30.5.07

Balk, Balk, Boom

Ah, what schadenfreude to watch your former headache inherited by another.

Back in those sad, sad days long ago when Armando Benitez blew leads and ballgames pitched for the Mets one would struggle for myths and metaphors to describe the depths to which our hearts sank with every Armando foible.

It will be marked as a Mets victory but the truth of the matter is, is was a Giant loss.

Welcome to Armandogeddon, annoying little Maddog Giant fans with your expensive little Barry Zero toy and tainted soon-to-be homer king named collapsing over the weight of his mighty steroid head and unable to play.


Another day, another blown save

You hold a lead going into the final three outs, out comes Armando and away go your hopes and dreams in a mushroom cloud mixed of arrogance, stupidity and the hacking, choking, choking, choking disappointment.

With a one-run lead and a Giant victory three steps away, Benitez walked Jose Reyes with none out and you could smell, right then, the storm brewing like air thick with humidity and deep, dark clouds rolling in.

Armandogeddon was only moments away.

(As an aside it should be noted that Reyes is no longer walk-shy. In fact, he, Moises Alou and Paul Lo Duca are the ONLY Mets who do not have more strikeouts than walks this season.)

The easily and oft-rattled Benitez then balked Reyes to second saving Jose the energy of running there on his own. For this, we thank first base ump Balkin' Bob Davidson.

Nevermind that Benitez induced both Endy Chavez and Carlos Beltran into outs, one by sacrifice, the other by ground out. Reyes danced on third with the revived Carlos Delgado coming to the plate and Armando Benitez sprung a leak, blew a gasket, flew the coop of steadied closers directly into that manic wind of blown saves and nightmare finishes.


"I just tried to put some pressure on him," Reyes understated, "and it worked."

"I think he was startled by Reyes," crew chief Randy Marsh noted afterwards, pointing out the obvious. "Both balks were pretty obvious."

The second balk of course, sent Reyes home to tie the game and sent Benitez into his stalking-around-the-mound shell, that shell we knew would burst open with a Armando-sized mistake which Delgado would nail deep to right center field for his 414th career homer and another come-from-behind Mets victory, their 15th of the season. The homer tied him with Darrell Evans for 40th place on the career homer list.

Perhaps the only surprise was that it took 5 pitches, two balls and two foul balls, before the victory lap was launched.


Mob scenes at home plate are the status quo these days...

*****

The dramatic finish should not distract us from noting that yet again Oliver Perez proved his mettle with a solid seven inning, 8-strikeout performance. Yes, he started rockily surrendering two first-inning homers, but settled down thereafter to retire the next 14 Giant batters.

The Slump is officially over. Delgado now has 11 hits in his last six games, including four home runs -- including the two last night.

With the Braves having LOST AGAIN, hoo-haa, the Mets' growing NL East lead has blossomed to five full games. Another week of this and the NL East race will be over.

1 comment:

sanchez said...

Where are they now? Remember when we traded Armando to the yankees for Jason Anderson, Anderson Garcia and Ryan Bicondoa?

Or remember that we got Roger Cedeno in a three-way trade with the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers? Todd Hundley and Arnold Gooch to the Dodgers for Charles Johnson and Cedeno. Then we traded Johnson to the Orioles for Benitez.

All of them, poof, like a puff of smoke, gone, except Armando, who is still paying dividends for the Mets, ha!