Mets Win Battle of Sandmen, 7-6

The inaugural Subway Series game of 2006 began with Jeremi Gonzalez doing his Jose Lima and Victor Zambrano impressions simultaneously, vomitting Yankee runs as though he were intent on fast tracking himself to the waiver wire, and ended with one Sandman striking out the side in the 9th and the other alleged Sandman, the one with the history and rings, surrendering the game winning run in the 9th.

The Yankees first inning lasted 9 batters and 32 pitches on the way to a gut-wrenching 4-0 lead.

Son, you suck. Looks like irrevocable waivers for you...

And then, the Yankees multi-million dollar version of Jeremi Gonzalez, The Big Eunich turned around and nearly handed the lead back to the Mets, as Carlos Beltran blasted a three run homer before Johnson had even recorded an out.

The Fateful Pitch that gave the advantage of Momentum back to the Mets.

Funny to think that one of the few reasons Carlos Beltran isn't a Yankee is because the Yankees had already blown splashed out on their one Big Fish of the off season, namely Randy Johnson and if you want to watch the turning point of a franchise cycle for the next several years, at this rate, you might point directly to that offseason when the Beltran surprised the world by signing with the Mets. And in fact, you might say now that with that homer, Beltran is now an Official Met.

Then another 8 innings followed with the game eventually knotted at 6 in the 9th for Billy Wagner, entering to the Sandman, who rolled in looking like every penny that was spent on him, striking out Giambi, A-Rod and Stinnett swinging, one after another and with gruesome efficiency.

So it was up to Marianao Rivera (note to Willie Randolph - see how your guru Mr Torre is unafraid to bring in his closer on the road in the 9th without a lead?) who surrendered a one out double to Paul Lo Duca, striking out Carlos Beltran before intentionally walking Carlos Delgado to get to David Wright.

Intentionally walking Carlos Delgado to get to David Wright. Oh, how delicious when managers of Mets opponents outsmart themselves with their Baseball Chess philosophies.

And there was David Wright playing hero, knocking the ball off the wall, scoring Lo Duca and setting the Mets on to a dramatic 7-6 victory.


Of course, there are other issues hounding in the background, despite the victory. We and the Red Sox were mutual beneficiaries. Their victory over the Phillies gave us a three game lead over the Phillies in the NL East whilst our victory over their rivals, increased the Blood Sox lead over the Yankees to two and a half games.

The starting rotation needs immediate answers. Jose Lima getting designated for assignment is a good start. Jeremi Gonzalez is not a fifth pitcher, hell, probably not even a 10th pitcher. Get him out of here before he causes worse damage.

Now tell me why Alay Soler doesn't get his shot to perform a Shea version of Livan Hernandez (former Commie leading team to World Series in inaurugal season). Tell me the Mets are going to rush forward with Pelfrey and we're going to have another mini Brian Bannnister story on our hands.

If anything, Aaron Heilman's game-saving three inning stint out of the pen demonstrates the wisdom of not giving in to his call to start. His presence in the pen is invaluable.

Of course, there's nothing but the dregs left in the Norfolk Tides rotation. We've already had our doses of Lima and Gonzalez. Sure, there's the 33 year old righty Yusaku Iriki still waiting in the wings. There's the 27 year old righty Jason Scobi who isn't exactly tearing up AAA hitting with his 1-5 record 8.06 ERA.

And if we're contemplating raiding the AA Binghampton Mets, why not Willie Collazo, the lefty with no control problems who is 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA for the B-Mets and has a 35-6 strikeout to walk ratio in 50 innings pitched?

5 foot 9 of pitching prowess?

Why not give Collazo and Soler their respective chances and let Pelfrey get more experience before we start raiding the cradle in a fit of desperation?

And of course, neither will likely be the solution to a decent number three pitcher to fill out the rotation. That will have to come via trade sometime this season and although the Mets might seem desperate for starters at the moment, they aren't going to get any good deals whilst the rest of the league knows that desperation.


In the interim, a helluva pitching matchup for Saturday afternoon with Mike Mussina facing Pedro in Game Two.

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