GAME THREE: Tough Loss Follows Tough Loss

I suppose you could say that at least this one was disappointing right from the start to relieve you of any unnecessarily frayed nerves, broken furniture or misguided false hopes.

Bewildered, worried or shaken?

And perhaps like the symptoms of a 24 hour bug, the last trail of vomiting losses, the final sphincter twitches of diarrhoeal miscues have now ended at this disappointing 5-0 loss and the Mets will be ready to resume regular programming for Game Four.

And I'm perfectly willing to believe that. I really think it would have been difficult for any team to overcome their closer exhibiting a complete choking meltdown of skills at home and blowing a game that could have been a pivotal victory for them with a trip to the enemy's city looming on the horizan. I didn't expect the Mets to win Game Three. I hoped they would of course, and that hoped lasted even through an early 2-0 deficit but if you want to know when I stepped away from the computer broadcast and allowed myself, somewhere around two in the morning, to listen to the game lying down in bed rather than sitting up and staying awake by typing, it was certainly the moment Steve Trachsel surrendered a homerun to the bloody Cardinals PITCHER, Jeff Suppan.

Yeah, it was the bruised thigh that did it...

The heart sunk when Endy Chavez made his leaping effort but couldn't prevent Suppan's shot into the Mets' bullpen (apropos given the circumstances, no?), the first homer by a Cardinal pitcher in the postseason since 1968. And the funny thing is, it was only the second homer of his career. The first one came off of well, Steve Trachsel. Imagine that.

Not only that but Suppan's 8 inning effort gave the Cardinals bullpen a much appreciated rest, something bonehead Steve Trachsel simply couldn't muster.

Since that fateful 7th inning Friday night when Willie left his belov├Ęd Guillermo Mota in too long and blew another Mets lead, the Mets have given up 10 runs and mustered only five hits of their own. That's some powerful shifting of momentum considering the first 16 innings of this series were the Mets' to own.

But through all this muck and disappointment, Darren Oliver rose to the occasion, replacing an injured Trachsel when the Mets seemed on the verge of complete breakdown; bases loaded none out, bullpen exhausted, and then pitching six innings allowing only three hits. It didn't matter much in the sense of the final score since the Mets couldn't muster a run off Suppan but Oliver, like Suppan, helped give his team's bullpen some much-needed rest.

Trachsel walked five guys and gave up five hits and don't try and tell me it was all down to taking a shot off the thigh in the second inning because that was probably the only that saved the Mets losing this game by double digits. Trachsel pitched like crap. And yes, as much could have been expected from Trachsel considering his lifetime ERA but you'd have thought with the Mets down in the dumps like they were with the bullpen pissing Game Two away, it might have been time for Trachsel to step up with a gutty and admirable performance. Nope. Same auld Trachsel giving runs away like blowjobs at a hooker's fair.

(Well, there is no such thing as a hooker's fair of course because if there were, nobody would be playing baseball or watching it, they'd all be at the hooker's fair and this miserable little postgame recap wouldn't be getting typed...)

So the big question is you have was amounts to a MUST WIN game coming up tonight, who do you start?

Oliver Perez, of course.

I'm going to remain optimistic for one more game at least.

If they ever do a movie about Jerry Manuel, Morgan Freeman is a shoe-in for the role.

After all, the Cardinals are putting out a rookie, Anthony Reyes, to pitch Game Four. Granted, he's a lefty and god knows how many times we've had to listen to the story about how much fecking trouble lefties give the Mets but he's a rookie and he's not even a particularly oustanding rookie.

So for those of you looking for encouragement, think about a few things:

The last time Oliver Perez pitched in what could even remotely be considered an important game was probably in the World Baseball Classic when Mexico beat America, 2-1. Perez was pitching for Mexico against Roger Clemens. In that game Perez allowed only one hit in three scoreless innings pitched, even retiring 12 American batters in a row at one point. He's pretty much sucked thereafter for both the Pirates and the Mets, save for a decent four inning performance in his last outing of the regular season against the Nats.

Of course, this is real baseball now, not some joke Spring Training tournament to let the third world have their day in the sun and of course, he would be needed to pitch more than three innings for the Mets tonight but nonetheless, it's something to hold on to in the maelstrom of fickle Met fate.

And as for Anthony Reyes, he's pretty much a younger version of Ollie Perez. Talented but inconsistent. When he's good, he goes at hitters and when he's bad, it's when he tries to pick at the corners.

What They're Saying In Saint Louis

Trawling the Cardinals sports forums:

This I will bet my house on

There is NO WAY, I repeat, NO WAY, Glavine beats us again in ths series. Take that to the bank. He lucked out the other night and we'll beat the living fertilizer out of him Monday.

That said, I don't like Anthony Reyes starting an NLCS game. Marquis should be on the mound, but I wish Reyes well. He's just not ready for that pressure.

From Viva El Birdos, a clever play on words which took me a few Sunday morning minutes to absorb:

The question is which Reyes will we see?

A.) The brilliant, aggressive Reyes who 1 hit the White Sox, fearlessly throwing strikes at a World Champion lineup that had just hammered the Cardinals for 33 runs in previous 2 games.
B.) The "tired-arm" Reyes who got killed for 7 runs in 2.1 innings against Arizona on 9/8, and couldn't make it out of the 1st inning against the Brewers Oct. 1st.
C.) The solid Reyes, who gets plenty of K's with his fastball/change-up combo, but labors to stay under 100 pitches through 5 innings.

Viva El Birdos was also good enough to point out what happened the last time the Cardinals pitched a rookie in the playoffs..


The main thing Cardinals fans complain about is yuppy-filled seats in their stadiums, not enough noise and not much of a homefield advantage.

Maybe they should build an airport about a mile from the stadium...


Pray For Glavine And Four Days of Rain?

Sunday Night: Showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 50. South wind between 9 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Monday: Rain likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a high near 59. South wind between 11 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Monday Night: A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 53. South wind between 6 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.


Cultural Identity

You Know You're From St Louis when...



Well I see no reason for gloom and doom scenarios. You might call Game Two a TKO for the Cardinals but this has been a resilient team all season these Mets. It doesn't mean they can overcome ANY level of adversity and frankly, having the balance of the series depending on Darren Oliver is a pretty unenviable position, if we're honest.

Naturally the Mets are going to have to jump on the Cardinals early just to put an end to this 12 inning momentum the Cardinals are allegedly running on. Then again, a 3 run homer by Carlos Delgado in Game Two wasn't enough to shock the Cardinals into submission and even though the Mets had them on the ropes, it's the other way around now.

I've played this game already with the strategic formula of dice wherein one roll for each inning frame indicates the number of subsequent rolls for that inning to get roll a six, which equals a run. Using this formula, the Mets jumped out to a first inning 2-0 lead, the Cards got two back in the 2nd and then a 3-run 5th inning by the Cards put the game out of reach. Final score, Cardinals 7 Mets 4.

Let's hope the dice lie.


dado said...

I think the momentum is gone. I hate to say it but all season long the Mets have fought back and eventually there comes a time when there just isn't anything left to fight with. That's where the Mets are now. Game 2 might easily be the last game at Shea this season.

Anonymous said...

But aha, just when you think the Mets are done for, that's when they've come back every time. I think there's still plenty of fight left in them. Don't give up so soon!

Kyle in Newport News said...

Where are the Mets tonight?

The tarot gives Six of Swords, "a ferryman carrying passengers in his punt to the further shore." In the Rider Waite deck, that ferryman looks an awful lot like Shawn Green, whose glove has had plenty of punts already, but I think the card pretty unambiguously tells that there will be a Game 6 at Shea.


Jaap said...

Nice one, Kyle - thanks for the tip on the tarots - more fun than the dice, I have to admit...and right you were about Game 6...