Apparently, You Can't Win Them All. Mets Drop Finale To Nats, 7-4

It wasn't a perfect homestand, taking four of six from the Pirates and Nats. But coming on the heels of a disasterous road trip (and in the Mets lexicon disasterous and road trip are synonyms), it was soothing tonic. Trouble is, another road trip out West is looming ominously again and unless the Mets figure out a way to pack up their Shea Success and bring it on their road show, the season's dreams are going to come to a rather quick and painful end shortly.

How can we be so pessimistic?

After all, aren't these the Mets who keep picking themselves up, dusting themselves off, getting back in the box just when you thought they couldn't possible do so again?

But we've all heard the litany of the Mets Road Woes recited verse and chapter, week after week like a self-fulfilling prophesy. We've seen the gloom and doom forecast and even the schedule (7 games out West against the Giants and Diamondbacks, one series at home against the Phillies and then away series' against the Braves, Marlins and Cardinals). Enough to make any road wussy queasy.

But that's tomorrow's worry.

Yesterday's game was about Kris Benson.

In Benson's last two starts, both wins, he allowed just three runs in 15 1/3 innings.

Yesetrday, he allowed three runs to the first six batters and faced 10 batters overall in the first inning against the Nationals yesterday. Eight of them got hits. Six of them scored. Benson left after two-thirds of an inning, the shortest outing of his career.

On the heels of nearly blowing a game in which you held an 8-0 lead, it seems rather ambitious to imagine that you could come from 6-0 behind the following day.

We can't really say that the Mets almost did it.

Yeah, there was rookie Mike Jacobs, pinch hitting in his first major-league at-bat, hitting a three-run home run to right to make it 7-3.

But too much of this:

Called Striking Out With the Bases Loaded in the 8th

But two out of three against your divisional rivals is not bad, even at home and even though a three game sweep would have been better. Just imagine if they'd lost that game on Saturday instead of pulling it out in the 10th. Two losses in a row at home just prior to a road trip and Mets Woes would be at their worst.

Instead, after four winnig four of six the Mets can scoff a little at Benson's outing, blame it on the odds or fate or the rare event, like a solar eclipse, when the Nationals bats finally came to life with a vengeance. When you think about it, the Nats scored a total of 14 runs in three innings over two days and pretty much nothing in the other 25 innings.

And on the other bright side, the long-overdue DL experience for Mike Piazza in his grimacing hurrah, dying out his dog days as repayment for his selfish behaviour as a Met (and no, that shame will not equal his HOF career a few years down the road but at the moment, it still tastes bitter, a year and a half later), brings us Mike Jacobs, catcher of the Mets future.

Prior to being called up for some valuable playoff race experience thanks to Piazza's DL calling, in 433 at-bats with the AA Birmingham Mets, Jacobs batted .321 with 25 home runs, 37 doubles and 93 RBIs. Nearly half (64) of Jacobs' 139 hits went for extra bases.

Yesterday, after his three run pinch hit homer, he got his first Shea Stadium curtain call to add a little smile to an otherwise grimacing day.


The Mets get no break now, heading straight out to Arizone for a Monday game against the Diamondbacks. The Dbacks are 58-67 this season and probably out of the picture for both the wildcard and the NL West title but that wouldn't stop them from kicking the chair out from under the Mets.

Monday night may see Tom Glavine's ongoing battle to reach .500 this season come to a fortuitous end. Glavine has made eight starts at Bank One Ballpark, home of the Diamondbacks, and he has won seven of them.

However, he will be facing Brandon Webb (10-9, 3.89) --

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