14.4.05

Extra! Extra! Mets Win 3rd In A Row

With the Mets having started the season by losing 5 ignominious games in a row you might not have imagined much more success with a pair of Cy Young winners in Smoltz and Clemens sandwiched around Andy Pettitte lined up to face them in the three games that were to follow.

Instead, like a determined and stone-jawed prizefighter knocked to the canvas with a hard right, the Mets have gotten back up quickly and started throwing a few punches of their own. They don't have their opponents on their heels yet, but the crowd is beginning to sense blood.

Ok, ok, hyperbole. But still, three wins in a row. Two 5 run 8th innings in a row and one 11th inning, game winning RBI single by Jose Reyes off former Met Dan Wheeler to get them there. Not to mention a superb complete game pitching performance by Pedro, a well-fought outing by Tom Glavine and a surprisingly excellent outing from Kaz Ishii, who matched Clemens goose egg for goose egg over seven innings and walked only three whilst striking out five.

Of course, much to our satisfaction and pleasure here at Archie Bunker's Army, Roger Clemens' 7 inning, 9 K, two hit shutout performance was flushed down the crapper as the Mets bullpen somehow managed to outpitch the Astros' bullpen. Clemens has not allowed a run to the Mets in 14 innings since joining the Astros and has allowed only one run in 14 innings this season.

Roberto Hernandez (one inning), Braden Looper (two innings) and winning pitcher Mike DeJean (one inning) allowed four base runners in four innings. Although Hernandez was no surprise now that he's turned into one of the more pleasantly stable members of the pen, Looper continues to chip away at his incomprehensible ERA and has now brought it down under double digits for the first time all season. DeJean gave up a hit in one inning's work to lower his ERA to 10.80.

The Piazza-Clemens non-rivalry continued to be the news of the day until the game but Piazza, who went 0-3 with a walk and is now hitting an enemic .130, appeared as docile as ever. Whilst Clemens continues to play at the level he has achieved his entire career, Piazza seems to weaken his legacy with each game he plays. He even one-hoppped another throw for old time's sake to second base in a pointless effort to get Astros CF Taveras stealing. As in all but one chance this season, Piazza failed to throw the runner out.

But all this aside of course, the important thing for the Mets is that they have regained whatever momentum lost by their laughable beginning of the season and despite this poor start, are only two games out of first place in the NL East. The have another game tonight against the Astros with the dreaded Victor Zambrano taking the mound for the Mets against the first non-Cy Young winner they've seen since Saturday night and will then face the Florida Marlins as the Braves go to Philly and the Nats host the Diamondbacks. One more victory before going into the buzzsaw of Marlin pitching (The D-Train has thrown two consecutive complete game shutouts to start the season and will probably not pitch against the Mets but the Marlins have thrown 4 complete games in their first 6 outings, something that hasn't been done since the 1992 Red Sox).

The Mets-Astros extra inning battle brought visions of these teams playing without a run for 22 ininngs almost 37 years ago to the day.

The Astros prevailed, 1-0, April 15, 1968, in Houston.

The Mets have played 206 1-0 games. They've won 105 of those and lose 101. The last time they played at least 11 innings and had it end 1-0 was Opening Day 1999 -- 14 innings against the Phillies with Alberto Castillo filling the role Reyes played Thursday.

*****

Interesting to note that during the time alloted for batting practice yesterday, Willie had the infield boys taking infield drills. Attention to detail, nice one.

Also, Cliff Floyd was scratched from last night's starting lineup because of strained rib cage that is not thought to be serious. Valent started in LF in his place and Victor Diaz, hitting at a .312 clip, started in RF.

Marlon Anderson's pinch hit single last night gives him a .714 batting average on the season even though he was subsequently picked off first base.

3 comments:

Repoz said...

Jaap...Pettitte never won a Cy Young Award...his best finish was a second place showing behind Hentgen in 1996.

Whitney said...

Never let the truth get in the way of a good point. That's the way we write it where I am.

Jaap said...

I've got enough problems trying to cross all the "T"s in his bloody name. Anyway, they've faced a PAIR of Cy Young winners rather than a trio. Noted and sorted, cheers for pointing out the error.