Thanks, Shawn

A perfectly good start to a perfectly good season was inexcusably ruined by a sacrifice fly dropped by Shawn Green in the 6th that directly led to two important Brave runs in a 5-3 loss, the first Mets loss this season.

Oh, we could go ahead and blame the run scored as a result of the Mets' first recorded error this season, a first inning Carlos Delgado mishandling of an otherwise routine throw to first. We could blame the lack of timely hitting, the 13 men left stranded on base without scoring or even David Wright, who chose an inopportune game to strike out three times. Oddly enough, the authors of both fielding gaffes were the only two Mets to have a multiple hit game. Delgado had a pair of singles and Green had three hits, one of which was a double.

Green almost made up for his gaffe, sending a Bob Wickman offering with runners on second and third screaming towards first base, seemingly headed into right field and an image-rectifying two run rally to tie the game when fate stepped in and Craig Wilson's glove found the ball without further ado, third out, game over.

What it all means is not only that the string of victories to start the season has ended at four but so has the streak of starting pitchers getting the win, also at four. Meanwhile the Braves are now tied with the Mets for first place in the NL East.

Oh yeah, remember those Philadelphia Phillies, the self-proclaimed NL East favourites? Where are they standing after five games this season? Right. One victory and four losses, the inverse of the Braves and Mets, just about where everyone outside of Philly figured they'd be with a rubbish bullpen and twat like Flash Gordon acting as the team's "closer"

For the second game in a row the game time temperature was more akin to Montreal than Atlanta and Tom Glavine was quick to find his scapegoat: "When you've got a cold day and it's windy, it's hard to get any perspiration on your hands. It's hard to hold on to the ball." Indeed. The sweat-less Glavine was charged with five runs (only two of them earned) in 5 1/3 innings, hardly the righteous path to victory 292 he'd been looking for.

And what of his rival and former teammate, fellow future Hall of Famer John Smoltz? Two earned runs and seven hits over six innings. The primary difference of course was that the Braves didn't field like clowns on Saturday. They were able to catch the ball despite the weather conditions.

The wind was to blame for Shawn Green's muffed, twisting misplay of Matt Diaz' sacrifice fly in the 6th. "I got turned around," Green said of the error which to his chagrin was not recorded as a wind-aided error. "I thought the ball was going to break towards the line and got spun around. The wind pushed it the other way. Still thought I had it until the last second."

On the bright side the Mets bullpen continued in flawless fashion as the trio of Pedro Feliciano, Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweiss combined to throw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. What that means is that the bullpen has now pitched 11 2/3 shutout innings this season and even with today's loss, the ENTIRE Mets pitching staff has allowed only 5 earned runs over five games.


Sunday afternoon El Duque takes the mound against Kyle Davies. In the two starts he made against the Mets last September, Davies pitched a total of 8 1/3 innings and allowed 10 earned runs. The appropriate segway into a three game home opening sweep of the mouthy Phillies would be a suitable dismantling of the Atlanta Braves in the 6th game of the season.


Ken said...

Wow, already slamming Green eh? He did have 3 hits and damn near tied the game with that rocket in the 9th... I don't know if you noticed but fly balls were being poorly played all night... tough conditions.


Jaap said...

I'd hardly call it "slamming". Perhaps if his poor fielding reputation didn't precede him we could blame it on the tough conditions. But last season's fielding gaffes proved this is more than a fluke.

And yes, I gave him credit for nearly making up for it with that last near-hit.

But he DID cause two unearned runs which was the difference in the game, those two runs.

Maybe another game he'll hit the winning homer and I can write "Thanks, Shawn" without the sarcasm. I'd prefer that. Really I would.

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