3.5.07

Another Goiter Burst - Mets End Marlin Sweep Threat

"He's getting better and better," Doctor Willo said of the Mets' second acial discovery of the season. "I'm learning to trust him more and more."

It's beginning to look like questions are being answered, sportsfans.


One way to eliminate the competition...

How many times did we ourselves write or did others write something along the lines during the offseason of well, the Mets look like a good team but the starting pitching...

Well, ok the first two games of this series, both losses owed primarily to rubbish starting pitching, are not prime examples of improved water from the pitching well but on the other hand there's the growing stature of both John Maine, (NL Pitcher Of The Month, whose pinpoint 1.35 ERA leads the Major Leagues and now, after a few hiccups, Oliver Perez who, bar the seven walk nightmare against the Braves on 11th April, is beginning to look like the Oliver Perez of 2004, he of the 2.98 ERA and 239 Ks.

Last night, a victory.

And yes, even over the Florida Marlins this is a relief considering the consequences of a sweep and a further game fallen behind the Braves.


Hitting .349 with 24 ribbies AND a glove like that? Wow.

But it was not all Madam George and Roses. There was in fact the well dodgy 6th inning when with two outs and all seemingly in hand, he walked Josh Willingham and watched with as Aaron Boone followed with a bloop single. Then it all started getting ugly and all the good appeared as though it would unravel as Perez began overthrowing pitches to Cody Ross and issuing another walk to load 'em up.

Well, well. What seemed for 5 2/3 as a rosey bloody afternoon was rapidly unraveling into a nightmare.

So Willie goes out to have a word, Olly convinces him he can do the business and up comes Joe Borchard, with his .222 batting average. No doubt it was Borchard's tepid plate work that convinced Willie to listen to Olly, or perhaps it was merely the faith that Olly could get that last out to close the inning.

Borchard lined to third base for what should have been the third out, but the ball deflected off David Wright’s glove for an error that allowed two runs to score. It was Wright’s second error of the game, fifth of the season. Methinks that gold glove at third base is quickly slipping from his fingers.

Thereafter of course came the heroics. Perez was replaced by Joe Smith, who struck out pinch-hitter Mike Jacobs to end the inning. Joe Smith, another unknown hero. The nearly anonymous guy who has yet to allow an earned run in sixteen games this season. The one who makes Aaron Heilman look, well, imminently tradeable.

So even though El Duque is getting his Fountain of Youth therapy, there is still The NL Pitcher of the Month, then Glavine, then grudgingly, Perez and now perhaps, if we listen to all the fatal optimists, Mike Pelfrey who has finally learned the ropes.

And the best part is, even though we've forgotten about it already, Pedro looms around the corner.

So now that you think about it, maybe what everyone believed would be the Mets Achilles Heel will, by late summer become the Achilles Heel of the NL, their own starting pitching. Ha! Imagine that.

*****

Extra marks go out to Reyes for his brassy double play grab last night, not to mention a double, two runs scored and his .345 batting average.

Wright plunked out two more hits, equalling his error total for the game but raising his batting average back up to a nearly-respectable .273 and knocked in only his 8th run of the season. Plonker. We are waiting, oh wonderboy, for your season to begin.



And let us not forget Ollie's own magical contributions from the plate: two hits and two runs scored. Vital, key, clutch. Glavinesque perhaps.

And oh yes, ever so quietly, Billy Wagner earning his fifth save of the season.

*****

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