what got into delgado?

September 10, 2008

I mean, all of his swings look like this now:

Don’t believe me? Look at the previous post!!!

I know there are chants of “MVP!” at Shea and I know there are grumbly Mets fans who find it ludicrous but in my mind, if Jimmy Rollins can win last year then why not Delgado this year? Especially if he continues to put this team on his back, hitting huge homers in big spots. I can’t recall a homer of Delgado’s in the past few weeks that hasn’t been important, tying a game or providing a lead. And sure, there have been steadier players this year with the numbers to back it up, but when has that ever stopped emotion from ruling all? When has that stopped the importance of narrative? And Delgado’s narrative–a year and a half of uselessness to unstoppable power–is as compelling as any other in sports right now. Who doesn’t love redemption? Just ask Roger Federer and Serena Williams this weekend.

Oliver Perez was absolutely dreadful last night, and it seemed terribly predictable that he’d struggle against the Nationals. One hoped that his season’s turnaround would continue; I don’t ever recall him being as consistent in his career as he has been in the past few months. Part of me wondered if it had to happen at some point, his regression to Mr. Hyde; thankfully he was helped by the offense as well as a bullpen that was able to shut it down (not including Nelson Figueroa and Brandon Knight, but what does it say about Heilman that he wasn’t even considered last night?) and get a win for Joe Smith, for the Mets, and thank God for the Marlins for almost-but-not-quite blowing a huge lead to the Phillies. Identical scores of 10-8. 2 1/2 game lead. Phew.

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le week-end

September 8, 2008

Prior to the storm of Hanna not the sportscaster lady, my weekend was shaping up to be pretty full and satisfying: Mets-Phillies Saturday afternoon game, women’s U.S. Open final on Saturday night, Mets-Phillies Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN (I was planning on heading to a bar). And then! RAIN ALL DAY ON SATURDAY OH MY GOD. So my perfect Queens-related sports obsessions were thrown all out of wack.

I managed to catch the first two games of the Mets-Phillies series, unhappily. All credit to Brett Myers (that hurts to type) and Jamie Moyer for pitching brilliant games, though I will continually be befuddled by the Mets’ (the previous one notwithstanding) inability to smack the crap out of Moyer’s slop. And my golly did Fernando Tatis play outfield like a little leaguer.

With the weather, the U.S. Open women’s final was pushed from Saturday night to Sunday night, meaning an athletic Sophie’s Choice between my beloved Mets and my tennis version of the Mets (i.e., Serena Williams). Considering the previous two listless losses to the Phillies, my general confidence in Santana vs. Hamels, and the fact that I haven’t seen Serena win a big title since January 2007, I decided to go with tennis and headed over to my pal Stan’s place to watch the final, during which he’d give me updates on the Mets-Phils score.

So then this stuff happened:

CARLOS I’M SORRY FOR EVERYTHING I SAID. AGAIN.

(Sidenote: Pfffft Hamels. You guys should’ve just let Kendrick pitch, he would’ve done a better job)

Serena battled Jelena Jankovic for nearly two hours before prevailing 6-4, 7-5 in a tense, dramatic rollercoaster of a match that saw both women playing for not only the U.S. Open title (Serena’s ninth Grand Slam, and what would have been Jankovic’s first) but also for the crown of #1 player in the world. Serena is once again top dog after five years, the longest such stretch in tennis history (besting Andre Agassi’s 3 years and 5 months).

Pretty good Sunday for me; pretty good weekend once the weather cleared up.

***

The perfect capper to all this would be the ability to go see Daniel Murphy sign some crap at the Last Licks in Scarsdale tonight. Why do they hold these things in places like Scarsdale or someplace out on Long Island? Why can’t they do this kind of stuff in Midtown or some other horrible crowded place in Manhattan? SIGH WHINE.


finally

August 28, 2008

I haven’t watched a Mets game in forever. As my three loyal readers may know, I listen to games on the radio because I don’t have a television (not for any hippie condescending reason, mind). While I enjoy hearing the game and imagining the players in my mind during every play, it’s easy for me to forget how much I love the sport on a visual level: the aesthetics of a double play, the arc of a home run, the velocity of a pitch. Or just the entity/deity we call Daniel Murphy.

Matt Cerrone hosted a viewing party at Butterfield 8 last night, so I went to hang out and view the game with him, Zoe, Coop, and their new colleague Dysktraw, Corey, and a whole host of screaming Mets fans. It not only reminded me of the pleasure of viewing, but the pleasure of viewing with a crowd. I’ve gone to far less games in person this year as well, so much of my experience has been stewing and pacing alone in my room as Howie Rose and Wayne Hagin call the action. And each scream or exhortation of delight seemed to almost exorcise what had transpired the night previously. Or we were all just drunk, who knows.

It was all about the lefties, but specifically Carlos Delgado. I feel like I’ve apologized to Delgado enough in the past few months (along with just about every other Met fan), but I’d like to say it again. After his first bomb I turned to Coop and said, “There’s no way he isn’t coming back next year, right?” And after the game-tying blast in the eighth inning, with two out and none on, I screamed at the television “I’M SORRY!” Beltran would follow with a side-spinning infield hit, and Ryan Church was intentionally walked, bringing up Murphy. I remarked to Matt and Zoe earlier that Murphy’s hitless slide coincided with my trip out of town. Obviously, he missed my attention and was just waiting for a big moment to prove his love for me. OBVIOUSLY. So our Murph and Savior smacks a double to plate the go-ahead run, and Brian Schneider bloops one for insurance.

And finally the bullpen held down the fort. Finally it was the Mets coming back with late inning runs. Finally it was the Phillies bullpen that blew a lead. And the Mets are back in first and, oh yeah, they just won the season series against the Phils. Nice way to go into an off-day, I’m sure.