9.9.06

Taiwanese Shuts Down Mets On Taiwanese Night At Shea

The National League leader with wins, Brad Penny they knock around like they were in a game of T Ball but a 25 year old rookie pitching, historically a relief pitcher at that, in his first Major League start ever holds them so tightly he has a no-hitter going into the fifth inning and wins his first game ever as a Major Leaguer.

Of course, having to face a Taiwanese pitcher when your own bloody stadium is coincidentally holding Taiwanese Night can't be a good omen.

Oh, the twists and turns, the contradictions and anomalies this season has brought upon the Mets in spite of their massively successful season, boggles the mere human mind at times.

They raved about Hong-Chih Kuo afterwards - of course they would. Paul Lo Duca and Shawn Green shared their years of observations of the former reliever, Lo Duca's as a teammate, David Wright waxed poetic about Kuo's "great stuff" when he wasn't making throwing errors that put poor John Maine two runs in the hole in the first inning.


We know who you are behind that glove, kid

Certainly not to say that one play in the first inning changes a game but if the rookie is struggling by loading the bases with a lone out to start the game but then bounces back to induce a sure inning-ending double play only to see Wright muff the throw to let two runners score, well, it certainly doesn't help. Not when the Mets are facing the goofy wind up of Kuo and can't buy a hit.

And granted, Wright tried to make up for it by getting two of the Mets' five hits but frankly, as none of them were grand slams, they weren't helpful enough.

So the Mets had won the last eight games John Maine had started and that's all done and dusted.

Carlos Beltran did his best to keep things from going to bad to worst with a spectacular grab in the fifth inning after Maine had already given up homers to Rafael Furcal and Nomah but the damage done was almost predictable. Did you know that of the 33 runs Maine has allowed this season, 23 have come from homeruns?


No game-winning catch in an otherwise futile game but Carlos Beltran shows off his Mr Everything skills. Five tools? Pshaw. This guy's got 10.

*****

The low down on this game was that the series is even - a night after getting bashed the Dodgers regained some face with a convincing 5-0 win of their own and by becoming the first first-place team to beat the Mets since the Red Sox on June 27-29.

I can't help but imagine this scenario playing out in the playoffs. You see, these meaningless games being played might be very well lulling the Mets into a false sense of security. Imagine yourself how nervous you'd be if the Mets were in this same situation, having won only one of two against the Dodgers at home - only it was the playoffs.

Granted, in all likelihood the Mets would have thrown out Pedro and Glavine for Games One and Two at home and they could be up 2 games to nil already but let's say for whatever reason, it's 1-1 and it's El Duque going against Greg Maddux like it will be this afternoon. Think you aren't going to chew fingernails all morning worrying?

Let's not forget that these laughters we are having currently are no reflection of what this is going to feel like in a month.

All the more reason to enjoy these last few weeks of the season with the illusion of greatness still intact.

Just this past June and July the Army witnessed the downfall of the allegedly mighty English side in the World Cup - about halfway through their final match a sinking feeling began to blend with the previous feelings of euphoria and confidence. And then poof! Like that, England were out of the World Cup, leaving it to the melodramaticists and head-butters to finish off.

No one envisions a first round knock out of the Mets but that doesn't mean that having become accustomed to having such an easy, pressure-free time of it for the majority of the season, they aren't going to get wound up tighter than a duck's arse when the games take on new, all-or-nothing meanings.

Luckly, the indications of a season long run are that this is a team with the perfect mixture of veteran saavy, youthful enthusiasm and a never-say-die mentality which should serve them usefully when the game begin to count again.

For now however, it's time to wash out the bitter taste of Taiwanese Night at Shea and send the Dodgers spinning back into oblivion with another pair of losses to take back with them as a consolation prize.

1 comment:

Zipperhead said...

Fortunately, Willie Randolph is no Sven Goran Erickson so it's unlikely you'll see major gaffes like playing Carlos Delgado in centerfield and moving David Wright to the starting rotation. Ugh, the reference to England's World Cup demise is too much to handle first thing in the morning!