Mets Survive Phillies 5-4, Gain Another Cuban

The collection is growing...

For the first inning of Alay Soler's first Major League start last night the Mets bullpen must have been wincing with every pitch, envisioning the return of the Ghost of Victor Zambrano: Ball, ball, ball, called strike, ball four. Jimmy Rollins walks.

Ball, ball, called strike, ball, called strike, ball four. Chase Utley walks.

Ball, ball, called strike, ball, foul and ball four, pitch in the dirt, Bobby Abreu walks to load the bases with none out.

Things didn't get better for our humble defector when the first three pitches thrown to Met nemesis Pat Burrell were all balls, making it 3-0 with the bases loaded and the game threatening to be over before it started.

But then, whilst we were all digging our fingernails into our skin and burning our mini Cuban flags, Soler suddenly got a grip on himself to throw two strikes in a row over the plate. Our perhaps homeplate umpire Jerry Meals just felt sorry for Alay and decided to be generous. Burrell lashed an RBI single to make it 1-0, but the worst, for Alay, was over.

Dare we mourn, not the picture of fitness?

Unless of course you count Chris Woodward's throwing error on Ryan Howard's double play grounder which sent two more runs in.

But composure is the mark of a winner and the Mets are, if nothing else, composed. Soler sent two of the next three batters down on strikes and mercifully, 37 pitches later, the first inning of Soler's career was under the belt.

And if you discount that first inning, Soler was impressive, giving up only four hits and no runs over the next five innings, leaving the game with a 4-3 lead and a burgeoning respect after 102 pitches, 61 of which ended up being strikes.

Think the surreptitious double fingers is a hidden message to Fidel? (In England, those double fingers mean fuck off, not peace...)

The Mets composure took over the reigns from there, chipping away at the 3-0 lead with homers by Beltran and Wright to tie it and a sac fly by Jose Valentin following Jose Reyes' 6th triple of the season to take the lead in what began to feel like Manifest Destiny, this NL East title, knocking the once-phearsome Phillies five games down the hole.


By giving up Burrell's homer in the 7th to tie the game again, Pedro Feliciano earned the least deserved victory of the season, thanks to Wright's game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the inning that sealed it, both Feliciano's 2nd blown save and his first win of the season.

The bullpen of Heilman and Wagner shut it down for the ending but one gets the feeling the Phillies lost this game when they let their 3-0 lead slip away so quickly.

This was the Mets' 14th one run win of the season, tops in the Majors.


The irony is simply too thick to bear. On the night that Soler gets his first start in the Bigs, the Mets announce a trade for the guy mentioned most often in the same sentence with Soler...within a matter of a few days, the Mets starting rotation is starting to look a little like the NY Cubans, ¿de verdadad?...

This is welcomed news: getting rid of El Choque and gaining a wiley veteran in El Duque. Although his numbers on the season aren't so great so far by any stretch of the imagination, El Duque is a proven big-name winner. In addition, his less-than-impressive numbers were swayed by pitching in Arizona it would appear. On the road this season, he he's 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA, not to mention a 1.13 ERA in his career at Shea.


Toasty Joe said...

Nice post. Check out mine on my blog - you used cigars, I used F-Cas himself.

Jaap said...

Oh, Fidel in a Mets cap, that's wunderbar!

harrahs80 said...

Lets go phillies!!!!!