22.9.05

Even Though The Season's Lost, Mets Finish Fish Again

The Mets winning run came from an unusual source last night - Miguel Cairo.

Cairo, brought to the Mets as a backup to the Kaz Man, who was brought to the Mets to be their answer to the poor man's Hideki Matsui or the poor man's Ichiro, has been forced through injury and the incompetence of others, to play the majority of the season himself at second base. Not having been brought in to start every night it's rather difficult to hold him accountable for his dodgy starting play all season and let's face it, after the signing of Carlos Beltran, he wasn't brought in to make game-winning hits or lead the Mets to the pennant.

Last night though, he had the game-winning hit just after Jose Reyes ended up on second base by virtue of some daring, Jackie Robinson-style running and whose speed caused Juan Pierre to bobble the ball on a single to center and got Reyes to second base in the first place.


(A Man of Many Talents, Jose Reyes Can Clap And Slide Home At The Same Time)

"When I saw he missed the ball a little bit, I said I'll go to second base no matter what happens," said the formerly hamstrung Reyes, who stole two bases in the first inning to give him 57 for the season, tops in the majors.

So, if you're still keeping track at home, that's four of five victories and two straight series wins. All too late to matter.

But if it's any consolation, the Mets bullpen did its normally flashy job of trying to blow the game. Bradon Looper, as though auditioning to be placed on irrevocable waivers, entered the game with one out in the 8th and after getting Juan Encarnacion out, proceeded to walk, allow a single and then give up a run-scoring single to the 900 year old Lenny Harris to tie the score.

Let's recant the wish to get a closer and make Bradon Looper the set-up man. Let's just get rid of Bradon Looper altogether and start from scratch.

Shingo Takatsu, who has never mattered for the Mets except in circumstances where he could and would blow a game wide open for the opposition, was then mysterously summoned in. Willie's boy, let's not forget. And Shingo, yet another Met failure at busting open the Japanese ballplayer market (Kaz Man, Ishii and Shingo just this season alone), allowed another run-scoring single, this one to pinch-hitter Josh Willingham, who has 36 MLB at-bats over the last two seasons, an impressive resumé. That single gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead and frankly, when you've got Looper followed by Shingo, what more could one reasonably expect?

So let's hand it to the bullpen, or perhaps Willie's usual mismanagement of it, for trying it's best to blow the game but failing.

Now that the games don't matter any more other than to pad stats for the rest of the season and in the instant case, for his career, Mike Pizza had a run-scoring single in the 8th to tie the score at 4-4.

And yes, the irrepressably illogical Willie Randolph, insisting on putting Roberto Hernandez in as an experimentational closer when clearer he is too damned old to do the job next season anyway, sat through a rather nervy 9th when Hernandez proceeded to allow a leadoff double to Conine, who advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. He then intentionally (so they say) walked Carlos Delgado, and then Juan Encarnacion hit a grounder to second base.

Cairo charged in, scooped up the ball and pump-faked a throw home, freezing Conine. Cairo looked off the other runners to prevent them from advancing, moving forward all the while, and eventually tracked down Conine 10 feet from third.

Cairo's play relieved some of the pressure on Hernandez, leaving runners on first and second with two outs. Hernandez walked the next batter, but then induced Lowell to hit a pop foul to Mike Jacobs to end the rally by the width of a wet taco.

*****

Tonight the Mets, playing for pride and .500, go in for the sweep against the Marlins who are still battling for a Wildcard spot. Dontrelle Willis faces Pedro Martinez in what might have been exciting were the Mets still in the wildcard hunt. But they aren't so this is more like half an exhibition game where the result only matters to one of the teams.

And for the record, that would be the Marlins, who didn't eliminate themselves with a hideous losing streak over the last month and then start winning after all was already lost.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for Miguel Cairo, the Mets would have played like the Colorado Rockies.

Jaap said...

I've got news, Mr Anonymous. If it wasn't for Miguel Cairo, the Mets would be Kings of Leon.

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