Not Bad, For Losing

It's not as though the Mets can afford to give away victories like they've clinched the NL East already but with Jeremi Gonzalez starting and Pedro Feliciano plus the recently-recalled Heath Bell relieving, with Willie letting the ever-effete Kaz Matsui hit in the 8th for himself with two out and two runners on base and a chance to rally extinguished, you rather wonder that the Mets weren't very bothered about completing this sweep after all.

Shane Victorino doing his Aaron Rowand impression in the 2nd inning

You might call it a lack of killer instinct. You might call it simply a matter of not being able to comeback from every single deficit you face. You might call it having a narrow rotation with few options beyond Gonzalez and you might call it giving your overworked aces in the bullpen a rest and then you might realise the auld adage, hey, you can't win 'em all.

For whatever reason, this was about as painless a loss as they come.

Perhaps the novelty of the incessant chatter of the Maddog and the thick-tongued throat grumblings of his chubby sidekick, Fat Mike in the announcing booth were a sufficient distraction from the game at hand. Mike and the Maddog, I have to admit, as much as I was ready to hate them, were quite refreshing in the booth. Not only did they do a good job but oh my, what a contrast having the roller-lipped Maddog's intensity with every pitch giving the ballgame a playoff-like atmosphere. And he talks so fast you sometimes wonder if it's still English. But they did a good job, they made the game exciting, Maddog in particular and perhaps that took a little sting out of the loss.

Then again, not even the Mets seemed to bothered by it.

Cliff Floyd was rumoured to have noted that "two out of three's not bad at all." and even Willie spun it well, saying that "Any time you win a series and play well against good ballclubs, you're .always pleased with that."

True. Two out of three against your division rival is good, but a sweep would have kicked these Phillies hard enough to remember. The Yankees and the Braves were the same. Two out of three. Compared to two out of three road losses in Milwaukee and St Louis a week and a half ago, not bad at all.

As for the game itself, not surprisingly, the Mets fell behind quickly with Gonzalez on the mound. Bobby Abreu, who had been 2 for 17 against the Mets this season, hit a two-run shot almost as soon as those numbers were announced by Maddog. Mets killah Pat Burrell hit the next one to the fence but not over it. Then Ryan Howard slammed one over the 371 foot mark in right centerfield to make it 3-0 in less than 15 minutes of play.

But credit Gonzalez if you're willing. He got out of the rest of the inning and pitched 5 scoreless, albeit shaky innnings thereafter, keeping the Mets tied 3-3 for the questionable side of the bullpen. He even survived the 5th when with two men on and none out, he miraculously induced Burrell, Howard and Rollins into consecutive, weak outs to keep the score tied. And I couldn't count how many times Fat Mike howled for Gonzalez to be pulled, beginning from the first inning onwards. Perhaps trying to show us all what a smart baseball man he is?

Not the Wright Night for a Mets victory

And how did the Mets tie the game, you ask? Why with a 3-run homer from none other than Jose Reyes, who finished with 3 hits on the day.

And how did the Mets lose the lead thereafter, you ask? Simple. Pedro Feliciano, Heath Bell versus Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, that's how.

Anyway, the town is still abuzz with El Duque, who will get his Mets debut against the Marlins this weekend. The hard part is over, with June promising to be alot more forgiving schedule-wise than May and help for the rotation on the way.

(Oh yeah, "help" in the figurative, not literal sense...the Mets also now have Dave Williams on their hands to stockpile the AAA rotation and give more depth if nothing else (certain not pitching competence) to the team.


Only two active players have more career homers against the Mets than Pat Burrell, who has 33. That's Barry Bonds with 37 and Chipper Jones
with 35.

Going into last night's game the Mets led the Majors in stolen bases having successfully stolen 46 out of 52 attempts.

Paul LoDuca has gotten on base in 30 fo the 36 games he's appeared in.

Carlos Beltran, who had 16 homers all of last season, has 13 already.

No heroics for Beltran last night.

Oh yeah, and don't look now, but Cliff Floyd is starting to get hot. That will add even more punch to the lineup. June is looking like a good month indeed.

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