The Fatted Calf Damns Mets, 13-0

This must have been the ugliest game of the year in a season which has been otherwise beautiful.

But there's no point in worrying about this collective bad hair day. Not when you consider that even the Mighty Mets of 1986 were blasted by the Phillies once, giving up 27 hits and 26 runs and losing by a 26-7 margin.

Is it any wonder, looking at this delivery, that it resulted in a thirty pitch, four hit, six earned run, two hit batsmen, a walk, and a bases loaded balk swoon.

This was a laughter - you hear that, kids? A laughter. A procession of unalleviated psychasthenias, misfortune and setbacks. A once-in-a-lifetime sort of chance to recall all those early years of mediocrity and frustration, all those moments of bile building in the course of season after season, all those Pre-Pedro years flashing back with a suddenness that set the teeth grinding against each other.

It all started with Pedro feeling a "twinge" in his calf warming up.

For you and I, a twinge is a sharp, sudden pain, like the first inning of this game. For Pedro of course, his advanced age, the necessary sensitivity of his artistry, the fragility of his every movement, muscle and bone, makes a twinge in the calf seem something like a shot gun going off next to your ear.

From there, Pedro went on to give up six runs in an opening inning for the first time in his career yet it wasn't even his shortest outing ever. Oh no, on June 20, 1995, he gave up five runs in the first inning against the Astros, getting only two outs before exiting. On that same day, the Mets lost to the Phillies 8-2.

Looking oddly as if he were taking a dump on the mound rather than in the game, Pedro tries to work out the kinks.

The real worry of course is how serious the calf strain really is.

According to the sports injury clinic,

If you have damaged the Soleus muscle you might get pain lower in the leg and also pain when you contract the muscle against resistance with the knee bent. The Gastrocnemius muscle originates above the knee and inserts via the Achilles tendon into the heal. The Soleus originates below the knee and also inserts via the Achilles tendon.

What can the athlete do?
R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is essential. The sooner you do this the better.

See a sports injury professional who can advise on treatment and rehabilitation.

Wear a heel pad to raise the heel and shorten the calf muscle hence taking some of the strain off it. It is a good idea to put heel pads in both shoes or one leg will be longer than the other creating an imbalance and possibly leading to other injuries including back injuries.

It has potential to get worse but chances are, worst case scenario he has to skip a start or two. We're not in the middle of a pennant race so this is not earth-shattering. Chances are the Mets will not have to shoot Pedro because of a bad leg.

According to the somewhat more hysterical version, Pedro had been nursing a sore right calf since his Aug. 3 start in Miami when he was seen icing his leg in the clubhouse after the game.

Martinez denied there was a problem then but clearly, according to this version anyway, this was a disaster waiting to happen. Oh horrors! Pedro has minimised his calf injury and now look! Our season is in tatters!

Rest easy. There's always time for hysterics after his meeting with team physician Struan Coleman at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

As for the game itself, let's leave the dire dissection, the forensic examination of futility to others. Here are three things worth noting other than Pedro's meltdown:

Cole Hamels could afford to hand bats back to Mets hitters last night.

1. The 13-pitch at-bat of Carlos Delgado against Cole Hamels who in his last for starts has now posted a 3-1 record with a 1.59 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings allowing only 18 hits and five walks.

2. Lasting Milledge’s two hits Monday night raised his average 12 points, to .231. Take that, Shawn Green.

3. The only other Mets to get a hit last night were Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. Now THAT is futility.

On the bright side, Ryan Howard didn't hit a homerun and struck out four times.


Not that he didn't try hard against Hamels but in his last 23 at-bats, Carlos Delgado has only one hit.

Hats of to nice output by phrustrated but hopeful Phillie phan, A Citizen's Blog who thinks the Phillies have a chance in this series...

"Why are the Mets winning? They are, simply put, the most balanced team in the NL right now. They lead the NL in scoring at 5.39 runs per game and they allow the third-fewest, at 4.54, just behind the Pads (4.49) and Rockies (4.41). Nearly every contender in the NL was serious flaws: the Dodgers are streaky, the Reds are getting by with a lot of offense and little defense or pitching, the Cardinals have the second-worst pitching in the NL (4.87 FIP, as compared with the Phillies much-maligned staff and their 4.71), the Astros, Pads and Rockies have no offense, and the Giants have Barry Bonds. The Phillies have the Reds problem: they are all offense and no defense. The Mets excel at offense, they have the fourth-best fielding team in the majors, and their pitching staff is sixth, but they are much, much better than the league average (4.42 vs. 4.55 FIP ERA). The Mets are, essentially, the deepest and most balanced team that the NL has to offer. The chances of a replay of the 2000 World Series, the subway series between the Mets and Yankees that made the NY-obsessed sports media giddy way back, is a possibility."

Not last night. Not last night at all.


sanchez said...

The fatted calf is a metaphor or symbol of festive celebration and rejoicing for someone's long-awaited return. In biblical times, people would often keep at least one piece of livestock that was fed a special diet to fatten it up, thus making it more flavorful when prepared as a meal. Slaughtering this livestock was to be done on rare and special occasions. Thus when the prodical son returns, the father "kills the fatted calf" to show that the celebration is out of the ordinary.

Jaap said...

In that case, it should have been the Phillies slaughtering the fatted calf. Where was John Kruk?