texas vs. new york

August 26, 2008

It seems vaguely poetic that I would return to New York City disillusioned with the traffic and its people (well, Williamsburg at least) and the cramped space (well, my apartment) after a nigh revelatory vacation in big open huge Texas only to hear that John Maine and the Mets were being bludgeoned by a team from Texas. Though I wasn’t anywhere near Houston, it felt fitting. As did the next day, still somewhat jetlagged, when the Mets squandered a 3-0 lead and then a 4-3 lead to lose in extra innings.

But for better or worse, the start of the working week ushered out the Texas dreams and the New York reality set in, and back to the elbowing subway traffic was I. And thankfully the Mets decided that a split of this four-game series was necessary, Carlos Delgado’s 6 RBI and Mike Pelfrey’s second consecutive complete game leading the charge as they head into Philadelphia for a critical two-game set, as the Phillies remain a half-game behind the Mets in the division (hey, formerly beloved Dodgers, remember how I thanked you for sweeping the Phillies? Well I take it back, since you just LAID DOWN AND DIED this weekend). Here’s hoping they’ll finally figure out how to hit against Jamie Moyer, but I’ll be happy with another split in case they don’t.

I’ll unfortunately miss tonight’s game as I will be attending the US Open just down the way from Shea. Apparently I’ll be watching Venus Williams and Roger Federer, which is pretty cool except Venus always plays horribly in early rounds and I’m pretty meh on Federer, genius notwithstanding (I think in athletes I appreciate hard work over genius, hm). And to tie this into the Mets, last night James Blake won a five-set thriller over young Donald Young, all the while having the interlocking NY Mets logo on his left sleeve. James Blake, I find you bland and disappointing, but you’ve just won a point in your favor. I guess.

no closer? *cues up yakety sax*

August 6, 2008

Oh, Heilman. Heilman, buddy. I wonder if you’re being trotted out there to no doubt fail as penance for some assorted undisclosed crimes against humanity that are only privy to the Mets front office and coaching staff. NO ONE wants to see you in a close situation anymore, and walking the lead-off batter on four pitches certainly won’t help your cause with the fans. A three-run homer to a man named Jody sucks too, but that kind of thing has come to be part and parcel to a Heilman appearance.

Certainly Heilman should have had a better fate had Argenis Reyes actually tried for that bloop single, and then later turned a coulda-woulda-shoulda double play, but a batter later we saw a four-run belt-loosening fresh-glass-of-water-ahhhh lead turn into a rocking-in-the-fetal-position one-run nailbiter. Thankfully Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweis got the final two outs, Show earning the save and saying, “Me getting a save is about as much of a highlight as I ate the 1,000th cheesesteak served in the away clubhouse in Philadelphia this year. That’s about what it’s like. Right guy in the right place. Lucky.” That’s pretty good, Schoeny, especially considering your post-game interview with Ed Coleman was about the most incoherent, mumbled, pause-filled atrocity I’ve heard from an athlete in quite some time.

Not that it matters, but I also got a nice mild vindication for my previous post, where I stated that I was excited to see what these young kids could do for the team. Not that I think they’re the answer, certainly–way too early for that–but as a fan I can’t help but be sucked in by young blood. Daniel Murphy not only continued his Endy impersonation but also rapped a double for his first Major League RBI. He also worked two walks, which is probably even more impressive. Previous to that, Argenis Reyes had also worked a walk to get the rally started. Nick “I only get a hit every coupla weeks” Evans also hit a double, and two errors allowed Beltran to score what turned out to be the pivotal run. Now, if only we’d seen Eddie Kunz in the ninth, then the rooks would’ve been all accounted for (I’m not counting Carlos Muniz, because boy has he been lousy lately). It would have been nice for Kunz to make his first appearance at Shea, especially afforded a four-run lead; if he got in trouble then give him the quick hook. He certainly couldn’t have done worse than Heilman.

Lost amid the Benny Hill bullpen was a nice performance by Mike Pelfrey, who worked 6 2/3 for his team-leading 10th win, as well as a perfect 1 1/3 by Pedro Feliciano, probably the best I’ve seen him all season. Pelf and Pedro deserve kudos for theoretically giving the bullpen some rest, before Heilman went up there and gave a man named Jody a marshmallow while singing “Kumbaya.”

Oh, and there’s this:


Where the hell would the Mets be without Fernando Tatis? That’s not rhetorical, either; Howie Rose asked the same question last night, and if you think to the troubles the Mets have had both in the outfield and with their offense (the first, oh, five innings last night were downright anorexic), Fernando continues to show us his Tatis, hitting game-changing homers or coming up with clutch RBIs exactly when the Mets need them most. I am unable to recall how many times this season Tatis has been the hero of the game, because every few days or so it seems he’s the one–not Beltran, not Reyes, not Wright; sometimes Delgado–who’s making the big play.

I hope the man never stops drinking his Gatorade.

congrats, pelf

July 14, 2008

According to Adam Rubin, Mike Pelfrey has been named the NL Player of the Week.

His maturation has been something to behold. What a stud.

nine in a row

July 14, 2008

Why does there have to be an All Star break? BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekend recap: I didn’t get to see Friday’s seeming nailbiter of a game as I was out celebrating a friend’s birthday with Korean BBQ and then–seeing as we were in Koreatown–karaoke. I paid $12 for a Jameson neat. Are you kidding me with that bullshit, I thought, and then realized that I needed the Jameson in order to sing, like, “Summer of ’69” and whatever assorted crap we all did (I did manage a lovely duet w/ Beth of my favorite ever song “Be My Baby,” so go me). I checked my phone for scores off and on throughout the night, and when I saw a 2-1 victory, I praised yet another solid Ollie Perez performance and the Mets’ continued winning streak.

Thanks to the generosity of Bill W, one of my four readers, I attended the game on Saturday. I remarked to Bill at some point during the game–as cheers were showered on every player, rhythmic two-strike claps filling the stadium, people getting out of their damn seats without having to be coerced–how the atmosphere at Shea has changed so much since the last time I was there, not even a month ago. A month ago, you had jeers and groans and the bullpen coughing up runs and the offense leaving men on base and a fanbase seemingly bored and compelled to accept mediocrity. Three weeks later the tension has lifted, the players look crisp, balls are finding gaps with men on base and two outs, scrubs like Tatis and Easley and Chavez and Argenis Reyes and Nick Evans are making stellar plays and driving in the big boys, the big boys are hitting like they’re supposed to, and by God, the pitching has been lights-out. Times like these, the cheers flow easily.

As for Sunday, the late starting time worked out pretty perfectly for me: Along with a whole mess of other hipster fools, I went to McCarren Park Pool for the free Breeders show and stood in line for about an hour and half just waiting to get in. I finally get in and stand in a beer line for about fifteen minutes. I get my beer and just as I take a sip, the Breeders start their set. I ended up seeing my ex-something Anderson, along with a bunch of his Masshole friends, four guys and two girls. So I ended up hanging out with dudes with the following names: Andy, Marky, Mikey, Johnny, and Sully (I don’t know his real name, and holy hell is that a joke or what). It was like NKOTB 2 or something. At one point, Marky left and returned holding three beers. “Thanks,” I said, reaching for one. “No, these are all mine,” he bellows in that horrific accent I love so much. Show’s over and I head home, just in time to hear the Mets begin play. Roommate comes home, we drink more beer and listen to the game together as we talk about girls (well, he talked about girls at least) while I intermittently raised my hands in triumph thanks to a home run or double play or strikeout.

And what’s there to say about Mike fucking Pelfrey? His confidence and dominance is a sight to behold. If I ever get me a Paypal account, I’m buying one of them shirts.

phenom vs. phenom, big one wins

July 9, 2008

I had a chance to go to last night’s game, as a bunch of my friends (ALL except one being from the Bay Area, ugh, I’ve never known more Northern Californians in my life than I have in New York, what the hell is that about?) got tickets to see their precious little Timmy Lincecum. Stan asked if I wanted to “go see Pelfrey again,” and after complaining earlier this season (as well as early last season) about Pelf, I responded “Actually I would. He’s been amazing.”

And he has. Unfortunately I had a prior commitment, but got to witness/hear most of the game. It was a funny little match-up; Big Phenom vs. Little Phenom, a guy drafted 9th in 2005 vs. a guy drafted 10th in 2006, both of them 24, both future-of-the-franchise type pitchers (with one excelling faster than the other). Howie Rose made an interesting comment that these two (but Lincecum especially) seemed to be pitching with a kid’s mentality, a playground challenge. Except Big Pelf got the best of Tiny Tim today. Pelf strikes out Tim with an inside curve; Tim throws the same to Pelf in the next inning, only to see Pelf get a hit.

It’s been dazzling to see Pelf pitch this way over the past few starts. He got into a jam in the first inning (thanks in part to a Damion Easley error) but came out of it unscathed and flew from there. This is not the Pelfrey you would have imagined earlier this season or last season. In fact, it sounds like Lincecum.

Lincecum also got into a bit of a jam in the first inning, but instead of working out of it, he threw a bad curve to Carlos Beltran, who shot it out of the park for a three-run homer. This is not the Lincecum you would have imagined earlier this season or last season. In fact, it sounds like Pelfrey.

Having a lead–especially against a lowly offensive team like the Giants–certainly only helps inspire confidence. But not only that, Pelfrey is pitching like a confident young man, and just rolled right through the meek Giants lineup, allowing only ONE hit into the outfield all night. ONE. And the offense wasn’t done either; Delgado would hit a bomb, Beltran would single in Argenis Reyes (who got the first hit of his ML career, leading to some funny shenanigans from Tatis), Easley would drive in Beltran, and then just for kicks on a night the Jets were honored at Shea, Tatis kicked the extra point.

Johan Santana must’ve been thinking, “Why can’t they do that shit when I’m pitching?!?!?!?” Because don’t look now, but Pelfrey hasn’t lost in eight starts, and his won his last five. Santana hasn’t won in six starts, and has lost four of those. Much of that, certainly, has to do with the offense. Hopefully the Mets, who have gotten double digit hits in seven of their last eight games, can provide Santana with enough of a cushion so that he can grab himself a win and put things back on track. Otherwise, I’ll have to repeat a notion from earlier this season that I found ludicrous but true: Pelfrey is our ace.

And I for one am glad to see it.

Looking pretty studly nowadays, eh?