Blah blah blah. It’s getting old by now. “Get Mota the hell away from my team” should just be it’s own tag, and the post can be blank, and everyone will understand. But if I’m being fair (wtf I’m being fair to Mota?!), this game was lost in all kinda shitty ways.
With Glavine doing unbelievably well (even when he’d get into jams, he looked so good up there that I was confident he’d get out of them, and for seven innings that was the case) and Carlos Delgado waking up to hit a 2-run bomb, I have to admit I became a little complacent. Part of this was having a helluva good time at the Blind Pig, watching the game with Zoe, Coop, Mets Grrl, Matt and Regis of Mets Blog, Metsheads, and Eric (he of five thousand blogs which are never updated). I have to wonder if the Mets got a little complacent as well. After that Delgado home run (which was quite thrilling, considering his awful slump of basically all season), men would get on base but never come home. The offense was just putrid: 2 hits apiece for Alou, Delgado, and Glavine. Yes, the pitcher got two more hits than our important 1-4 lineup. That’s not a recipe for success.
Feliciano came in for Glavine in the eighth, and promptly gave up a bomb to Jimmy Rollins (man, fuck that guy). Seriously, Joe Smith can’t come back soon enough (uh, he has tendinitis in his elbow. Please God make sure he’s okay). Not just for the fresh sidewinding arm, but I swear Feliciano has been mostly crap since his buddy Smith was sent down. Feliciano and Heilman teamed up to let the Phillies tie it in the eighth on a subsequent eleventyseven cheapies that never left the infield. And that little dribbler that tied the game basically won it.
Especially when the Mets couldn’t even hit the vaunted Phillies pen [/sarcasm]. And especially with Mota coming up. Mota actually pitched a great 1-2-3 in the ninth but of course he was brought in again in the tenth, and another inning for Mota is always trouble. I don’t know what happens to him when a runner gets on base, but every fucking time it spells disaster and a big fat L. Pedro fixed his delivery? Maybe Pedro can fix his head too. Pedro is a god among men.
Nice to have Endy back. Nice that the Braves lost. Nice to have good company while watching the ensuing atrocity (boy did I get drunk!). Would be nicer to get two wins before heading to Atlanta, however.
Before the Padres came to town I kept yammering about how nice it would be to go to Shea and watch them, considering I went to school in San Diego but never traveled to Petco Park or whatever the hell the previous stadium was (there were lots of “Say No to Petco!” flyers all over San Diego around that time). Then I yammered about how I wanted to go boo the Dodgers when they came to town, seeing as we experienced a rocky Mike Piazza-induced breakup back in the late 90s.
Well I did get to see one of the two heartbreaking losses to the Padres last week (damn you Mota! etc.) and, thanks to Joe’s boss or whoever, I got free Loge seats to go see the first game of the Mets-Dodgers series. As soon as I sat down I started feeling antsy, as I found myself in a sea of goddam Dodgers fans. Guh. Nevermind that my companion was Anderson, a diehard member of Red Sox Nation, fully equipped in his damn BoSox hat. So basically I was surrounded by a lack of enthusiasm, which kinda hampered my enjoyment of Ollie Perez doing his requisite Houdini act in the top of the first.
Fortunately the Mets jumped on Brad Penny early, and after getting a few beers in him, Anderson became loud and boisterous and taunting, like a proper Masshole. With Russell Martin up we’d shout “HEY RUSSELL WHO’S THE BOSS?!?!?!” or we’d yell to Penny “HEY PENNY YOUR CATCHER FUCKS YOUR EX GIRLFRIEND DOES THAT MADE YOU SAD?!??!!?!?” Needless to say, the Dodgers fans didn’t particularly enjoy that, especially not the family sitting to our left. Eh, the little girl was pissing me off all game, so screw them (combatting her, however, was another little girl a few rows back, who kept shouting DODGERS SUCK and variations thereof…eventually, Anderson and I found an empty Loge box and moved there, surrounded by Mets fans finally thank God). David Wright hit a homer and had some sweeeeeeeet defensive gems. He always plays so well when I’m there. Sigh. Wags made it a little too interesting in the ninth, but thankfully allowed only one run for the Mets win (during Latina Fiesta night!), breaking my two-game losing streak. I’m now 7-2 at Shea. Wee.
Orlando Hernandez was just masterful in the next game. It’s funny how he just kind of quietly does his thing, no fuss, no fanfare. He just gets the job done. And then we all forget about him until his next start, when he’s brilliant again. The Mets have not lost a game he’s started since July 4th. What?! Because of some lousy run support and/or bullpen breakdowns, El Duque has less wins than Maine, Perez, and Glavine, but he really has emerged as our most consistent starter and possibly our ace. He was brilliant up until giving up back-to-back homers to Luis Gonzalez and Russell Martin in the seventh, but he was so dominant that I’m willing to forget about it.
The real story of the game, however, was the reception of Carlos Delgado in the fifth. Having gone 0-for-19 and stranding about seven thousand runners on base (including a bases loaded in the first and two men on in the third), Delgado had heard his fair share of boos. I myself don’t agree with booing your players when they’re struggling. Hell, I don’t even boo Mota. But I can see the need to vocalize your frustration, and with two outs and the bases loaded after an intentional walk to Jeff Conine, I was surely expecting a groundout and more boos. And then, seemingly unprompted, the entirety of Shea stood up and applauded. Stood up and said, “You can do this!” Cheered for him–not just to drive a run in, but to prove to us and himself that he’s still muthafuckin Carlos Delgado; that he did not deserve the past week’s jeers; that he, in fact, is still a vital aspect of this team. First pitch: 2-run single. LA came and brought some Hollywood magic with them. I honestly got a little teary. As others more eloquent than I have put it, there’s no real satisfaction in booing your own. What we crave is a reason to cheer, loudly and long. Delgado gave us that moment on Saturday, and I hope Mets fans don’t soon forget it. I hope they appreciate it. Davey certainly did.
Final game and Willie Randolph’s old “Step on their necks” adage rang in my head. Though the Dodgers scored first, I felt confident, even thinking to myself “Maine’s getting a hit here” during his first at-bat. He did, and was followed by a Reyes single. After Milledge struck out (woof), Wright doubled to score both Maine and Reyes. Can we talk about how hot David Wright is? OMG WHAT A BABE! No, really: could you have guessed, after his dismal April, that Davey would eventually be in the top 10 in NL batting average come August? Or OBP? When he somehow doesn’t get a hit, he seems to draw a walk. I hope that he’ll be looked at as a legitimate MVP candidate. He’s having a quietly great year. For all the talk about Reyes (and God how good is Reyes) being the sparkplug, the catalyst for the offense, without Wright these past few months, I don’t believe the Mets would be sitting with a nice cushy lead in the NL East. Real talk.
Well that’s all the good news (well, Jeff Kent got beaned in the head, but I guess that’s mean, even if he’s a huge douche). The bad news is that David Wells–David Wells, of all people!–sparked a Dodgers rally in the fifth, with a leadoff bunt single. David Wells, leadoff bunt single. Yes. The mind is boggled. Maine really wasn’t the same after that, and after working in and out of trouble all night, saw his luck vanish as bloops turned into hits that turned into runs. It’s quite puzzling, really, that within the span of a month/month and a half, Maine is no longer the stud ace pitcher about whom I’m most confident, and instead has become the pitcher who worries me the most.
The Mets attempted to rally (and to be fair, left lots of men on base early in the game), but ran into big hulking monster Jonathan Broxton. I had been cheering/hoping for Roberto Hernandez. As Broxton came in in the seventh I thought “Grady Little must really want this.” He did, and he got it.
If there’s a silver lining, apparently Pedro Martinez called up Guy Conti and said there was a flaw in Guillermo Mota’s delivery. No shit, Pedro? If this is true, this is the second time he’s done this, as he gave some advice to Jorge Sosa earlier. Well lo and behold, Mota mowed down all six batters he faced while in mop-up duty. If Pedro somehow managed to fix Mota while not even being here, well, he deserves both the Nobel and the Pulitzer.
The Mets are up 6 on the Phillies and 7 on the Braves. And hey look: our next four are in Philadelphia, followed by a three-game set in Atlanta. The lead may be nice, but a bigger one would be nicer. Now’s the time to show your mettle, boys.
That was some entertaining, rollicking, up-and-down series, wasn’t it? If the Mets and Padres meet in the playoffs, it’s gonna be damn fun/exciting/potentially probably heartbreaking to watch. I like that the Padres are vaunted as an all-pitching, non-run-scoring team. Oh really. Coulda fooled me.
That bottom of the sixth. That bottom of the sixth. Marlon Anderson hitting a three-run shot to cap a six-run rally in the bottom of the sixth. I could have sworn it was over, as I and Frank and everyone at Turkey’s Nest jumped and screamed and clapped. And hey, don’t look now, but Schoeneweis has been really effective! Pedro Dos also finally got some time in, pitching a scoreless, solid two innings. Really now, this was all set up to be joyous.
What the fuck has happened to Wags this month?!?!?!??!?!?!
This is the Trevor Hoffman who is the all-time saves leader?!?!?!??!
HEATH BELL, YOU’RE FAT.
I mean, really entertaining, fun game to watch, it’s just that when your team is on the losing end, there’s more than a bit of bad taste in your mouth. Aaron Heilman is really REALLY good at leaving bad tastes. I guess that befits Baby Diaper Ass. When Adrian Gonzalez hit a monster foul ball, I thought “Uh oh, Heilman better be careful.” He wasn’t. What should’ve been another classic, breathtaking comeback became instead another chokejob and another Warning! Rocky bullpen ahead! sign.
Seems like it’s always one step forward and two steps back with this team. Which always makes me go Hey, remember this?
At least the Phillies and the Braves lost.
Last night was the second consecutive loss I’ve experienced at Shea after having a perfect record all season, and both losses featured Guillermo Mota being flagrantly ineffective. What’s worse is that he was effective for 1 and 2/3rds. After a perfect sixth, I turned to Joe and said “Mota went 1-2-3! Imagine that!” In the seventh, with two outs and an 0-2 count, just about any other pitcher would probably make it uneventful and give their team a shot at making a comeback.
But oh no, not our dear Mota! He loves being our favorite nausea-inducing rollercoaster! No, our Mota gives up three runs. Oh Mota, you scamp.
Turns out those three runs would make the difference, after a mildly exciting bottom of the ninth that saw the Mets get three runs and pull to within 7-5. Then Hoffman got Beltran and Delgado. Guess you can’t pray for magic twice in a row.
- Jake Peavy is damn good. Except for when he walks the bases loaded. And then he’s damn good again, because the Mets had a lot of chances to blow the game open (when the top half of the lineup was batting, at least), only to have Peavy shut them down.
- Milledge, DeFelice, and Delgado just looked outclassed all night.
- It was a lovely, organic, stand-up cheer when Jose Reyes swiped his 67th base of the season, setting a club record. We didn’t even need the reminder, Shea.
- Were it not for Mota, that bottom of the ninth would’ve been even better. I loved the back-to-back pinch-hits by Marlon Anderson and Jeff Conine. When Shawn Green came up to pinch-hit for Lawrence in the fifth, I incredulously yelled “Where’s Conine?” Oh, saving him for a rally. Good call.
- David Wright reached base all five times he was up to bat, and didn’t even try.
- Have I said that Delgado looked awful at the plate? He didn’t look too hot on the field, either. Any chance of getting Salty next year? A catcher and a first baseman! Also he’s hot! And he hit seven thousand home runs yesterday! And his name is SALTALAMACCHIA fer Chrissake. Seriously the best name.
Lastly, where oh where is Mike Piazza when you need him.