Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Aramis Ramirez: The Final Frontier

You may have missed this, but China has recently, and successfully, launched the Nigeria Communication Satellite into orbit from the Xichang satellite launch center in China.

Unfortunately, the satellite was knocked out of orbit by Aramis Ramirez's grand slam, launched by Scott Schoeneweis at Shea Stadium in New York.

Before it could knock any satellites off the air, it turned a manageable 3-1 game into a 7-1 disaster, and it was well on it's way to the 10-1 debacle that it turned out to be.

When Aramis Ramirez is in New York, he's the greatest enemy that the space program has...if you remember (and believe me I tried to forget) he hit the same set of green seats against Steve Trachsel last July with a home run that traveled 425 feet. Obviously, he didn't want to limit the souvenirs to the people in the mezzanine box seats, so this time he hit the less expensive reserve seats with the grannie. Sure he was helped out by a slight 18 mph breeze to left field, but if that's all he needed, maybe the launch center in China should rethink their more expensive methods of satellite launching.
"That would have been an out in most parks."

"Name one..."

So now John Maine is 5-1 instead of 5-0. He wasn't fried to a crisp as he could have been, he kept the Mets in the game for the 96 pitches and five innings that he lasted, and that's a good thing. All we can ask of Maine at this point is that if he's going to have an off night (7 hits and three walks for a game WHIP of 2), battle and keep the team in it, which he did.

Of course, Maine's counterpart Carlos Zambrano picks a great night to stop sulking over not getting that contract extension signed before the Cubs announced an impending sale of the team. Zambrano (I'm going to resist the easy "has been pitching more like Victor Zambrano" joke because I feel I'm better than that...all right, maybe not) has been subpar all season long until breaking out of the slump tonight in Flushing, going eight innings and giving up a lonely home run to Shawn Green. The Mets had opportunitites off of "Z", with Paul Lo Duca getting the big two-out hit only to have Green chucked at home...and Endy Chavez leaving a few men on the basepaths tonight with a couple of two out at bats.

And of course, tonight featured the inevitable "stick it to your former teammates" game, this time by Cliff Floyd. Floyd (who's healthy while Moises Alou is not...gee, who knew?) had three hits, a run batted in, and scored ahead of Ramirez's blast, following in the footsteps of famous "stick it to ya" games such as Mike Piazza's two HR's, Tom Seaver's complete game, and whatever Victor Zambrano has in store for us for whatever team he's playing for (because you know that will be the worst of all).

All we could have really hoped for was that Cliffy got an ovation fitting of a man who played his heart out in his time with the Mets. He did so during a time when such players seemed to be few and far in point: 2003, when he basically played on one leg until the Mets were eliminated from playoff contention. It's easy to be remembered for your accomplishments towards a winner. But Cliff Floyd showed what he was all about when the chips were down...when you really find out what someone is made of. We know what Cliff Floyd is made of, and the crowd showed him that tonight...although no matter how loud the crowd would have gotten for him, it would have never seemed like enough.

Of course, Cliff will surely test the limits of that love with another bushel of hits in the next two games. It's inevitable.


Jaap said...

If you want some consolation about the stick-it-to-you games of former Mets players, just recall Xavier Nady's 1 for 12 performances against the Mets last season...

Anonymous said...

I still want Alou up with 2 men on in the ninth game 7 of the NLCS. As personable as Floyd is, he is a "loser" type player. Notice I do not say loser. Baseball isn't everything.

football is.

Ceetar said...

I, like most Mets fans, liked Cliff. However, I was accepting of letting him go for youth(theoretically Milledge) in left field. I wasn't approving of the Alou trade. Why let a loyal, crowd-beloved, injury prone player go for a not quite as nice, injury prone player? Sure, Alou's probably a better player, but our offense wasn't lacking. I think Cliff's a good player, I think with every day playing time, he could very well have a 2005 type season where he hit a bunch of home runs and drove in over 100, especially on a Mets team with lots of guys on base.

I think this game proved the most about Maine. Anyone can get in hot streaks and grooves, it's minimizing the down time, and the struggles that makes a great pitcher. Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey both had big struggles, and ended up being removed mid-inning, or after three. John Maine battled, and managed to get through 5, with only 3 runs. Not great, an inning short of a quality start, but by no means insurmountable for the Mets to win. #60 took care of that part for us.

Anonymous said...

Schoeneweis has got to stop it with the walks. 13 in 16 innings? Not good. Throw strikes dude.

Anonymous said...

Lost in the blogsphere is that the Mets came upame against Zambrano who was showcasing his wares for Omar. Green was thrown out at the place then Endy grounded out with two on after the Green HR. if that goes right maybe Maine does not lose this game and its 3-3.

I am elated that LoDuca is not hitting 2nd every day. I like him hitting behind wright etal. But why was endy hitting 2nd?

Willie has suffered with Wright 2nd and now he has busted out hitting near .500 last week. Easley was also big in the #2 spot. Both have decent on base instincts. I also think Loduca SHOULD hit 2nd at least 1/3 of the time. Endy is NOT a #2 hitter. In fact he is not a starter. Ditto for Franco.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't expecting a Mike Piazza-style, grown-men-weeping, five minute ovation, but I was a little disappointed with the welcome Cliff got upon his first AB.

I guess one of those now-effortless hits 6 monts ago would have ensured a more rapturous return.

Anonymous said...

"I wasn't expecting a Mike Piazza-style, grown-men-weeping, five minute ovation, but I was a little disappointed with the welcome Cliff got upon his first AB.

I guess one of those now-effortless hits 6 monts ago would have ensured a more rapturous return."

If you watched the game--or the season--you'd have noted that Shea is the new Los Angeles. Because of construction, parking problems, traffic, and apathetic corporate fans, the stadium doesn't hit the given day's capacity until the 4th inning...and because of the insipid 7 train turnstiles, most fans cut out by the 8th to avoid a one-hour line to get through 4 turnstiles.

Anonymous said...

Used to be one (not THIS one) departed early to beat the rush... now you stay to the end of the game to avoid the crowds. Even tight games, people are leaving early. Good, easier for me to get out after the game. I didn't even slow down to get out last night after the last out.

albertsonmets said...

In fairness, those who bring school age children to games on weeknights and now find themselves at the mercy of LIRR timetables should be forgiven the occasional early departure. Big difference between that 10:05 and the 10:35 to Port Washington.
Well, that's what I overheard someone saying the other day anyway.