Why, Willie, Why??!!

Did we really need the refresher course on why Shingo is Shit?

The Chicago White Sox, a team virtually guaranteed to make the playoffs this season, dumped Shingo Takatsu early this season and small wonder: In 28 2/3 innings of work for the Sox he'd allowed 30 hits and 19 runs, including 9 homers. Was this really the man you wanted coming into the game for his Mets debut with the bases loaded and Miguel Cabrera at the plate? A man who hadn't pitched in a game since July 16th??!!

Jerky or Jerk-Off Sidearm Motion? Who Cares, Send Him Back To Japan!

"You don't have to know everybody," Willie said of his bone-head decision to experiment with the reliever in his bullpen he was least familiar with. "It's not like he's a rookie. He's been around the block a few times. He had 19 saves last year. He's been in tough spots before."


Been around the block a few times? Been in tough spots before? Willie! You could say the same thing about Emmanuel Lewis but that doesn't mean I want to see him in a Mets uniform pitching against Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded!

Emmanuel Lewis: Future Mets Relief Pitcher?

You could cite some numbers as excuses. Cabrera had gone 7-for-12 with three homers against Roberto Hernandez, 3-for-5 against Heath Bell and 5-for-15 against Aaron Heilman. Of course, he could have left Padilla in. Padilla had gotten the lefty Pierre out before walking Castillo to load the bases. But instead, Willie opted for the quirky - a quirky decision to call for a quirky-jerky sidearm pitcher in the hopes his delivery could fool Cabrera.

Instead, the Japanese Jackal grooved a fastball, not the slider or the 50 mph changeup and Cabrera easily laced a bases-clearing double that gave the Marlins a 5-4 victory, the Mets 4th straight loss, their first four-game slide since May 22-25, when they lost consecutive games to both the Yankees and Braves. It was also their 6th loss in their last seven games.

After an admirable rookie season managing, Willie has finally and unequivicably blown a game for us.

This is no bit of second guessing - hell, I was praying for a massive thunderstorm after Benson had wriggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the botom of the 6th. C'mon infamous Floridian torrential downpours!, I whistled silently to myself.

But to no avail. Benson came out gamely for the 7th inning, clearly fatigued and left with two men on and only one out, making way for Padilla and the early signs of disaster.

Fortunately for those aiming to remain optimistic with the season, flushed and spinning round and round in the toilet bowl waiting to disappear before our very eyes, the Phillies suffered an extra-inning loss to the Nats and the Mets did not lose any ground in the NL Wildcard race despite dropping into last place in the NL East. Small consolation.

Funky delivery indeed.

I believe that decision by Willie has to rank up there in the pantheon of clever-yet-stupid excuses for bringing a particular relief pitcher in - why not just intentionally walk Cabrera and Delgado, allow the two runs in to tie and pray we limit it to that and take it in extra innings like the Nats did against the Phillies? Would that have been any dumber a move than bringing in the second disasterous project of the season (Oh yes, you mustn't forget, Shingo isn't the first former closer reject we've yanked off the waiver wire this season - Danny Graves, the Katrina of relief pitchers, suffered a similar fate before we wised up and sent him packing...)?

Cliffy Homers To No Avail In The Rain

Another beef out of this game besides Willie's temporary loss of sanity or desperate death row juggling of the bullpen options, however you choose to view it, was Carlos Beltran.

Yes, let me spit this out into the wound whilst it's still fresh.

Carlos Beltran, after an absolute crap hitter like Miguel Cairo (3 for his last 46 yet still allowed to hit in the 9th with two out and Reyes on first) managed to single off Marlins closer Todd Jones, came to the plate with runners on first and second and his big chance to earn some of those millions.

I've been very careful not to get down on Carlos all season. He's hitting near his career average after all, we had to expect this sort of performance in his first season as the Mets saviour but here it is, kicked in the groin the inning before, down 5-4, tying run on second, go-ahead run on first base and your superstar coming to the plate with two outs. Just what you pay your hard-earned money to see.

But instead of heroics, we got a weak grounder to first to end the game.


An ugly, ugly game.


So, we can all dream these stupid little dreams of the Mets making the playoffs but after losing two of three at home to the Phillies and the first two of a horrific road trip to the Marlins, what might we base this misguided optimism upon? Things can't possibly get any worse?

This afternoon Jae Seo will get his chance to pitch brilliantly and watch the bullpen blow another when he faces A.J. Burnett (12-8 3.07) to close out this pathetic series.

Thereafter, oh yes sportsfans, it can indeed get much, much worse: we're onward to Atlanta and then St Louis and might even return home on a 11 game losing streak!

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