Franco Finally Gives One Back, Mets Win 4th Straight

How many times over the last several seasons did we see the image of John Franco summoned from the bullpen and allow a groan to escape our pinched and disappointed lips?

Although the record would show that he only blew 64 saves for us officially in his career, that was only due to the fact that we had someone in the form of Armando Benitez to blow them for us on an even bigger and more catastrophic scale.

Suffice it to say that John Franco has cost us enough games and it's about time he started blowing some in our favour.

Last night he did just that. With the Mets trailing by two runs in the seventh inning lo and behold, in comes John Franco, with two Met runners on and only one Met out and by the time he left, the tying run had scored. Thanks Franco, you've finally done us more good than harm.

After pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson grounded to first base off Franco to score one run, José Reyes hit a dribbler up the third-base line. As Franco fielded the ball, he appeared to trip over his own spikes. And as he wound up to throw, he almost hit Houston third baseman Mike Lamb in the head. Franco was still holding the ball when the tying run scored.

"With his speed, I knew we couldn't get him," Franco said. "What can you do?"

When you're John Franco, obviously, nothing.

Oh so glad your ruining some other team's win now Johnny.


Our current nemesis, Automatic Mike Piazza, sinking faster than the Titanic, had another golden moment last night. Oh, he managed a hit at least, a single in the first inning to notch his batting average all the way up to .148 but when Houston's Willy Taveras broke from first base in the sixth inning, Piazza's throw to second base hit off the right side of the mound, nearly striking Zambrano's hip!

First it was one and two hopping throws to second, an automatic advanced base if he was behind the plate, now it's metastised into nearly injuring the starting pitcher with errant throws. Someone get this guy out of here? How long and hard did I pray for a trade to rid us of Mike Piazza this winter? Apparently, neither long enough nor hard enough and while he may prove and interesting foil this season, the traditional punching bag filled with the revulsion over the past several seasons when his selfishness and injuries got the best of him, it doesn't appear likely we'll be getting rid of him in the next few months.

While Piazza remains healthy enough to hurt us and almost hurt our starting pitchers when he isn't allowing every baserunner advance a base automatically, eventually, he will heat up, we hope, and make all this misery worth the wait.

Victor Zambrano pitched in and out of trouble, allowing nine hits and four walks in six inning. Even after the Astros managed only one run in a pair of bases-loaded situations.

Kazuo Matsui, whose cornea was slightly scratched by a contact lens he wore while sleeping Wednesday night.

Matsui's eyesight first became a topic of discussion last spring, when coaches worried that he was not seeing the catcher's signs from his position in the infield. He experimented with glasses and then discarded them because they were not comfortable on his face. Since February, he has worn corrective contacts to bed, but he needs to get re-fitted for a different pair. Matsui said that his vision was slightly blurred last night, which did not affect his hitting. But it did make him feel off-kilter in the field.

Now that we've nearly won them all back and huddle near .500 again, Josh Beckett will take the mound to face Aaron Heilman.

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