he hit .300 in 40 at-bats against the American League during this season’s inter-league play…