Not Dead Yet

The Mets have done this before in June, winning the opening game of a series (once in Detroit and once in the Bronx) before weakly submitting to their desperate June destiny, but this one had a different feel.

The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.
The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not.
The Dead Collector: He isn't.
Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm getting better.
Large Man with Dead Body: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
The Dead Collector: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I don't want to go on the cart.
Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, don't be such a baby.
The Dead Collector: I can't take him.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I feel fine.
Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, do me a favor.
The Dead Collector: I can't.
Large Man with Dead Body: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
The Dead Collector: I promised I'd be at the Robinsons'. They've lost nine today.
Large Man with Dead Body: Well, when's your next round?
The Dead Collector: Thursday.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I think I'll go for a walk.
Large Man with Dead Body: You're not fooling anyone, you know. Isn't there anything you could do?
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I feel happy. I feel happy.


Sure that's what anyone would say under the circumstances. It's a team-wide manhunt for hope and an 8-1 victory, an ace-like performance from John Maine, small signs of life from the dying patient on the table, Carlos Delgado, and for one bloody night anyway the Mets can allow themselves a mild sense of relief.

Maine threw 77 of his 115 pitches for strikes and the difference showed. He took a three-hit shutout into the 8th inning before giving way to Pedro Feliciano with one out and a man on. Felciano blew the shutout by surrendering a meaningless double to Mike Cuddyer for the Twins' only run but on a night that victory came by such a wide margin and even Aaron Heilman threw a scoreless inning of relief because the game wasn't on the line, Feliciano's flub could be forgiven.

Must be the high-sock look, Papi...

You'd be hard-pressed to make the argument that Carlos Delgado is on his way back but when you're grasping at straws like he is you might be encouraged by a homerun and his second multi-hit night in three games. Yes, feel free to rejoice in it, over the last three games, Carlos Delgado has had 5 hits in 13 at-bats (.385) and a double and a homer and two RBIs to show for it. Sign of life or the last murmurs of a dying patient? Is it amazing that Delgado has 41 RBIs and 11 homers despite his .229 batting average or am I merely hallucinating?

But those high socks don't make you faster...

For one night anyway the Mets got the pitching, the hitting (10 hits against a starting pitcher in the form of Carlos Silva hardly merits a golf clap but 15 overall looks impressive anyway) and the defence (no errors).

Of course you might point out that Carlos Beltran left 3 runners in scoring position with two outs even though he did manage a lone RBI however. And that Jose Valentin did much the same and is still hitting only .229 since returning from injury.)

But if you did, you might as well mention that the next pitcher the Mets are due to face is Johan Santana who is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two career appearances against the Mets. Santana has been less than superlative so far this season but more encouraging perhaps is that the Twins have supplied three or fewer runs for him in 10 of his 14 starts this season.

So we aren't over the hump by any means simply because for one night the Mets gave the appearance they were still interested in maintaining their NL East lead (maintained it was, as Atlanta ko'd Schilling whilst the Phillies were crushed 10-1 by the Indians), but even two out of three in this series would be a relief, something to stop the bleeding.


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