Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Runt Of The Win Litter

Don't get me wrong, I'll take it. When a win is left on my doorstep, I'm not leaving it out in the cold, even if it's the equivalent of the runt of the litter. A win is a win.

But forgive me if I'm not ready to plan a parade route just yet.

Yes, the Mets finally won a game on this road trip against the putrid Washington Nationals ... but make no mistake, "putrid", and not "won" is the key word. The Nationals out-odored the Mets tonight, what with dopey plays by Cristian Guzman and Adam Dunn losing a ball in the lights and some horrific umpiring affecting both sides by a rookie named D.J. Reyburn (whom I'd still take over the Angel Hernandez crew). But the Mets were lucky that their own blunders didn't come back to haunt them, and they would have if they had been playing anybody else besides the Nationals.

Another problem with Steve Phillips' misguided criticism of Carlos Beltran is that anytime someone has a fair gripe with Beltran, it's seen as siding with Phillips. So let me give you this disclaimer: I'm not siding with Steve Phillips.

That established: I do have to criticize Beltran. And though it seems that I'm stealing Marc Malusis' thoughts from the SNY postgame show, I swear to you I thought of it before Malusis said it ... and I'm taking it a step further: It's not only the fact that Beltran got thrown out at third base trying to stretch a double into a triple after he took a Cadillac tour to second base thinking the ball was a dinger, because that's bad enough.

But if you're going to show some leadership in the lockerroom and rip the team's effort through the media by saying that everyone has to play better (and by saying that the Pirates are barely a major league baseball outfit which has earned him the title of "School in Summertime" in Pittsburgh), then it has to start with you. Make no mistake, I loved that Beltran said what he said. But that's only half the battle. The example has to be set on the field. Getting yourself thrown out at third because you weren't running hard out of the box is the wrong example to back up your words. As much as I hate to use a cliche like "actions speak louder than words", it applies here. All Beltran did was give people fuel for their argument that Fernando Martinez not running on a pop-up is part of an organizational "lack of hustle" rather than an isolated incident.

And to go back to the problem of playing dumb, David Wright tagging and going to third base on a fly ball to left field is a dumb play ... whether he went on his own or whether Razor Shines sent him in the second inning ... dumb, dumb, dumb. Let's face it, Wright was out except for the fact that Reyburn couldn't see a lake from a rowboat. If that was a veteran umpire there, that's a 1-0 loss and Wright never gets a chance to win the game in the 10th. Especially when this team is racked with injuries, it has to play smart to give itself a chance to tread water. They aren't going to be so lucky next time.

(And speaking of lucky: Brad Lidge made Mets fans really lucky tonight. Two outs, nobody on, one run lead, and Lidge blew it. Something tells me that if the Mets finish behind them again, it isn't going to be because of the bullpens.)

(And speaking of bullpens, welcome back to the party Sean Green ... and just in time, too.)


In injury news, Jose Reyes is undergoing a new procedure to help him heal faster called "Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy."

As usual, the crack staff has exclusive footage of the team administering the procedure, seen at the 0:48 mark:


kjs said...

What saddens me is that Angel Hernandez would probably call a paw-high strike on that poor kitten and then stomp on it for fun and attention.

Unser said...

"Dog plasma . . . human plasma" - a classic.

The worst baserunning blunder of them all was Wright's attempt to steal third in the 10th. This is basic stuff - don't make the first or third out at third base - they tell you this in little league! And Hanrhan was in trouble, couldn't find the plate, and Wright just ripped a double off him. At this point I really do think its the organization. These guys just don't know how to run the bases.

Anonymous said...

dude.... how the hell did you find that clip on youtube...

ive been reading your blog since '05 and i gotta tell ya bro... the cartoon clip is priceless..


weesle909 said...

I wonder if anyone asked Beltran to comment on that play?

Eli From Brooklyn said...

Great clip, Metstradamus. Another giving of the plasma can be seen at 5:30, except this time it's for Mrs. Met.