3 Down, 6 To Go

We can cackle at will about 1964, the last time the Mets opened their season so auspiciously. But imagine, as we no doubt will, that three losses in a row might only be the tip of the iceberg. Yes indeed,there's a horizon of hopelessness looming out there just waiting to be discovered.

Back in 1962 the Mets lost their first 9 games in a row. Then they won a game, their first ever, and then they lost 3 more in a row.

If the Mets can't win with Zambrano and Santiago in the first two games coming up against the Braves, they will have to pin their hopes on winning one of their next three games thereafter which would be facing Smoltz, then at home to face Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. That could be 8 in a row, one off the mark. The rabble would be deafening by then.

What will be interesting now is listening to the cooing of reassurance from Willie and the Boys as they try to convince themselves as well as the Met Public that this season isn't already teetering on the cusp of disaster, fast on it's way to running off the rails with hysterical pitching performances and sagging shoulders.

We've had a sniff of the meal Omar and Willie have been cooking up for the last several months and it smells so far, like we're going to need alot more alchohol to wash it down with. Alot more palliative red eye to help us forget the silly, euphoric halcyon hours leading up to the season when we were willing to sweep the bullpen and the weak rotation after Pedro under the carpet. Granted, we didn't forsee Trachsel and Benson on the DL so soon but injuries are not excuses, they are

I can tell it's a struggle to find the superlatives and optimism to fight off the nagging sense of dread. It's apparent when the best thing you can say after getting swept by the miserable Reds is "hey, at least Ishii gave the pen a rest after Glavine gave them two games worth of work in one night".

No, the telling doom came quickly. The Mets were nothing but accomodating in that sense. Ishii didn't waste any time walking the first two batters and the other Kaz in the lineup didn't waste any time blowing a hard hit double play grounder. So when the Reds were done in the first inning, when they'd chalked up two runs without a hit, it was though the Mets had asked the Reds to spell out DOOM and then spotted
them the double oh in the middle.

Like Piazza said, we can't lose all of them. Not all at once anyway.


I have to admit, I was a bit shocked to see Piazza beg out of the game. Yeah, there's the old day game after a night game being too hard on the old backstop's knees adage, but just this morning I'd read Willie saying "It's too early to be thinking about resting," when asked about giving Piazza the day off.

Granted, I make no bones about not being a Piazza fan but christ, it's only the third game of the season and he needs a rest already? Way to lead by example.

At least he wasn't too hobbled to allow us the chance to witness his pinch hit at bat in the top of the 9th with the bases loaded, two outs and 5 runs down. A chance to redeem himself. Oh yeah. When the chips are down, long fly ball to right field but not long enough. Ball game over. I guess that's what happens when you're hitting .200 for the season three games in. Wonder how many MVP votes he gets this season.


Mike DeJean saw his ERA drop from it's dizzying heights to a majestic 27.00 after today's outing which was a scoreless third of an inning. He mentioned that it wasn't his calf, nor the confusion over Willie's double switch blunder that caused last night's debacle rather the fact that he hadn't pitched in a week.

And if we want to be optimistic, here's something to mull over:

If you toss out the embarassing outings of DeJean and Looper, the rest of the Mets bullpen so far has pitched 6 1/3 innings, have allowed only 4 hits, 1 earned run and walked only two while striking out 10. Lost in all the hysteria, at least some part of the pitching other than Pedro is functioning.

And therein lies are hope. Finding the sane, quiet moments in this sweeping, hysterical pressure that builds with every loss. There is always tomorrow. Or the day after. Or the day after that.


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