World Chimps Swept, 20-2

Either the Mets are flawless and incredible or...

the Defending World Chimps have started playing baseball as though they were drunk and fell asleep at a stoplight with the keys in the ignition.

In either scenario the Mets came away with their first opening series sweep in 13 years and with their 10-0 emphatic plucking of the Cardinals, have perhaps reestablished themselves as the early team to beat this season.

Following the reassuring performances of Glavine and El Duque, John Maine, in the midst of setting down the first 12 batters he faced, held the Cardinals to a lone hit through seven shutout innings which means the oft-ridiculed starting rotation has surrendered just 12 hits and 2 runs over their first 20 innings pitched.

And the bullpen hasn't fared much worse combining to pitch 7 innings of relief by giving up NO runs on six hits.

The prevailing wisdom is that neither the rotation nor the bullpen is as good as they have appeared against the Cardinals yet it must also prove that certainly they are not as bad as was bemoaned this winter. Hell, even Ambiorix Burgos managed a hitless shutout inning of work against this feeble Cardinals batting order.

“I think if you get two runs in three games, we’re better than that, and I don’t care how good the pitching is,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa wheezed through layers of sleepy white wine spritzers. “No. 1, we are better than that, and No. 2, we have to be better than that if we expect to have a season in contention."

And of course if fantastic pitching isn't enough to bring you out of your late Spring Training bed with excitement, the hitting has been spot on as well. 20 runs scored over three games is a sign that the Mets batting order will be as potent as expected.

Reyes looks more excited than Beltran about Beltran's sudden gust of power
Oye, hermano: choo see wot choo keng do when choo take the bat off you choulders meng?

Last night it was homer night. After the first two games yielded none, the Mets hit three of them, two by Carlos Beltran and another by Jose Reyes. In fact, between the two of them they drove in 7 runs sandwiched as they were around Paul LoDuca who has started the season at a .385 clip. Overall the Mets outhit the Cards in this series 29-18.

But more than anything else last night was about giving the Birds a kicking, or as they put in St Louis, a complete pounding.

The Cardinals become the first defending world champions to start a season 0-3 since the 1984 Baltimore Orioles.

Of course one set of patsies does not a season make and even though the Mets gave the Cards a sort of baseball enema to start the season they shouldn't believe the ease with which they dispensed with the Cardinals will have any bearing on the series coming up at Turner Field this weekend.

The Braves of course, have been doing what everyone suspected teams would be doing against the Phillies this season: battering their bullpen and if all goes according to plan this early showdown in Atlanta might pit two undefeated NL East teams against each other.

But not so fast yet.

After six months of digesting the unmasticatable Game Seven loss to these very same Cardinals let's linger a day longer in the warmth of the Mets' battering of the Defending World Chimps, another 24 hours to enjoy the best start by the Mets in 13 years.


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