Maddux Silences Met Happy Bats, 7-0

An old nemesis dropped down into the visions of sugarplums dancing in the collective Met heads last night. HOF probable Greg Maddux, now 34-16 in 60 lifetime starts against the Mets, shut them down for nearly seven full innings allowing only 3 hits and no runs whilst striking out 10 and the Cubs bullpen, only the day before on the verge of laughingstockdom, finished the job by holding the Mets hitless the rest of the way to give the Cubs an easy 7-0 victory.

Maddux has more wins than ANY other pitcher in Met history, ahead of other Hall of Famers Steve Carlton (30), Bob Gibson (28) and Juan Marichal (26). So perhaps this loss can get chalked up to, well, certainly not bad luck.

And they certainly didn't do much against Maddux. The only time they mustered an even marginal scoring threat was when they loaded the bases against Maddux with two outs in the seventh after Chris Woodward, replacing David Wright who was out with what is being optimistically called a bruised foot, walked following strikeouts by both Piazza and Mientkiewicz. The Kaz Man followed up with an unlikely single and pinch hitter extraordinaire Marlon Anderson drew another walk.

It was then time for Maddux to depart after his 100th pitch and he did so to a standing ovation from the crowd of 38,813 at Wrigley Field. Of course, even with two outs, given the history of the Cubs bullpen this season an enormous Met comeback was not out of the question but miraculously for the Cubs, Michael Wuertz, who sported a 36.00 ERA with the bases loaded, got Jose Reyes to ground out and end the inning and that was about all the excitement the Mets could muster for us last night.

Kris Benson, making his second start of the season for the Mets, proved rustier than he did in his first outing, giving up six earned runs and 10 hits in six innings but at least demonstrating alot more control than most Met pitchers outside of Pedro, walking none and throwing 62 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

He'd had have to have thrown an almost perfect game for his outing to matter as Reyes, Cameron (first hitless game since his return), Beltran, Floyd, Piazza, Mientkiewicz combined for a decidedly unheroic 0 for 22 with 8 strikeouts on the evening. Some nights are just like that and considering the Mets have been such hot hitters lately, this was bound to happen at some point: A Hall of Famer pitcher hanging them out to dry.

And there's always room for encouraging news, even if it wasn't at the game: Jae Seo continued to show a hot, new mastery, even if it was down in AAA. He allowed two runs on four hits over six innings, but didn't factor in the decision for the Tides.


Today is the dreaded day game following night game routine but worse still for the Mets is that the imminently dreadful Victor Zambrano will perform his traditional danse macabre with the strikezone, this time in Wrigley Field, a typically unforgiving venue for pitchers with control issues.

More foreboding still is the opposition pitcher, none other than Cub ace Mark Prior, who is 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.

To quote the venerable Clubber Lang: My prediction? Pain.


Looking ahead it might be practical to remember these happier times of hard hitting and quick victories because following this series, the Mets will host the NL Central leading St Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds (well, that might be ok, a chance to vindicate that wretched three game sweep to start the season) and thereafter, a three game series against the Yankees, a three game series AT Atlanta and a three game series AT the Marlins. If they can come through that stretch still above .500, the month of June is a wee bit kinder.


Sorry to say that combining with the Mets loss last night were victories by the Atlanta Braves over the Rockies which increased our deficit to 3 1/2 games, and the Florida Marlins, which increased our deficit from second place to two games. The Nats took it on the chin at Arizona and the Phillies lost the Brewers in Milwaukee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It figures. someone with the title of Archie Bunker probably disdains a black person managing the mets and the many hispanics in the dugout. I guess you would love the 'good old days' of slow white men on the mets.