10.9.05

Change the Record! Mets Lose Again, Sink Below .500

What do we call the 9th loss in 10 games, and the 5th loss in a row on the road?

Why, we call it road kill, of course:



Oh, so many different ways to lose baseball games and yet so few games left to lose them in.

Last night, ladies and gentlemen, we present to you The Moon Shot: Larry Walker's epic, gargantuan bomb in the 8th that handed the Mets another come-from-ahead loss on the road, another Don't-Cry-For-Me-Metropolitans sort of loss begging to bring this season to a screeching halt, hit rewind and start all over again about two weeks ago...


(The Larry Walker Bomb, a 457 foot homerun, the longest home run hit by a Cardinal at Busch Stadium this season.)

But no, for Seo, an inspirational pitching performance ruined, unfortunately, his massive personal winning streak snapped. Ruined by a vote of no confidence in the bullpen that saw him out there in the 8th at all to begin with as the century mark for pitches loomed. Facing facts, there was really no one in that bullpen to inspire confidence. No one you could say, hey, let's close it out and go home. Just a collection of sad sack disasters waiting to happen, biding their time out there in the bullpen, probably dreaded the call. (Oh please coach, DON'T put me in, I've humiliated myself enough already for one season...)

Jason Marquis, on the other hand, the Cardinals pitcher, has now won three consecutive games, allowing two earned runs over a span of 26 innings. Marquis (12-13) worked eight innings against the Mets, allowed just one earned run and struck out four before handing the game to closer Jason Isringhausen for his 35th save.

Nice and easy, lads. That's how it's done when you're the defending National League Champions and you don't sweat teams like the Braves, they sweat you.

But it certainly wasn't Seo's fault. Seo ploughed through St Louis' dreaded 3-4-5 hitters, Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Walker, like they were mere chaff to be separated from the wheat, as they went 0 for 10 with 4 strikeouts before Walker's eighth-inning homer that sealed the game for the Cardinals. Unless we develop a pitching rotation like, say, The 1903 Pittsburgh Pirates, selected at random for in that day, most rotations were like this: 141 games started, 117 complete games.

That is the only way the Mets can escape the miserable truth staring back at them and Manager Willie's dilemma. The bullpen held itself together for a little while this season but da facts is da facts. The Mets bullpen sucks.

As Jason Stark recently noted:

"The last 10 World Series winners had a closer who averaged 36 saves and a 2.67 ERA. Only two of the last 10 World Series winners had a closer who blew more than five saves all season.

Eight of the last 10 World Series champs had a bullpen crew with a total ERA under 4.00. And just two failed to convert at least 70 percent of their save opportunities."


Just to put this in perspective, the Mets bullpen have a closer with 28 saves and a 3.70 ERA. He has blown six saves already and the probably the only reason he hasn't reached double digits is that the men coming in ahead of him have usually already pissed the lead away before he got in. He certainly is no Armandogeddon but it's safe to say he reminded us loudly and clearly this season that his true calling is that of a set-up man, not a closer.

Things could be worse. We could have Jose Mesa as our closer, as does Pittsburgh, deservedly at the bottom of the NL pit. Mesa is one of the rare closers with a higher ERA than Looper and has blown six, just like Bradon. Funny thing is, look at the feckin' Braves: they've had one audition after another of closers with miserable results like Dan Kolb - 11 saves out of 17 tries and a 5.57 ERA and Chris Reitsma - 15 saves out of 22 chances and a 4.02 ERA, and yet somehow, the Braves keep winning and winning and winning all just so we can have the last laugh when they perform their traditional post-season nose dive.

*****

The sideshow to this series beyond the predictable losses and the numbing breakdown by the Mets, was the competition between the basepath Mets (first in steals last in OBP - well, likely and exaggeration but certainly the way it feels) facing the Cardinals Yadier Molina, the best arm in baseball behind the plate.

Of the 35 catchers with at least 400 innings caught before Friday's games, Molina has the fewest steals against - 11 in 805 2/3 innings. The next closest is his brother Jose Molina with the Angels, who has 14 steals against in 426 innings.

The Cardinals have had just 26 steals against them this season, and according to Elias Sports Bureau, they are threatening the division-era record of 31 steals allowed by the 1972 Cincinnati Reds when Johnny Bench was behind the plate.

And of course, Jose Reyes, the league leader in stolen bases with 50, would be tempting him.

Thursday night when he got on, Reyes attempted to steal and was gutted. Molina threw him out. Last night in the first Reyes got on again and stayed right where he was.

*****

You might take comfort in knowing that the Braves have been cited for abuse of Mets...

"In an historic report, the human rights organization Amnesty International has cited the Atlanta Braves baseball club for a “systematic pattern of abuse and torture” against the New York Mets and their fans, extending as far back as 1998. The sweeping 5,643 page report, released yesterday, cites the Braves for “deliberate, repeated obstruction” to the Mets’ attempts to reach the post-season."

*****

Around the rest of the NL, the good news was both an Astros and a Marlins loss which keeps the Mets (now tied with MILWAUKEE for gawd's sake for the NL WC) at a steady five and a half games out with 21 more to play.

When your chances for the wildcard are just as good as the Milwaukee Brewers, you might as well throw in the towel.

******

But, the games are there to be played, as unfortunate as that appears right now. Today, the finally-official starter Steve Trachsel will go up against Jeff Suppan, hasn't allowed more than four earned runs in a game since June.

Let's see, how do we see this game playing out? Pitcher's duel for 6 or 7 innings, Cardinals score a run in the 7th and a run in the 8th, Mets lose 2-0? Sound about right?

Ok, so go see your bookies and at least make some money out of all this misery.

And in the meantime, how about a little sunshine to ease the pain?


United States Solheim Cup member Natalie Gulbis, waiting to become pinup material...

It won't lead me to watching women's golf (or any golf for that matter) but well, it might make me buy the calendar:

5 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Not even Natalie Gulbis can make up for this shit-stinky loss of the Mets. But maybe she can entertain the creeps in the bullpen and take their minds off what losers they are.

wolfsoul.60 said...

THX FOR THE PIC OF ROAD KILL. I NEED IT TO MAKE A STATEMENT FOR OUR ADD WITH PETA AND OTHER ANIMAL ACTIVIST GROUPS, WE SAVE ANIMALS, NOT EAT THEM

sexleksaker said...

many thanks

Sexleksaker said...

The roadkill doesnt look very tempting to eat...