Thursday, May 31, 2007

What an Odd Game

I can't really describe last night. Just an odd game. No excitement. Nothing really interesting happened, except for Molina scoring from first on a triple (which must be a sign of the apocalypse). It was one of those games, you know?

But I take nothing away from Zito. He had everything working last night, that curve was dominating. So, the Mets suffered their first shutout of the season. Glavine pitched well after a shaky first inning. The first seems to be a bugaboo for him of late. Not sure why. Of course, the lack of offensive support isn't helping him in his march to 300 wins. He is still stuck on 295, making it two starts in a row. I think part of the problem is that he is being matched against the top pitcher on the opposing team a lot more frequently this year than last year. It was the same when he first joined the team, and his record suffered for it (of course, those teams kinda sucked, so that didn't help matters). Perhaps a re-jiggering of the rotation may help. Well, that and the bats decide to show up.

The only positive the Mets can take out of last night was that Mota came back, and was quite good. He pitched two innings (the 8th and 9th), and gave up 1 hit (and that was the result of an awful miscue by Carlos Gomez). But Mota got out of it, and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. He also had two strikeouts. If he is indeed back to form (and I'm talking pre-last season and pre-whatever fucked up shit he was putting into his body), then the bullpen just got a hell of a lot stronger. The rest of baseball should be worried.

As for the Mota reception, it depends on who you listen too or read. Gary last night said the reaction was muted, but decidedly negative. The papers seemed to think there were some boos and cheers. I wonder what the Screaming Puppy will have to say about it. After all, he has been on his soapbox all week about how "the met fan cannot boo Bonds and cheer Mota." As someone wrote on Metsgeek yesterday, "hey Chris, how about getting on the Giant fan that cheers Barry?"

Tonight, El Duque vs. Matt Cain. Here's to hoping the boys are a tad pissed about being shutout, and take it out on Mr. Cain. And also that El Duque is his usual baffling self to the opposition.

In other news, A-Rod is allegedly cheating on his wife. The Post went front page with it yesterday. Both the Post and News did the same today. Newsday was the only tabloid to stay out of the gutter. Now, I personally think A-Rod is a phony, and if he is cheating on his wife, then he is a tremendous douchebag. However, this is not news. This is not front page stuff. I don't give a rats fuck who, what, when, or where he is fucking. It is not my business. I said basically the same thing last year when the Post (notice a trend here) printed the stuff about PLD and his girlfriend(s). PLD was somewhat different, since he was in the midst of a divorce, but it was still bullshit that it was printed. The same holds for now. You gotta think A-Rod has now made his decision to opt-out at the end of the year. I hope he joins the Angels, or Red Sox, and haunts the Yankees for years to come.

Then again, the Yanks are in deep shit either way. Why, even some of their most loyal fans are leaving them, or are close to being done. Francessa conceded the division yesterday, though I wonder how he will react to their victory last night. To quote Michael Ray Richardson "The ship be sinking, and the sky's the limit". How apropos.

One thing A-Rod does need to watch out for is balls coming at his head during the next game against the Blue Jays. That bush league "I got it" yell to the Jays third baseman is liable to get him hit. But, what can you expect from Slappy?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Benitez Syndrome

Meltdown. That's the only word to describe what we witnessed in the 12th inning last night. After years of being on the bad end of Benitez while here as our closer, and then seeing him actually do well against us after he left, so far this year, Armando has blown two games against the Mets (not to mention last years blown save when Milledge took him deep, and then hi-5'd the fans in right field). But for all the collapses we have witnessed, by Armando and others, this by far was the worst/best.

It didn't look good early. Oliver Perez started, and allowed a home run to leadoff hitter Randy Winn, then another to Benji Molina (who now has 3 of his 5 hr's this year against the Mets). From there though, O Pea settled down, and retired 13 straight until the top of the sixth. Then in the 6th, Perez allowed another homer, one that would tie the game after the Mets came back to make it 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, this time to Dan Ortmeier (playing for Barroid), his first ML home run. From there, the pen took over, as Pedro Dos, Wagner, The Show(!) and Heilman took the Mets till the 12th without allowing another run. In the top of the 12th, Joe SMith came in, and made the mistake of walking the leadoff hitter, Omar Vizquel, then wild pitching him to 2nd. Following a sacrifice bunt, Smith hit Sweeney. Randy Winn followed with a grounder to Delgado, who stepped on first and then threw home. PLD did a poor job blocking the plate, and it was 4-3. Delgado probably should have gone right home, but he was so close to 1st, it made some sense to get the sure out. So we went to the bottom of the 12th, and in strode Armando.

Giants starter Tim Lincecum matched Ollie. He held the Mets scoreless for the first 3 innings, but in the 4th, he walked Beltran, and then Delgado hit a bomb, tying the game at 2. In the sixth, Jose Jose Jose led off with a single, and scored from first on a double to right by Beltran. Delgado was walked, but Wright and PLD flew out to end the inning. It was 3-2. In the 9th, Wright hit a ball that he thought was gone, but wound up going for a long double. PLD walked, Easley popped out, and Old Man Franco pinch hit for Gomez (who looked awful in his last at-bat against Lincecum, then again, most guys did last night). Franco hit a grounder up the middle, that looked like a hit, but Vizquel got to it, and tossed it to second for the 3rd out.

Then came the 12th. Reyes led off with a walk, mistake number 1. Then, the core of Armando began to heat up, and the cooling plant failed. With Jose bouncing all over the place at first, he balked Reyes to second with Endy at the plate. Endy then sacrificed Jose to 3rd, where he began to dance again. Benitez retired Beltran, bringing up Delgado. Reyes continued to dance, and Armando crept closer to critical mass, balking in the tying run. Then, the reactor blew, as Delgado slammed a fastball over the right centerfield fence, for a 5-4 Mets victory. The sight of Armando throwing his glove in anger was beautiful. And the mob scene at the plate that welcomed Delgado was fantastic to see. If indeed he made a mistake by not throwing home in the top of the 12th, he more than made up for it.

So, thanks to a comeback win, and a Braves loss, the lead is now 5 games. The Braves put Larry Jones on the DL, and Smoltz left his start after 3.1 innings with an apparent hand injury (not sure if it is his busted pinkie or something else). The Phillies lost as well.

It will sure be fun to listen to Mike and the Mad Dog today. I normally don't, but I think this is a special situation. I wonder how he will react to Armando's latest meltdown?

Oh, and the other NY team lost, this time in part thanks to a straight steal of home. Even better, the NY Post has a front page picture of Alex Rodriguez with a blonde, entering a hotel on Sunday night. After dinner at a steak house and a trip to a strip club. Oh, did I mention, the blonde is not his wife? Wow, just wow. As if people didn't hate him already, now he is cheating on his wife?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Say Hi to the Barry's

The San Francisco Giants come to Shea this week for a three game set. This means, in addition to overheated ramblings from Chris (Mini Me) Russo about how great his team is, we get to see fan reaction to the Barry's, Bonds and Zito. Let's talk about Zito first.

Many fans (myself included) had hoped that Zito would be wearing blue and orange this season. We hoped that Omar and the Wilpons would open up the checkbook, and that Zito would be our #1 starter. The best laid plans were foiled when the Giants offered up a 7 year $126 million contract. Now, there was some talk that Barry liked the Giants approach more than the Mets approach, felt there weren't as many "ego's" involved with the Giants (of course, this is because Bonds wasn't involved in the recruiting process, he was a tad busy.) I would suggest to Zito that this may end up being a mistake on his part. After all, Delgado apparently didn't love the Mets pitch to him a couple of years back, then signed with the Marlins, who traded him to the Mets after one year. By the end of this season, Zito may be looking to be dealt as well.

So, do I think Mets fans should abuse Zito tomorrow night? Nah. I'd rather the Mets bats did that themselves. Zito made a choice. He is a west coast guy, and decided to stay there. Given his results this year, no great loss for the Mets not getting him.

As for the other Barry, there were stories in all the major NY papers today about how Mets fans would be hypocrites if we booed Bonds, but cheered Mota, since Mota has actually failed a PED test, while Barry has not. OK, I kinda get the point, but remember, baseball didn't test for quite a while. And Barry did reportedly test positive for greenies, so he is not totally clean. Plus, anyone with half a brain can look at him and see how much larger he is now than when he started playing for the Pirates. Weights only add so much bulk, and the last I checked, there are no exercises that increase the size of your head.

The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. "Game of Shadows" told a lot. Pictures tell a story as well. I think a lot of the fans dislike of Bonds comes from his demeanor as well. To put it kindly, he is a bit of a prick, to the media and teammates alike (he tried to pin the greenies test on a teammate, saying he got the stuff out of his locker). Plus, he is about to break a hallowed record, the 755 from Hank Aaron. Aaron by all accounts was a consummate professional. Bonds does not have the same reputation. I fully expect Bonds to be booed, partly for the steroids, and mostly because he is an opposing player who is very good. He will join a long list of players who have been booed at Shea. No shame in that.

As for Mota, I am torn. Part of me thinks he should not be welcomed back with cheers, given the stain he left on the Mets due to his failed test. I'm not saying he should be booed, as I dislike booing Met players. At the same time, I can understand why some may choose to do so. I'm thinking the silent treatment the first game back. Then, he can be treated like any other Met. Omar and the Wilpons made the decision to bring him back. We all know how the Wilpons are when it comes to players who bring negative news to the Mets (see Milledge, Lastings). I say we support our GM and owners. Besides, if Yankee fans aren't called out for not booing Giambalco and Sheffield, why should Mets fans boo their own guy? One who didn't exactly set any records when he was on the juice. I'm not saying that absolves him of all wrongdoing. But he did at least apologize.

We hopefully will get some news on the walking wounded this week. During the 3-Game Fish Fry this weekend, Shawn Green broke his foot, and Carlos Gomez hurt his hammy. This led to the sight of Damion Easley in left field on Sunday. He had a couple of chances, and didn't make any mistakes, so that was good. We may also find out when Alou is back, it could be as early as tomorrow, or not until the weekend. If not till the weekend, then I think either Gomez or Green need to be put on the DL so Ben Johnson can come up to play. I do not want to see Easley in the outfield again. And I don't want to see Newhan at all.

Nice sweep for the boys. Sosa bounced back nicely. Delgado started to hit. Maine won his sixth game of the season with a nice bounce back start. And El Duque returned, and looked like he never left. The lead is now 4, after the Braves beat the Brewers (what the hell happened to them? Jeez, the Mets started their fall from grace huh?) last night. The Mets have 2 games in hand on the Braves. It's kinda funny. For all the sturm und drang about how the Braves are keeping it close this year, the Mets were only 4.5 games up at this point last year on the second place team. The Braves.

Time for the Mets to put some more distance between them and the rest of the NL East. It starts with the Giants tonight. It's not going to be easy, as the Giants throw Lincecum, Zito and Cain against Perez, Glavine and El Duque. I think we take two of three.

Meanwhile, the Bronx is imploding. At the end of last season, a certain Yankee blogger said to worry about snipers. I don't worry about them anymore.

Check out F.U. for my new column.

Friday, May 25, 2007


A well pitched game by Tom Glavine goes for naught, as John Smoltz was better, and the offense couldn't get a damn thing done. Am I annoyed? Yes. Am I pissed? Yes. Am I thinking the Atlanta Curse is back? Fuck No! They don't give you prizes for winning a season series. They give you prizes for winning the division, pennant and World Series. There have been plenty of times division winners have lost season series to teams in their division, even inferior teams. Shit happens. But so long as you beat up on the rest of the league, things will work out in the end. Yes, a Braves series win could help them win the division, but, the Mets could still win the WC. I'm not going to recap the game, it was painful to watch. I'm not going to blame it on the umps either, though they did suck (that checked swing strike call on DW with the bases loaded was utter bullshit.)

Here's the thing fans, the Mets are still in 1st. This, despite having some pitching issues (El Duque hurt, Pelfrey being not good) and despite an offense that has missed Delgado all year, DW for April, and recent slumps from Reyes and Beltran. Add to the injuries to Valentin and Alou, and the team has battled some adversity all year. But they are still in first at 29-17, 630 ball. And guess what, at this time last year, they were 28-18. Things aren't that bad.

All season long the team has seemingly struggled with RISP. This will not go on forever. Wright will continue to hit (though not John Smoltz apparently). Delgado will turn it around, as will Beltran. Alou returns next week. El Duque comes back tonight. The bullpen is fine, and Aaron Heilman is starting to turn it around (The Show had a good inning last night, against righties no less, but still has a lot to prove in my book.) Mota comes back next week. It will be interesting to see how Willie handles him. Will he be thrown into important spots right away, or will Willie feel him out?

Florida is next. There is no better way to get over a tough series loss (only the 4th of the year by the way, remember that on your way to the bridge) than to smack the taste out of the next teams mouth. No D-Train this time around. The match ups are:

El Duque vs. Mitre
Maine vs. Obermueller
Sosa vs. Olsen

For in-depth pitching match ups analysis, visit

Here's to hoping Dos Carlos' bust out in a big way this weekend. The Mets need them. As does my fantasy team.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dr. Perez, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ollie

I'm a Mets fan, which means, deep inside, I am a pessimist. I love success, but wait for the other shoe to drop from time to time. Whether it is getting nervous when a closer comes in to finish up a win dating from the days of Franco to last year, or concerned when Julio Franco comes in with a runner on first (fear of a double play), or that a pitcher who has exceeded expectations will come back to earth, Mets fans worry. After last night, I am scratching Oliver Perez from the worry list.

Following the injury to Duaner Sanchez, Omar felt he had to improve the pen. So, he traded Xavier Nady to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez and Ollie. Ollie had a great 2004, but had struggled since then. He was a throw in, as he had been demoted to the minors by the Pirates, which tells you how bad he had been. Robo was supposed to be the key to the deal, but really did nothing in his second tour with the Mets. Ollie had a mix of good and bad starts, until Game 7 of the NLCS, when he kept the Mets in the game, despite all the fears of doom from every corner of the media and the Mets fanbase (big assist to Endy Chavez of course).

In the offseason, everyone expected Omar to get a true ace, a Zito, or trade for Willis or someone else. He did not. He went into the season expecting John Maine (who had pitched an excellent Game 6) and Ollie to keep it up. Given Ollie's recent past, that was a huge leap of faith. It has paid off, in spades.

This year, after a fantastic first outing against the Braves, Ollie had a poor outing against Philly, lasting just 2.2 and allowing 3 runs, on 7 walks and 1 hit. Since then, Ollie has pitched 46 innings, allowing 12 earned runs, 36 hits, 13 walks, 45 K's. Amazing progress. He has gone at least 7 innings in his last 3 starts, and in 5 of his 9 starts overall (and went 6.2 in one other.) Despite some members of the media (Fat Bastard and Mini Me) saying he can not win a big game, he has beaten the Yankees and the Braves his last two outings. He shut out the Braves for 7 last night, and held the vaunted Yankee offense to 5 hits and 2 runs on Friday (this after Mini Me stated he would lose 8-2 that night. A big FUCK YOU to Mr. Russo. How's Barry Zito doing for you fucknuts?)

Going into last night, my level of concern was lower than normal, given Ollie's recent outing, and his dominance of the Braves this year. In the bottom of the first, he retired the leadoff hitter, but allowed singles to Renteria and Larry Jones. He followed that up by getting Francoeur and Diaz. In the second, he hit Smirky Jones, but then got a DP and retired old friend Chris Woodward on a fly ball. The Mets scored their first run on an error during a double steal in the top of the third (Shawn Green was trailing Reyes, and the throw to second went into center, allowing Jose to stroll home). In the bottom of the third, Ollie showed we no longer need to worry.

Chuck James led off with a single. Now, normally when the pitcher gets a hit, bad things happen to the Mets. Ollie then threw a wild pitch, moving James to 2nd. Prado fouled out to right, on a diving play by Shawn Green (I had to replay that a couple of times), moving James to third. Renteria walked, and stole second. Larry Jones lined out, then Frenchy walked, loading them up. Did Ollie falter? No way. Matt Diaz flew out to end the inning. And Ollie didn't allow another hit until the 7th.

Joe Smith pitched a flawless 8th, striking out Renteria and Larry, and inducing Frenchy to fly out. Wags pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing one hit, for his 11th save.

On the offensive side, the big news was the new lineup. Delgado moved to 6th, Wright to 4th, PLD to 5th and Shawn Green to 2nd. The hope was that the reduced pressure would help Delgado to break out. He did have 2 hits, both to the left side (though one was a charitable hit, hometown scorer didn't want Larry to get an error). PLD went 2-3 with a run. Wright hit his 8th home run of the month (I think the slump is over now, how about you?) Reyes went 0-3, but had 2 walks, a SB and a run scored. Only 7 hits in total, so it's not like they smacked James around, but they did what was needed, and Ollie made it stand up.

Hopefully the bats were saving the runs for a good old fashioned ass-kicking of Smoltz tonight. Let's get Tommy win # 296, and deny Smoltz win #200. No matter what happens, the Mets leave Atlanta in 1st place. Let's keep it that way.

I like not worrying about Ollie. Now, about Delgado...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Kyle F'in Davies?

Well, a sweep is out of the question now. Jorge Sosa came back down to earth as the Braves smacked the Mets around, but good last night to the tune of 8-1. Sosa, who had done quite well his first 3 starts, opened the game with a 1-2-3 first, but things went downhill from there. Fast.

Walks were the key here. You cannot, repeat, cannot walk the opposing pitcher. This never turns out well. Sosa had 3 walks in all, and allowed 2 runs in the second and third and 1 run in the fourth. Aaron Sele, who alas is not Darren Oliver, gave up the last three in the 6th on a home run by Davies (a career .096 hitter for fucks sake) to deep center field. At least Burgos escaped unscathed, so we got that going for us. Davies dominated, going 8 innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 BB's and 1 run. Wickman finished it up.

Now, it is easy to fall into the "Braves own us" mood. They have now won 5 of the 7 games between the two teams this year, and have won three of them going away. But remember, it was bad defense and poor relief that cost them a couple of the games, not a curse. Remember, we won the season series last year. The Braves are chasing us now, not the other way around, and they showed it last night. The Mets did not. Several players are in slumps, be they moderate (Beltran, Reyes) or worse (Delgado). At some point, you gotta think the offense is going to start firing on all cylinders. Let's just hope it is tonight.

Ollie goes for the Mets against Chuck James. Ollie has done quite well against the Braves since he joined the Mets last year, including two wins this year. The first was in an 11-1 drubbing where he allowed 5 hits in 7 innings. In the second, they won 7-2, as Ollie went 6.2, but allowed 9 hits. The bats helped there. They need to help tonight.

Delgado in the paper today said the problem is not related to any injury. He says he is simply not getting his front foot down in time, because he is starting his swing too late. I'm glad to hear he is not injured, but sad at the same time, since that would give a tangible reason for his struggles to date. Here's to hoping that he starts his swing a little early. He is getting beat badly on pitches low and outside. There is a concern that his struggles are allowing teams to pitch around Beltran, leading to his slump (Beltran has some issues with the breaking ball).

They still have a chance to take 2 in this series. Ollie needs to bring the good Ollie again, and Glavine has to forget that his good buddy is pitching and throw a good game. I am a little concerned that if the Braves take this series that some guys are going to get a little tight about them. We are the hunted, but we are also the hunted for a reason, we are the champs. Time to show that, and put the foot down on the Braves.

Monday, May 21, 2007

2 out of 3 Ain't Bad

Yes, I would have preferred a sweep. Not only because it was the Yankees, but because it would have given the Mets a 3.5 game lead heading into Atlanta, which is a much more important series in terms of standings. But I will take a 2.5 game lead, especially knowing that David Wright is mashing again. Wow, that first home run Saturday was a sight, landing amid the new construction. The second one, well, thanks Johnny Damon, that was mighty helpful. Last night's shot was also quite impressive.

What can I say about last night? I tip my hat to Tyler Clippard, he pitched a damn fine game, making only one mistake, to Wright. Otherwise, he kept the Mets off balance, and wiggled out of what could have been a deadly second inning when he induced a pop up from Reyes with the bases loaded. The same could not be said of John Maine, who had a 4th straight so-so start. I'm not saying the bloom is off the rose yet, but The Jacket needs to talk to him. He needs to work his secondary pitches into the game plan more. He is not overpowering enough where he can rely on his fastball to blow guys away.

I am worried a little because I find myself possibly agreeing with Joe Morgan, who said last night during a break of the abject ball licking of the Yankees to note that he thinks Carlos Delgado's wrist may be bothering him on the heel of off-season surgery. I tend to agree with this. The slump is now nearly 2 months long. He is a key component of the lineup, and they need him to get going. Beltran is also slumping a little, hopefully he can bust out soon as well.

As for the bullpen, The Show is reaching Sisk like level of suckitude. I have defended him this year, even last week in a column on F.U., but his display Saturday was shit, on the heels of shit on Tuesday night. The game should never have gotten that close on Saturday, and, for the first time, when he came in last night, I actually felt that things would get out of hand. They did not, thankfully, and perhaps this was a chance for him to get on track. Burgos on the other hand was not good. Pedro Dos was OK, and Aaron Heilman pitched the final 2, allowing only 1 hit, with a K and a BB.

So, after the high of reeling off wins in the first 2 games, we came back to earth last night a little. Of course, it was a rookie pitcher, which seems to always give the boys trouble (though this may be more perception than reality.) Still, it would have been nice to put another nail in the Yankees.

A day off for the Mets today before they head to Atlanta for 3 against the Braves. Not a day off for Ed, as he heads to the Bronx to see the Red Sox and Yanks with a few friends thanks to one of the friends who was able to procure seats from his firm. Ed doesn't pay to sit in Yankee Stadium.

Pitching matchups for the Mets and Braves are:
Sosa vs. Davies
Perez vs. James
Glavine vs. Smoltz (for the 3rd time this year).

Two out of 3 is a near must. Make the lead 3.5. Send a little message that this is our division. They had their little time of fun, but now we are taking care of business.

Friday, May 18, 2007

That's 1!

Put game 1 in the books folks, Mets 3, Yanks 2. The Mets have a 2 game lead in the NL East. The Yanks fall to 10 games behind. The last time they were 10 games behind, 1995. That is not good.

The stories for the Mets involve 2 guys, Oliver Perez and Endy Chavez. For the second start in a row, Ollie went deep into the game, tonight going 7.2 with 5 k's, 2 bb's and giving up two runs, on a Matsui homer in the 4th inning. That's two straight strong starts in a row for Ollie. We are seeing a guy blossom right now. To think, we got him for Xavier Nady. Man, I love Omar.

Endy made an impact on defense and at the plate tonight. First, the field, as Damon led off with a ball hit down the left field line. Johnny seemed to think that all outfielders have arms as shitty as his, and tried to go for two. Big mistake. Huge, as Endy threw him out. Jeter would follow with a walk, and following an A-Rod grounder, Posada walked. Matsui lined out to end the inning.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the first. Reyes singled, Easley walked. Beltran grounded out to Pettitte, moving the runners to second and third. Delgado followed with a fly to short center, that, had anyone but Raggedy Arm Damon been playing center, would not have led to a run, but the combination of Reyes' speed and Damon's inability to throw a ball on the fly more than 50 feet, led to a run.

Ollie was good in the 2nd and 3rd. In the fourth, after A-Rod flied out, Posada singled, and Matsui hit a shot to right to make it 2-1 Yanks. That was all they would get.

Bottom of the fifth, PLD doubled to left, and Endy came to the plate. He drove a fastball to right center for a 3-2 Mets lead.

This was a very tight an quick game. Not a lot of hitting, 11 in total. Pettitte did a good job for the Yanks, kudos to him. But Ollie outpitched him, and got help from Joe Smith (who had a HUGE K of Captain Jeets (looking mind you) in the 8th for the third out) and Wagner, who got the save.

We'll have to see if they play Saturday. The forecast is for rain. The game is scheduled for Fox, they I would guess they will try to get it in. Let's hope Tommy can throw a good one.

I'm Not Gonna Lie To You...

The Subway Series scares me, for a lot of reasons.

Yes, the Mets come into the series extremely hot. And the Yankees are cold. But the Mets (and their fans) are in a no win situation here. If they win the series, the excuses will be that the Yankees used a couple of rookies as starters. If the Yanks win, the media and Yankee fans will destroy the Mets for losing this series. Most of the local papers seem to think the Mets will win this series easily. They have logical reasons for saying so. Let's start with the pitching matchups.

The Yankees will send Pettitte, Rasner and one of either Tyler Clippard, Chase Wright, or Wang to the mound. Pettitte has the ability to dominate any time out. I don't think he is a long term good fit, but he can take control of a game, and has an excellent history versus the Mets. As for the other two, they are classic SUCK ME opponents. Just yesterday, the Cubs threw Angel Guzman at the Mets, and he held them in check (albeit, he held the B Team in check, but still). So that worries me.

On the other hand, the Mets are sending out their top 3. Tonight, Oliver Perez, tomorrow Glavine, Sunday will be Maine. O Pea is good one start, then OK the next. He was great his last start, so the potential is there for a downer. That could hurt against Pettitte. In his favor is the Yankees abysmal record against lefties this year. That goes for Glavine tomorrow. I think Tommy is due for a good to great start, and will get it. Sunday night is Maine. He has struggled in May following an outstanding April. Will he get on track? Between Perez and Maine, the potential for a lot of walks exists. Ollie has kept them down, but the Yankees have a history of being patient at the plate. It is VITAL that all 3 Mets starters hit their spots early, to take the patience out of play. No nibbling, attack, attack, attack.

For all of the hype about how the Yankee offense leads the league in runs with 212, people forget the Mets have 211. And that is with Wright having been MIA for April, and Delgado still basically MIA. The Yankees are struggling now, they have gotten decent starts, but the lineup has gone cold. I fully expect them to do everything they can to beat the Mets this weekend. They know that George hates nothing more than losing to the Mets (save for losing to the Red Sox). But at this point in time, with the media poised to pounce on the Yankees and possibly move more coverage to the Mets, George would blow his top should they lose here. Plus, they then have 3 with the Red Sox in the Bronx next week. Going into that series losing to the Mets would be an invitation for disaster. In the back of my mind, I know Damon, Matsui and Abreu are too good to slump for much longer. They are due to break out, and it could happen this weekend.

So, what does this all mean? Do I really expect the Yankees to take this series? I have two words for you:


The Mets are in a prime spot here. The Yankees are struggling. The Mets are hot. Delgado has shown some signs of emerging from his slump. Wright already has. The rest of the guys are doing their jobs. Plus, they know the Braves are close, and are facing the Red Sox this weekend. The Braves are in for a tough series, and the Mets know they have an opportunity to increase their lead, leading into the visit to Atlanta next week. I fully expect the Mets to come out swinging, and to do everything possible to win. Beat up on the starters, and get to that overworked pen. The fact that they had to throw Vizcaino, Villone and Proctor yesterday hurts them. Their pen has been used more than Paris Hilton so far, and is as thin as she is as well. On paper, the teams are relatively even among the regulars. It is the pitching that separates them. The Mets pitching is superior. No ifs, ands or buts. From the starters to the bridge guys in the pen, to the closer so far this year, the Mets are better. Period.

I don't care about being perceived as the better team by the media. If the Mets win, the excuse that the Yankees are hurting is there for their fans to rely on. Giambi is going to be limited due to a bone spur in his heel and the lack of the DH in the NL. Of course, the old "Well, we have 26 Championships, what does a series in May mean" is there as well. To me, the important thing is to win series, no matter who the opponent is. The only reason a sweep for the Mets this weekend would be great is that the Braves could lose all 3 in Boston, and the Mets could put some distance between them. I don't care about the media being able to proclaim the Mets the "Best Team in NY". I care about the Mets winning the World Series.

Now, as I said up top, I'm not gonna lie to you. I would of course do my share of boasting if they won. I have had to deal with shit from Yankee fans for years, from co-workers, friends, neighbors. So far this year though, they have been quiet. I find that quite interesting. So I will give a little back. But at the end of the day, the only thing a series win in May means is that the Mets won a couple of games, and hopefully built some breathing room in the division.

I want to hear "Taking Care of Business at least twice this weekend. Three would be fantastic. All the while, I want a Sox sweep, and the Braves reeling as we head to Atlanta. That's the important series.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

The B Team Strikes Again

This was the lineup the Mets started today:


At least we have a strong bench today.

So you take a look and think, "We're Fucked".

We continue to doubt Willie when he trots out the B team, yet pretty much every time, they get the job done.

Today, Vargas did well for 5 innings, then gave up 4 runs in the 6th on two home runs. He wound up going 7, 6 hits, 5 ER, 2 k's. Not terrible, not great. It was 5-1 when he left, and Burgos came in and held the Cubs for the final 2 innings.

The Mets scored a run in the 5th to tie it at 1 on a single by Endy, followed by a stolen base and a run scoring double by Gotay. Otherwise, not much fun.

The fun came in the ninth.

Ryan Dempster, the Cubs closer was on the mound. Newhan singled to lead off. Following a Castro line out, Gomez singled, moving Newhan to third. Gomez took second on defensive indifference with Beltran at the plate for Burgos. Beltran walked. Then, in a repeat of Monday, Endy walked, making it 5-2. Gotay followed with a single to make it 5-3. Pinella then pulls his closer for Scott Eyre, and Willie responded by pinch-hitting Wright for Green. First pitch, DW singles to make it 5-4. Delgado came to the plate, bases still juiced, and gets the game winning single, driving in 2.

I think it's time for all of us to stop doubting the B Team.

And I think someone better check to see that Lou took his blood pressure medication today.
That's twice this series the Cubs blew a game in the 9th.

The Braves lost as well, the lead is now 1.5 games.

A good day.

Mountains out of Mole Hills, Also, the Mets won

Well, one thing Mets fans have wished for is more coverage from the local papers, including some back page shots. Well, we've taken a couple of shots the past two days. Nothing like a little issue to be blown up into a "Major Crisis" (see the Post today for that one).

First, as I noted yesterday, Lastings Milledge puts a rap song up on his record label's web site where he uses a few words that can be heard in raps by pretty much most rappers out there. The Daily News uncovered this "problem" and ran to a NYC councilman for comment. Of course, the councilman was outraged stating that the Mets need to tell Lastings that is not how to act basically. So, a young man makes a (bad) rap song and is pilloried. Of course, the News uses this latest "outrage" to remind everyone that when Milledge was 17, he had sex with a 15 year old. (Now, as the father of two girls, I want to state this very clearly, any boy who tries to have sex with either of them at that age is going to be in deep shit.) But the fact is, this happens all the time, Lastings was little different from most 17 year olds. Kids have sex. That is a fact unfortunately. The News also re-prints unsubstantiated claims that he had sex with girls younger than 15. These claims were investigated and found to be without merit, no criminal charges were filed. But the News seems to have a hard-on for Milledge, and re-prints all this crap in pretty much every story about him. I get the feeling that if he hit a World Series winning home run they would work it into the story.

The fact is this, the words he used are used by plenty of rappers. I'm not saying I agree with it, frankly, I think it is abhorrent, but even I have a few rap songs on my iPod that contain the words. Let's take a look at the New Jersey Nets. Jay-Z has part ownership of the team. This is a guy who is looked up to by plenty of people. Guess what, he uses the same damn words. I do not see the News, Post or Newsday going after the Nets for that. Let's take a listen to the intro songs used by myriad players. Players use rap songs all the time. Guess what, even some rock songs carry bad messages. Yet, there is no outcry about that.

So today, all of the papers have picked up this story. The Mets of course released a statement saying they do not approve of the lyrics. Some use this as a sign that the Mets are going to cut ties with Milledge. I disagree. What else were they going to say? "We like the song, and plan to use it as the theme song at Shea?" No. They had to release that statement. Jay Greenberg called Lastings selfish. Why? Because he made a bad rap song? Give me a fucking break. Plenty of athletes has a side business in music. Some are tame, like Bernie Williams. Others, not so much.

In my opinion, there are two main reasons why this is a big deal. First, some of the local papers flat out do not like Milledge. They wil use their power to sway opinion against him. Am I supposed to believe that the Councilman found that song all on his lonesome, and then called the Daily News? I'm thinking the News found it, and called him, knowing they would get a reaction. Some are calling for Milledge to be traded. That is the height of stupidity. First of all, with all this news, what will they get back? Second, it's a stupid fucking rap song. Trading the guy over this is asinine. We've had a lot worse guys on this team and they have stayed. Ever team has its share of idiots, or guys who made mistakes. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. Sit the guy down, talk to him, and explain this stops. Omar spoke to him already, so I don't think we will see anymore rapping from Lastings.

The second reason is the climate right now, thanks to Imus. Had this song come out a couple of months ago, I firmly believe there would be no issue. But since the media hammered Imus, and took heat for not hammering rappers, this was a prime opportunity to bash a rapper. The icing on the cake was that he was a Met who had some issues in the past, both prior to joining the organization, and after. But Imus changed everything. Now, anyone who says a stupid thing is going to be called out. I personally find the words in question awful, but I'm not going to sit here and kill the guy over it.

It is my feverent hope that this issue goes away soon. Thankfully, we have the Subway Series coming up, so the writers will be distracted by that.

The other news was Lino Urdaneta being suspended for 50 games for Performance Enhancers. Of course, all the papers are blasting the Mets for this, and are citing the re-signing of Mota as a bad precedent. Look, what Mota did was wrong. I was pretty pissed that he did it, and frankly, wish the Mets had not given him a contract that helps him earn the money he lost through the suspension by back-loading the deal. Yes, this is the 4th player in the organization in the last year or so to be caught. Yes, that is bad. But you know what else is bad? Barry Bonds being treated like a king, when there is a lot of proof that he used PED's. Yet, ESPN is following him all over until he brakes Hank's record. He was re-signed to a deal as well. Now, I know he has never tested positive for anything, but let's be serious here. Take a look at him from his first couple of years, and look at him now. I grant, it is easy to gain weight as you get older (I'm living proof), but to increase your shoe size and head size? My feet stopped growing when I was 17.

The guys that have tested positive, with the exception of Mota, were minor leaguers. Did they do it on purpose? Who knows. Did they buy something that had something that wasn't on the label? Who knows. I'm not going to sit here and say "My team is OK." I am pissed about this. To me, the Mets need to tell every player, from the big league club down to short season, to their Academy in the Dominican, that the use of PED's is not tolerated. Following the suspension, they will be cut. No ifs ands or buts. This shit stops NOW. I don't care who it is, Beltran, Reyes, Wright, Wagner. You fail, you go.

Overshadowed by all of this shit was another STRONG outing by Jorge Sosa last night. Sosa went 7, allowing 1 run and 1 hit, to move to 3-0. Sosa is looking like another gem that Omar found. Otherwise, Damion Easley hit another home run. David Wright drove in two runs. Carlos Gomez had two hits and his first two ML RBI's. The highlight to me though was the double steal by Beltran and Delgado. I don't know when Delgado last stole a base, but he got a decent jump. Fun stuff. Every starting position player had a hit. The only worry was Jose Reyes leaving the game in the 7th with a tight hamstring. He said after the game that he would play today, but if I'm Willie, I sit him out. We cannot risk him being out for an extended time, and with the quick turnaround and wet field, this is not a good time to risk further injury.

In other news, Moises Alou was put on the DL, and Jason Vargas will take the mound today at 1 PM, facing Angel Guzman.

Tomorrow, the Yankees come to Shea for 3. We'll talk more about it Friday AM.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Show Get's Lit Up

I've got a new column over at F.U. titled Saving Grace, a look at the concerns we had about the bullpen coming into this year, and how it has been a surprise in that it is good despite the new parts. I finished it up at about 8 PM last night. Of course, The Show, who I kinda praise, then craps the bed, the floor, the walls and the ceiling. Dammit.

John Maine started, and continued his recent string of some wildness, walking two in the first, and both runners would score on a ground rule double by Ward. In the second inning, a couple of more singles, and a run driven in on a single by Uncle Cliffy (who went 3-4). Maine struggled through 5, with the fifth being the only inning he went 1-2-3. In the bottom of the fifth, Shawn Green hit a long home run to right center, and it was 3-1. After a PLD groundout, Easley singled, Newhan pinch hitting for Maine walked, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Alas, Reyes grounded out, as did Endy. Then, enter the Show, and exit a chance to win.

After getting the first out, Show allowed a single to Zambrano, then walked Theriot. Uncle Cliffy hit another single to load em up. After getting Soriano to fly out, The Show then delivered a meatball to Aramis Ramirez, who sent it to the second deck in left, for a 7-1 lead. The Show then walked Ward, and was replaced by Aaron Sele, who gave up doubles to Barrett and Jones, for a 9-1 Cubs lead. On a night the Mets needed the bullpen to keep them in the game, they were unable to do so. Burgos, newly recalled from AAA, pitched the 8th and ninth (his new role will apparently be to go 2 innings), and gave up a run after allowing a double to Fontenot (in his first MLB at-bat), throwing a wild pitch, and allowing a sac fly to Barrett for the final run in the 10-1 beating.

I'm a little worried about Maine. I'm not sure if he is getting squeezed, or if he is simply missing his spots. After a stellar April, May has been not so kind. This is two starts in a row with 3 runs given up, and he followed up a 6 walk outing last time with 3 more walks. His WHIP is still only 1.25, and his ERA is a very good 2.15, but I am concerned that he has not had his whole arsenal for a couple of starts now. Last night, his fastball was hittable, the game before, he threw nothing but fastballs for the most part. It is not a long term concern, but a short one on my part.

I had said yesterday that I thought Zambrano was due for a good start, and he made my fear come true. Eight innings, 6 hits, 3 walks, 3 K's. Was it an audition? Possibly, but the Mets are going to make the decision to go after him (assuming he goes FA) based on his whole body of work. Right now, his numbers are still awful.

Tonight, Sosa makes his third start, facing Rich Hill, who is 4-2 with a 2.51 ERA and .96 WHIP. A lefty, meaning we will probably see Gomez in the lineup in place of Green.

Miscellaneous Notes

1. Lastings Milledge is in trouble again. This time, he is heard on a rap song (he is not the main vioce, just a guest star) titled "Bend Ya Knees". Apparently, the title of the song is a trick, since it is not about going to Church and praying. The Mets are not happy, saying

"We disapprove of the content, language and message of this recording, which does not represent the views of the New York Mets"

Now, I like Milledge, and thought he got something of a raw deal last year. He seemed to mature in the offseason. But this is only going to add fuel to the embers that were always going to be there. This song, which is coming out thanks to the record label he is CEO of, is going to be fodder for the haters. Coming on the heels of Imus, it is bad timing. He uses several derogatory terms in the lyrics. Now, there is obviously no way he could have known the climate would be as it is now. But given his past, you would think he would be a little smarter. This is not going to end well. I fear a trade on the horizon.

2. ESPN the Magazine, as Matt Cerrone on Metsblog pointed out, has a cover story on how clubhouse workers are the new steroid connection. The cover is a photo of a guy wearing a Mets polo shirt, holding out two Mets jerseys with a needle on top. I got it last week in the mail, and was immediately sickened. I had wanted to write about it, but had not found the time. I'm glad Matt brought it to light on his site, as he has a large following. For my part, I have cancelled my "ESPN Insider" account, and the magazine. As for the issue, I did not read the story, the cover tells me all I need to know.

As we all know, the guy in question has not worked for the Mets in 10 years, and all his crimes happened in the time since he left. Why ESPN feels the need to continue to link the Mets to this is beyond me. I have a question for them, where is the story on Personal Trainers, like Anderson, and all the other guys who's names have been linked? I would think they have an easy time getting HGH and other performance enhancers. You follow around Bonds and subject us to abject ball washing of each accomplishment, no matter that they are tainted. In this case, a clubhouse flunky leaves an organization, and, the horror, becomes a workout fiend and deals steroids. AFTER HE WAS A METS EMPLOYEE. Stop the linking of the team to this piece of shit.

What about a story on the NFL, who has had more people suspended for steroids than any other sport. For fucks sake, Shawne Merriman, a top player was caught and suspended 4 games, but the story went away as quickly as it broke. ESPn loves the NFL, so no chance of a story with say a Cowboys jersey on the cover.

I implore all Mets fans to make their voices heard. Complain to ESPN. Email them, write them, cancel any memberships. This attack on our team is nothing more than an attempt to increase circulation by smearing a NY team. Show them we will not stand for it. Tell them the unfair treatment of our team will not be tolerated. Until we stop buying and reading their shit, they will continue to make something out of nothing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Walks in the Park (I blame Chan Ho)

So, a walk off walk. For once, walks helped the Mets last night, as the Cubbies couldn't get the ball over the plate in the ninth inning. Lou must be ready to explode after that debacle.

Tommy wasn't at his best last night, though the defense did let him down a tad. He is still stuck on 294 wins, and this time, he can only blame himself. In the first, it seemed Mike Pelfrey was on the mound, as Tommy gave up a double to Soriano, followed by a single to Aramis Ramirez. He was able to get out of the inning down only 1-0. Then, in the second, a walk to DeRosa (who has a 350ish average lifetime against the Mets), a double by Angel Pagan and a single by Jason Marquis led to two more runs. Marquis would later score on a single by Izturis, and it was 4-0 Cubbies.

Glavine settled down until the 5th, retiring the next nine in a row. In the 5th though, after getting two quick outs, a walk to Soriano (who then stole second), was followed by walks to Ramirez and Murton. Bases loaded, and Tommy showed the veteran guile and was able to stop the Cubbies. One more inning for him, final line, 6 innings, 4 runs, 2 K's and 4 walks. Tommy may be in his little dip that he seems to go into every year. They usually do not last long. I for one hope that is the case now, as they can ill afford to have him slumping. Glavine was followed by Joe Smith, who gave up a single in 1.1 innings, and then by Pedro Dos who had a similar line. Heilman got the last out in the ninth, and walked away with the win.

On offense, little was done by the Mets until the 4th when Delgado walked. Up stepped The Prince, and he hit a drive to right that just cleared the fence, and it was 4-2 Cubs. Wright ended the night going 3-4. I'm thinking he's back now. Delgado, you're next. Two walks are OK, but some extra base hits to drive in runs would be better.

The Mets tied it in the 6th. Delgado and Wright singled to start the inning. Following a Green strikeout, PLD doubled to drive in Delgado. Easley then hit a sac fly to plate Wright, and we were tied. It would stay that way until the 9th, when with 2 out, Jose Jose Jose singled. Endy walked following a Reyes steal of second on a pitch-out. Beltran followed with another walk, loading the bases for Delgado. A ten-pitch at bat ensued, with Carlos fighting off some good pitches. Finally, Wuertz threw ball four, and the Mets would go home winners, and in possession of first place by 1/2 game, as the Braves fell to the Nationals (during the game, the Braves were no hit for 7 innings, and Smoltz dislocated his pinkie tagging out a runner. No word on how long he will be out, if at all. That's four in a row for Manny Acta's Nats. Thanks Manny!)

So, on a night where walks were prevalent, the Mets for once were able to come out on top. A couple of things I noticed. First, Lou Pinella is terrible. I know he has a good record, but the guy shoots daggers at his pitchers. He just has god-awful body language in the dugout. He conveys a sense of loss, not of winning. I'm not saying to sit back and do nothing ala Joe Torre, but for pete's sake, if you don't show confidence in your pitchers, they are not going to react well. I for one am glad he was not hired as Mets manager a few years back.

Marquis, I don't know how he does it. The guy is not that good, yet he is 5-1. I was not that impressed with him last night. Several balls were hit hard, but went right to Cub fielders. I don't think it is long before the bloom comes off that rose.

Tonight, the game that worries me in this series, as John Maine faces Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano has had a tough year, going 3-3 with a 5.83 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. Is it the contract discussions that are bothering him? Is he hurt? Or is it simply that guys have figured him out? He has thrown a lot of innings and pitches in his career, thanks to Dusty Baker (who lets a guy throw 120 pitches in the last game of a dead season? Dusty Baker.) That being said, CZ has the ability to be lights out. I'm a little worried that he is going to try to do that tonight, in the hopes of either getting his new contract done, or impressing the Mets so they go after him in the offseason if he goes the free agent route. I hope I am wrong.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ollie Ollie Ollie!

Well, coming into the weekend, a lot of people, myself included, were a tad worried about the pitching match-ups. The Brewers were hot, and we had Sosa, Pelfrey and Perez going against Suppan, Sheets and Capuano. Of course, the Mets took 2 of 3, and smacked around Capuano a tad.

Friday, Sosa made it easy for Willomar to keep him here. Another good start, 6.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs. Pedro Dos got him out of a jam, Herr Midol gave up a 2 run HR, but the Mets had a 3 run lead, so no problem. Billy pitched another 1-2-3 inning for his 9th save in 9 tries. DW and Delgado took Suppan deep, Easley hit a homer in the seventh. Only 7 hits, but 5 runs showed they made the hits count.

Saturday unfortunately went about as well as expected for Mike (who now gets to enjoy lovely NOLA as he attempts to work on his control). The weekends have been a tad busy for Ed, whatwith the two little ones, so I dont get to see many afternoon games. It was 4-3 the last I had heard, the next update it was 12-3, and the bullpen had imploded. Pelfrey did not do too much apparently to keep himself in NY, so he was sent down and Carlos Gomez was called up to help replace Moises Alou, who has a bad quad to go along with his aching knee. Pelfrey has had problems with his slider in past starts, this time it was OK, but the fastball was staying up in the zone, so it is back to NOLA to work on that. Pedro Dos, Joe Smith and The Show all got racked, in the case of Pedro and Joe, the first runs given up all year. Smith gave up 3 on a grand slam. Welcome to the bigs kid. Don't worry about it. As for the Show, he had done well as of late, so hopefully this is a blip.

Yesterday, Capuano vs. Perez. Ollie walked the leadoff hitter after a 9 pitch battle, but cruised form there. He gave up a hit in the 4th, and nothing else until the 9th. By that time, he was staked to a 9-0 lead. The Mets jumped on Capuano early, putting up 3 in the first on a 2 run HR by Easley (his second in 3 days), and a run scoring single by Castro, which drove in DW (who is now hitting 262, methinks the slump may be done). In the second inning, Carlos Gomez, making his first start, laced a double down the left field line, and scored on a single by Easley (who had 4 RBI on the day). Perez kept dealing, showing no ill effects from his implosion on Monday in San Fran. In the bottom of the 8th, Gomez singled, stole 2nd, and scored on a Perez single. Jose Jose Jose followed with a triple, scoring O Pea, Easley drove in Reyes with an infield single, and Beltran hit a two run shot, making it 9-0. In the ninth, Perez retired Fielder, but gave up a solo shot to Hall, and that was it for him, as the crowd gave him a standing O. Aaron Heilman gave up a single, but then retired the last two batters.

So, we are now 36 games into the season, the Mets stand at 23-13. They took 2-3 from the team with the best record in baseball. Delgado and Wright are heating up. Smith broke his cherry, and will hopefully learn from it. The record by the way is the same as it was at this point last year. Not too shabby. The problem is the Braves are right with us, whereas last year, no one was.

Big week this week. Four against the Cubs, as Uncle Cliffy returns to Shea. I hope Cliffy isn't hurt if he doesn't get a round of applause. I think fans may be confused over how to treat a guy who bashed his former manager who gave him every shot to play. Then, the Yankees this weekend. I've said this a lot lately, but this is a statement week. The home record is poor, and we have 7 left on this homestand. Going 5-2 would be nice. But I would love to get more than that. The Cubs are struggling a bit, as Zambrano is not pitching all that well. The question for the Mets is who gets the start in Thursday? Is it Sele? Or do they call up Vargas? If they call up Vargas, I gotta think Lino Urdaneta goes down to NOLA, unless they DL Alou, who thinks that may have to happen. They need to keep Gomez here, as they need the depth. And he showed some nice flashes yesterday. Poor Lastings, what a bad time for an injury.

Then there is the weekend series against the struggling Yankees. You know they are going to come to play, They are 8 games back, and cannot afford to fall further behind, much less lose to the Mets. The Boss wouldn't like that very much. More on that later in the week.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Ah, a stroll down memory lane yesterday. Carlos Delgado went yard and drove in the tying run with a double. David Wright drove in the game winning run with a 9th inning double, scoring 2. And Armando Benitez, well, he reminded us of Armando from his Mets days.

John Maine had a tough outing, in a way, a reminder of last year (and a little like Oliver Perez). With a major difference. The difference was that despite 6 walks in 6 innings, he limited the damage to 3 runs. When he started to lose focus, Delgado, doing his best Keith Hernandez impression, paid him a visit on the mound and told him not to worry, that if he held the Giants in check, the Mets would win. Alas, John did not move to 6-0, but the Mets moved to 5-2 on the trip out west, and stayed tied for first with the Braves (thanks to the Padres bullpen once again blowing a 1 run lead late in the game).

Delgado's home run was impressive, a blast into McCovey Cove. The double may have been even more impressive, as he took a pitch from nearly his shoes and drove it to left center. The shift hurt the Giants, as the ball went into no mans land, and Beltran, who was running on the 3-2 pitch, was able to score standing up, sore quad and all. I hope that we are seeing the emergence of Delgado here. He has been lacing the ball a lot of late.

As for Mr. Wright, the leader of the he-man hair haters club, he went 1-4, but the hit was the winning one. He went 2-4 Tuesday after the haircut, and is now hitting 254, still a far cry from the 320 or so we expect, but he is coming around. Again, he is stroking the ball well.

Mr. Benitez was the victim. He had been 14-15 in save situations, his prior blown save coming last year on a home run to Lastings Milledge, which resulted in the Hi-5's and the controversy over that. Yesterday, he came into a tie game gave up a single to PLD, who was erased on a failed bunt by Gotay (who had homered earlier). Endy then walked, and Benitez induced a pop up to right from Reyes. Looked like out #2, except for fielding folly on the part of the Giants, who could not make the grab. Now, Benitez was set to face Wright with the bases juiced. He promptly went to 3-0 (the umpire had a really tight strike zone yesterday). After a strike, Wright took the next pitch to left, a one hopper to the wall. Two runs scored, and Billy Wagner came in to set the Giants down 1-2-3, with 2 strike outs.

So we got to remember what it was like when Carlos could be called "Del Got It", and David could drive in a winning run. We remembered what it was like to come back to win. And we were thankful that another team had to deal with the meltdowns of Armando. I like those memories. I want more.

An off day today, followed by a 3 game set at Shea against the Central Leading and best record in baseball holding Brewers. This is a good test for the Mets, as they have not fared well against teams with winning records, nor have they done well at Shea. The pitching match-ups are not entirely favorable

Suppan vs. Sosa
Sheets vs. Pelfrey
Capuano vs. Perez

Then again, many thought the Webb vs. Sosa matchup last Saturday wasn't a good one, and it worked out OK. I just hope we get to be reminded of last year, when we were able to dominate teams. The next 40 games are very tough. The Braves may not be going away anytime soon, so the Mets need start firing on all cylinders.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Clean Shaven Mets and the Return of the Observations

So, after Monday night's game, young David decided to have his head shaved. After giving him the business, most of the rest of the team followed, showing that David is the Captain (j/k). All except for Jose Reyes, Aaron Sele and Aaron Heilman and Glavine (though Tom said he would probably do it today). The result, a 4-1 win over Matt Cain, and agita for Mad Dog Russo today.

The game started with three straight doubles, leading to two runs. After a Delgado ground out, Alou drives in Beltran with a Sac Fly. In the second, Jose Jose Jose hits a triple, driving in PLD (who's bat has started to warm up.) That was all Glavine would need, as he allowed only a Barroid home run in the 4th inning. Tom went 7, giving up 7 hits, one walk, with 5 k's. Pedro Dos and Wagner finished it up. Wright went 2-4 with 2 doubles, Reyes was 2-5 with a double and triple. Beltran had a double. Delgado went 0-4 as did Green (who looked absolutely awful with his shaved head.)

So, the rubber game at 3:35 today, Maine vs. Morris. Let's see how Johnny does with his hair cut.

The Return of the Observations.

1. Aaron Heilman refused to get his hair cut because he wasn't allowed to start the trend.

2. Roger Clemens threw batting practice to some college pitchers yesterday. YES will show it on a continuous loop from noon - 7 today.

3. Attention all Mets fans who bemoaned the trading of Heath Bell. Guess who blew a Padres lead over the Braves last night? You can all shut up now. Heath Bell, still sucking, now on the West Coast.

4. Roger Clemens just farted. ESPN will have wall to wall coverage this morning.

5. MLB is taking a close look at the Orioles in the performance enhancing drug inquiry. Of course, the only enhancers they are taking are for ED, so they can keep up with Anna B. Thanks to Rafael Palmerio, they have a large supply.

6. Clemens took a crap yesterday. Thankfully, Suzan Waldman was there to give the play by play "Oh, my goodness gracious!" Of all the dramatic things, of all the dramatic things I've ever seen, Roger Clemens sitting right in George Steinbrenner's bathroom announcing he moved his bowels! The consistency is perfect, he hasn't lost a thing."

7. Is it just me, or does Sterling's home run call for A-Rod (an A-Bomb, for A-Rod), sound an awful lot like Steve Somers?

8. Jose Reyes refused to cut his hair saying to make him any more aerodynamic would not be fair to the other teams.

9. In case you are wondering, I fucking hate Roger Clemens.

10. During last night's Mets game, the poll was what opposing player do you most enjoy booing, Clemens, Bonds, Larry Jones or Jimmy Rollins. I gotta go with Larry, that fucker named his daughter Shea. Douche.

11. So Paris Hilton is going to jail. Her fans are upset and asking Governor Arnie to pardon her. Arnie's response "Hasta La Vista, Bimbo".

12. Insert Clemens bash here.

13. Some pictures of Brady Quinn "frisking" a guy after a golf outing surfaced on Kissing Suzy Kolber. Apparently, Brady needs to work on his grip.

14. A bus driver was arrested in the Shea Stadium parking lot. He was found half naked, with a mechanical penis enlarging device nearby, along with a book titled "Swedish-made Penis Enlargers and me, This Sort of Thing is my bag baby."

****************CLEMENS RANT*****************
You want to know why I hate Clemens? A lot of reasons. First, he is a fucking headhunter. He threw at Piazza, and could have killed him. What, Roger got hit hard by a guy so he tries to end his life? Fuck you. And then the bat. "I thought it was a ball". Really asshole, then why the fuck did you throw the "ball" at Piazza? A normal guy would have thrown it to the first baseman. The umpire that night was a pussy. Clemens should have been tossed right then and there. No questions asked. But he was too fucking afraid of how the Yankees would react. And the fucking Yankees supported him, showing an utter lack of class. Fuck all of them too.

Now, because Roger has decided he wants to play more, we get to live through a month of ESPN following his every fucking step. Tape of all his bullpen sessions. His exhibition starts will be aired no doubt. YES will probably cover every time he farts. You know what, he went 7-6 last year in the National League, the so called "lesser league". He rarely went 6 innings, much less 7. So tell me, how does that help the Yankee bullpen? It doesn't.

I love the fact that the media for once is getting all over the Yankees for this. First the announcement during the game the other day. What a fucking joke. Way to deflect attention from the game there Roger. (And the response from Suzan Waldman is beyond parody. Christ, SNL in its hey-day couldn't have mocked it any more than she did herself.) Oooh, Roger decided to pitch for the Yankees, let's announce it during the game from the Boss' box. Oh, and let's have him tell everyone he has a super secret reason that he will only share at the end of the season. We all know the reason Roger, the Yankees paid you the most money. Don't pretend otherwise.

I so hope this blows up in his and the Yankees collective faces. I only wish he was ready for the series against the Mets this month. Of course, that is at Shea, and you know damn well the Yankees want him making his first start at home. God forbid Roger hear any boos. I don't wish injury on players, not even Larry Jones, but I might make an exception in this case. No man is above the game, I don't care how good he was or is. I understand wanting to see your family, but you have a job to do, and part of it is to be part of the team. All I hear is that he is going to be a big help to the younger pitchers. How exactly is he going to help if he is only there on days he pitches? Holograms?

So, in conclusion, Roger Clemens is a turd. I hate him for his headhunting and his better than everyone else attitude. I am dead serious when I say if he had become a Met, I would have ceased rooting for them so long as he was on the team.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Catch the Flipping Ball For Pete's Sake

Dammit. I, and surely many other Mets fans, wanted to burn the Zito last night. But, thanks to two major fielding miscues, we were denied. Add in a blown call by an ump on a non-Home Run (AGAIN!), and it was a recipe for a loss.

Ollie did well for 4 innings, allowing 1 hit and no walks. In the fifth, it came apart. First, Ollie walked Ray Durham. Then, a damn Molina beat the Mets, thanks to an assist from an out of position umpire. He hit a fly to left that bounded off the top of the fence. The umps called it a homer, and so it was 2-1 Giants. Ollie recovered well, getting two outs, but then allowed a single to Zito. What followed was folly.

First, Damion Easley boots a playable grounder. With Zito running not so hard on the play, Easley could have thrown him out easily. Now, the Giants had runners on first and second with two outs. Ollie then induced a line drive to rights, which Shawn Green absolutely butchered. This was not a hard play. Well, Ollie then proceeded to give up a 3 run shot to Aurilia, making it 6-1. Ollie then walked Bonds and allowed a single to Durham. Lino Urdaneta came in and allowed another HR to Molina.

Now, one issue I had beyond the fielding was that Rick did not go out to talk to Ollie until it was a little late. We all know Ollie is prone to losing focus. In my mind, Rick should have gone out a little earlier, perhaps after the Green miscue. I'm not saying that Ollie shouldn't have borne down a bit more, but his defense let him down, giving two extra outs.

The other issue I have is with the umps. This is twice in 3 days that a HR call was blown. I'm not a huge fan of instant replay for all situations, but I think for HR calls, it needs to be looked at. That call had nearly as much to do with the problems in the inning as the two miscues in the field.

Still, they stand at 19-12. Wright had a couple of hits. Willie shook things up a little, moving Delgado to the 4 spot and hitting Wright 2nd again. I'm assuming PLD was 6th to break up Delgado and Green against a lefty, but I still don't like it. Green is hitting too well, he could offer some protection to Carlos (though there is some debate about protection being a myth).

Tonight, Glavine vs. Cain. I'm hoping that this beating wakes the boys up a little. To many bats are slumping, and Cain is good. They need to get off to a hot start tonight.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pitching is the Key, but Hitting Helps as Well

So, the Mets took three of four from the Diamondbacks. Some good signs, and some bad signs. The bad, well, the continued slump of Carlos Delgado, who is hitting 212, with 1 HR and a 292 SLG%. Add to that the continued struggles/slump of David Wright, and the middle of the lineup is still a cause for concern. Add in the injury of Moises Alou, and there are some worries. We can only count on Damion Easley for so much.

Then, yesterday, Carlos Beltran sits out, and, if I read the paper correctly, he had an MRI on his leg last week, something that snuck under the radar at the time. The problem is that the depth in the outfield is not as pronounced as the depth for pitching. Lastings is out another 4 weeks with a ligament issue in his foot. Alou is fighting arthritis and a torn meniscus. Beltran has a calf issue (always with the calf this guy, not a dig, just a statement). Thankfully, we got good pitching, and some hitting, well, until yesterday.

Friday, John Maine moved to 5-0, allowing 1 run, and only letting 3 guys move to scoring position. For their part, the bats beat up on the Big Eunuch, as is the norm it seems. Old Man Franco made a splash (c'mon, it was there), taking him deep for a 2 run shot into the pool in right center. PLD took him deep as well. Franco extended his "oldest man to homer" record. Maine struck out 7 and allowed 1 walk. Burgos allowed 2 runs in his last Mets appearance for a little while, as he was sent to NOLA to get more consistent work.

Saturday, in what we all thought was a mismatch, Brandon Webb faced Jorge Sosa. So of course, Sosa goes 6.1, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs and 2 walks with 3 K's. Smith, Pedro Dos and Herr Midol finished it up. Webb gave up 6 runs in 6 innings, 5 earned, with 4 walks and 3 K's. The Mets are 6-1 against Webb all time. I can't explain it, the guy is good, yet the Mets seem to find a way to win. Saturday was a no-doubter. With Shawn Green driving in 3 runs, PLD driving in 2 (1 scored on an error), Endy driving in 1 as well.

Yesterday, Pelfrey opposed Livan Hernandez, who the Mets have owned. So of course, Livan shuts the Mets down, as they fall 3-1. Pelfrey continued to struggle with his command, 4 walks and 2 hit batters. He did minimize the damage, especially in the 1st, when he had the bases loaded thanks to a double and 2 walks, allowing only 1 run. He went 5.1, and the third run scored on a Sac Fly allowed by Pedro Dos. The bats were asleep, though the Mets played without Beltran, Alou and PLD. I gotta think that with a full lineup, they may have pulled a win out. As it stands, we are tied with the Braves for first after the loss.

Pelfrey is a concern to me. He does not seem to have great control. Now, he is the #5 pitcher, so I am not expecting him to be lights out, but he needs to stop this first inning trouble. And to stop hitting guys. He has good stuff, but just can't seem to harness it. He had a great spring, but so far the regular season is not what we saw in Florida. Now, he has improved in terms of getting out of trouble, but how long can they allow this to go on? I am torn. Part of me thinks he would be better served going to NOLA to work on his command. But then I see the strides made thanks to The Jacket by Perez and Maine, and I think he should stay here. Maybe he needs to throw more in pre-game warmups to get the butterflies down. I don't know. But after each start he says he is too hyped for the first inning. He needs to overcome that, and get better control of his stuff. Part of me think that when he is wild in the first, he is not going to get the benefit of borderline calls for the rest of the game. If he can throw strikes right out of the box, it will only help him with getting a close call. I trust Willie and the Jacket to do what is best. Of course, nothing is going to happen until El Duque gets back, since no one in NOLA is doing that well (Humber and Vargas have struggled of late).

So, onto San Fran, for three against the Barry's. Zito goes tonight against Perez. I want a beating of Zito so bad I can taste it. Disrespectful comments piss me off. Tomorrow, Glavine vs. Cain, and Wednesday Maine vs. Morris.

So Roger Clemens is going to be a Yankee. He will be paid a pro-rated $28 million. Of course, the Yankee use the middle of the 7th inning to have him announce to the crowd from the Owners Box that he is coming back. I have to laugh when his agent says "well, the other teams didn't want him now, and Roger wanted to come back now". Really? Am I supposed to buy that line of shit? If he had gone to hte Sox and Astros and said "Roger is ready now, and the Yankees are ready to take him now, what do you want", do you really think they would have said "No thanks"? The reason he picked the Yankees was $$$$$$$$$$$$$. To think otherwise is stupid. Not that the Sox need him, and the Astros, well, they can't hit, so odds are Roger wasn't going there anyway.

So the Yankees will pay a shitload of money for 5 or 6 innings each time out. Yep, that oughtta help their bullpen. Yes, they can score runs in bunches, but their pen can give up runs in bunches as well (see Friday night for reference).

Last night started the abject call washing of the Yankees and Clemens. I am sure we will continue to be treated to ongoing fellatio, and we will get to see highlights of Roger's minor league starts on ESPN, just like last year, though maybe this time YES will get into the act. I had put on ESPNNEWS to get some scores and noticed the "breaking news", so I put on YES for a minute, and heard Kay talk about the positive impact Clemens had on Pettitte, who was "a nice pitcher, who stepped it up when he started to work out with Clemens" and how Roger will be a positive influence on "the bottle Rocket" Phil Hughes. I'm sorry, did he call Hughes "the bottle rocket"? What the Fuck? The guy has 2 ML starts, and Kay is giving him a fucking nickname? Now, I know Hughes has good stuff, but for the love of all that is good and holy, can we stop with the fucking reach around? As for Pettitte, explain to me how Clemens made a guy who was 21-8, 18-7and 16-11 the 3 years BEFORE Clemens became a Yankee a better pitcher? Good fucking Christ, Kay is such a douche.

In other news, the Rangers lost to the Sabres. Part of me is sad, because Sabre fans were assholes on a couple of boards. On the other hand, the Rangers lost, and that is always a good thing. The Devils lost as well, and Lou Lamarillo needs to get Brodeur a good backup. Marty cannot play 76 games anymore. Gomez and Rafalski are FA, I hope Garth Snow is going to make a push for one or both of them.