it could’ve been worse?

September 22, 2008

Yes, it could have. The Mets could’ve been swept in Atlanta. In fact, they really should have been, if not for the heroics of one Daniel “Jesus” Murphy on Friday, atoning for the sins of his teammates’ lousy (some would say “faggy,” oh how clever, sometimes I love other Mets fans) defense in the previous half-inning by doubling in the go ahead runs, leading to the inevitable FIRST! (and only!) Mets win in Atlanta this season. Because they then shit the bed in the following two games, in the most excruciating, dull, predictable of ways.

Why they should’ve been swept, reason #1: mediocre starting pitching. Oliver Perez danced in and out of trouble all night on Friday, furthering our love/hate relationship. There are very few who are as electric as Ollie is when he’s on, and as frustrating when he’s not. He’s got all the talent in the world, except between the ears (somehow this reminds me of a critique my music teacher gave me, saying I was really gifted but entirely lazy). On Saturday, Pedro Martinez had his requisite first inning troubles (three first-inning runs this time!) before settling in, and Mike Pelfrey did a pretty good Pedro impersonation by looking wild and uncomfortable for much of Sunday, until resembling the dominating pitcher he was in August (almost a matter of too little, too late).

Why they should’ve been swept, reason #2: the bullpen. But that’s almost a given at this point. Rather, the bullpen was great on Friday (even Heilman had a big strikeout!) and Saturday, so of course on Sunday (with a lead!) something had to give, and boy did they give. This group is a regular collective Santy Claus. But it’s easy to pick on retarded kittens, when a lot of the weekend’s blame should go to the supposed big cats.

Why they should’ve been swept, reason #3: the offense. Sure, the offense came through on Friday, thanks to Daniel Murphy, who was downright awful in the following two games, but it’s okay; just about everyone was awful in the following two games. When your only two runs on Saturday are driven in by YOUR PITCHER, something’s wrong. When you’re nursing a slim 4-2 lead knowing that Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis are in your bullpen, you need to score more runs. Especially with the opportunities given in the sixth and seventh innings. When the first two batters in an inning walk, then you have to lay down the bunt, Pelfrey! And not swing at the first pitches, Reyes and Murphy! And the next inning, Wright and Delgado single only to see Beltran pop up and Church ground out into a double play. Wee. That right there was the game, forget about the bullpen. Because now you just expect the bullpen to give up a few runs (two-run lead? NOT ENOUGH!). But especially seeing Delgado hit that two-run homer in the ninth, you would’ve liked to have seen at least one of those runners on base with no out in the sixth and seventh actually score. Yes. That would’ve been nice.

***

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs for clinching the NL Central Division title. I texted my friend Michael to congratulate him, and he responded that he was “pretty much drunk right now.” Then this followed:

“I just realized i love the post season because you finally get shirtless heroes.”

Which, I mean, obviously. But, um…are there hot Cubs?! Oh, right:


ugh

April 6, 2008

Friday’s rainout did the Mets offense (as well as John Maine) no good. After clicking for 13 runs behind a fantastic Ollie Perez performance on Wednesday against the Little League Marlins, the Mets came out cold this weekend against the big boys of Atlanta. What’s cooler than being cool? Instead of “Ice Cold!” it should be “Mets bats.”

I guess I can’t really fault the offense for looking absolutely stoopid against John Smoltz; after all, Shawn Green isn’t on this team anymore. And you certainly can’t pin the loss (even if, technically, you can) on Johan Santana, especially considering he gave up one run and also hit a double (stranded on third, natch). I can certainly blame the offense for looking stoopid against the Braves bullpen though. For two consecutive games in Atlanta, they’d miraculously get men in scoring position and then do nothing about it.

AND I can certainly blame the bullpen (or at least Sosa and Heilman) for giving up homers instead of keeping the game close. And what burns is how, after these homers, the Mets would score what would have been the game-tying run(s). Both times. Yesterday’s 5-3 game, Sosa gives up a grand slam; next inning, the Mets score two runs. Shoulda been 5-5 instead of 9-5. Today, Heilman gets by the first two batters then walks Larry Jones (me: “Oh, a two-out baserunner. Against Heilman. That’s not good.”). Then Teixeira (how good is this guy? Can we somehow get him next year?) golfs a two-run homer. The Mets score the next inning, but instead of a tie game it’s 3-1. To be fair, Brian Schneider could have tied up the game had Teixeira (there he is again) not made a great defensive stop for the final out of the game.

Ugh. Too many LOB w/ RISP. Good (or, in Saturday’s case with Maine, not-good-or-even-serviceable-but-at-least-not-too-damaging) starting pitching, one effectively game-winning hit against the bullpen (predictably mismanaged by Willie on Saturday…why was Sosa still in there?), all-for-naught late-inning attempted comeback cut short. I thought it stopped being 2007.