16.8.06

Another Day, Another Beating

It was if they never stopped playing Game One last night.

A night after Pedro and the Mets were ripped by the suddenly-hungry Phillies 13-0, the Phillies kept ringing in runs against Met starting pitching like it they were running up points in a pinball machine. This time it was El Duque's turn to suffer humiliation and scorn as the Phillies won again, 11-4.


If Only El Duque had a calf to blame

The primary difference between A and B was that Pedro had an excuse - he's had an MRI on a dodgy calf/ El Duque was simply pounded.

Pounded to the tune of 11 runs which is more than in any other of his 176 previous starts and more than a Mets pitcher had allowed on all but two occasions in the team's 45-season history. They had allowed 10-plus runs in two consecutive games once -- previously -- 16 against the Yankees on July 2 and 11 against the Pirates in those games, both losses. The 24 runs scored by the Phillies in the past two games matched their output from Aug. 2-3 against St. Louis, and vaulted them past the Mets as the NL's highest-scoring team.

So does it all mean?!

It means the Phillies are hitting the hell out of the ball for one.

Since the start of August, Jimmy Rollins is hitting .406, has 6 homers and 17 RBIs. Ryan Howard is hitting .390 with 6 homers and 19 RBIs. Chase Utley and Shane Victorino (who I still propose has the coolest name in baseball,) .302 and .310 respectively. Mike Lieberthal is hitting .310. Even David Delucci, a career nowhere man, is hitting .421 with 5 homers and 12 RBIs. They swept the Cardinals and took two of three in Atlanta already, foiled so far only by the resurgent Cincinnati Reds this month and the Mets themselves at Shea. 11-6 since trading Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees on July 30.

None of this makes the 24-4 margin of the first two games any clearer, any more palatable for Mets supporters who are now scratching their collective heads with renewed worry and concern about the starting rotation in the postseason.

Should we be concerned?

Neverfear. The Army is staunch in its confidence that this temporary blip, this illusion of Phillie domination, this sudden collapse of the starting rotation will happily resolve itself by week's end.

Pedro's MRI will come clean and require him only to miss a start or two of meaningless games, better for him and the Mets since it will leave him fresher for the postseason.

El Duque will bounce back in his next start, Glavine will slowly regain confidence and location, John Maine will continue surprising and Steve Trachsel will get blown out again at least one out of three starts as he has most of the season.

You are getting veeeeeeery sleepy.

*****

Ok, just because the Mets were humiliated two nights in a row doesn't mean we can't celebrate the growing enormity of the Jose Reyes star.

It's a pity that the homerun hattrick by Jose Reyes was lost in all the running around the bases the Phillies were doing. He hit two batting right-handed and one left-handed for the second time in his career. Three for three with four RBIs.

"We lost, so I can't get too excited," Reyes said with no trace of a Milledgesque need to boast and strut. "If we would've won, it would've been more exciting."

Well we're excited for him. He might still outshadow David Wright as the best Met yet.

Is there still hope to solve the outfield juggle?

Now tonight, the ritual lamb to slaughter, Tom Glavine takes the mound for the Mets.

The Army is making a stand here. Glavine will not be poached like Pedro and Duque before him. He will pitch well enough to bring a modicum of relief to the bullpen. He will pitch well enough that we begin to believe there is at least ONE Met starter out there who can be counted on.

1 comment:

sanchez said...

mark my words, this is the year the Cincinnati Reds pay back the Mets for that playoff game to see who got to go to the playoffs in '99. we could be out before we even get started...