17.9.05

Pedro The Maestro Dulls The Pain For A Night

It wasn't so long ago that Pedro was lights-out every game he started and we were afraid we'd run out of superlatives before the end of the summer.


The Maestro Takes A Bow

Alot has changed since then but Pedro's brilliant 10 K, complete game shutout (his first as a Met) of the hated Atlanta Braves reminded us for nine innings of the excitement we felt last winter when his signing was first announced as the stepping stone towards Met competency.

Just last Sunday he helped the Mets snap a six game losing streak and beat the NL-best St Louis Cardinals and last night, he outshined John Smoltz in yet another duel between two old starters who aren't yet ready to be put to pasture. Martinez evened his season record against Smoltz at 2-2. He beat Smoltz on April 10, the Mets first victory of the season. Smoltz won showdowns on April 26 and Sept. 6. ... Martinez now has nine seasons of 200 or more strikeouts.

But in reality, this victory was like fucking a fat chick in some drunken sorority party after breaking up with the hottest chick on campus. It just serves to remind that you can go through the motions and claim success but sometimes that success is just too hollow to bother getting excited about.

WHO would you rather be waking up to after a night's debaucherie?


The Fat Chick; a meaningless 4-0 victory over the Braves with the season in this pisser,

OR

The beautiful ex: A 4-0 victory over the Braves to keep the Mets in first place in the NL East?


*****

Although they won for only the 4th time in 19 games, the Mets, amazingly, are still not quite mathematically eliminated from the NL Wildcard race.

Hmmm, let's see.

If the Mets sweep the Braves, the Marlins win one then lose one to the Phillies, the Nats lose their next two out West and the Astros lose two in a row to Milwaukee, they will be a mere six games from the Wildcard lead with 13 games to play. Of course, everyone but the Cubs would still be ahead of them, that's what, five teams ahead of them?

Mathematically in the race indeed. If the Mets win out the rest of the season, sweep the Braves, sweep the Marlins, sweep the Nats, and sweep the Phillies whilst all their opponents lose their remaining games (except for the dodgy question of when the rivals are playing each other and only one of them can lose...)well, there you go, Mets 2005 NL Wildcard.

Ha, a mere seven games out of the wildcard chase as it stands right now. The proverbial snow ball's chance in hell? A season of waking up to fat chicks?

Even a sweep of the Braves would still see the Mets a game under .500, hardly an encouraging thought.

More likely, the Mets will not have a chance for .500 when they close out the season against the Rockies.


Close, but no cigar - The Kaz Man nearly appears to go for Chipper's Head last night but like everything else he does, just missed.

*****

So it's taken nearly the entire season for Willie to realise the closer's spot needs to be filled by a closer. One of his brilliant ideas to audtion other bullpen Mets is to consider the 40 year old Roberto Hernandez in the closer's role. That sounds like a pretty productive experiment. And if he wins the audition what, we start next season with a 41 year old closer? I sure hope not. And with Aaron Heilman on record as saying he wants to pitch as a starter in the winter leagues and vie for a starter's role next season, the Mets aren't really left with many options.

You don't want to begin next season without a clear cut, potentially dominating closer. Not if you hope to compete - although, the Braves, for whatever magical reason, seem to have done well this season without one.

*****

I wonder, if I lived in NYC and had tickets to go see the game Saturday afternoon if I'd even bother. Why? To watch Tim Hudson shut out the Mets? He's 2-0 lifetime against them with a 0.82 ERA having given up 19 hits in 22 innings of work against them.

Steve Trachsel is 11-13 with a 4.73 ERA in his career against the Braves.

Prediction: Carlos Beltran drives in his specialty: a meaningless run, late in the game and the Mets lose, 5-1.

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