Friday, May 08, 2009

Pirate Focus

It only seems that the Mets have been horrid against the Pirates over the last four years. They haven't ... going 16-12 from 2005-2008. But among the 12 there always seemed to be a Tike Redman, a Ronny Paulino, or a Steve Pearce that make one loss carry enough heartache for two or three.

The common thread with those losses and tonight might have been weaved as, for a short while in the ninth on Friday, it looked like J.J. Putz (with help from the omni-present former hockey player and current ground covering outfielder Nyjer Morgan) was going to add to that list of horrific losses that make me want to pour boric acid down my eye sockets.

But Putz got it together and saved (though only figuratively ... not in the stat line) Bobby Parnell his first major league win, and thus kept the Mets win streak alive at five. Make no mistake. This is no ordinary win. Because sure the Mets beat the Braves and Phillies four straight. But in the last two seasons ... especially last year ... it wasn't really about the Braves or the Phillies. it's been about the Pirates. And the Nationals. And the Marlins. And teams that the Mets always beat on paper but not where it counts, and not in the moments that count.

It would have been easy for the Mets to attempt to mail this one in and be all proud of themselves for winning four in a row against their mortal enemies. Instead, the Mets did all we could ask of them against your run of the mill regular opponent which is pitch well (welcome back to the show, Jon Niese), score some runs late (thanks to Carlos Beltran's cue shot and Carlos Delgado going all Dae Sung Koo on Sean Burnett), and only partially collapse in the bullpen (and not completely like some seasons we aren't going to mention here).

I don't think it's asking a lot.


The Metmaster said...

Was at the game. Delgado's shot was an absolute bomb. Niese could have had the win if not for Beltran and Church making like the cartoon characters Chip and Dale. "Oh please, you go first". "No, please, after you". "No, no, you were here first". "No, I insist you go first"...
You could see it happening, but your brain was screaming, "Someone take charge and catch the damn ball"!
I agree with you. The last two years they would have probably lost.
I've seen Parnell three times this year and like him more and more. He can throw the snot out of the ball. Putz give me stomach cramps.

Unser said...

5 runs in the 8th? Who was that team?

Thought Darling made a great point last night about pitchers attacking the strike zone in spacious parks like Citi Field, making for quicker and better games. Guess no one told Putz about this.

And Delgado passed Mantle in all-time RBIs, and is just a few HRs behind Stargell and Musial? Damn good power hitter. Barring any steroid revelations, should be a Hall of Famer.

Cheeks said...

Putz new nickname should be Stay Stay Putz. Ah, sorry, that was stupid.

Schneck said...

Great offense. Great pitching. Above .500. Near 1st place. Something must be about to go terribly wrong.