27.6.07

Lightening Don't Strike Twice In The 11th

The Extra Innings Gods Giveth and the Extra Innings Gods Taketh Away.



One night after an 11th inning homer gave them their 4th victory in a row (and kept them unbeaten against the defending World Champion Cardinals, the Mets were set down, the bullpen let up and the Mets had an 11th inning loss under their belts.

Whereas the bullpen had pitched 5 scoreless innings the night before, holding off the Cardinals long enough for Shawn Green to save the day, yesterday's humid, draining affair saw no such heroics.

Predictably perhaps, Scott Schoeneweis was the primary culprit, the modus loserendi, so to speak. But Aaron Heilman, after getting the victory and throwing a scoreless inning the night before, he replaced Oliver Perez in the seventh and, for the first time this season, allowed an inherited runner to score. He allowed another run in the eighth, giving up four hits in a seven-batter sequence in parts of two innings.


A rougher night watch the pen than pitching...

Schoeneweis, on the other hand, lost his second game of the year after seeing his own personal scoreless streak carry on for 7 appearances. Yes, it might SEEM like Schoeneweis surrenders runs every appearance but the truth is, his last bout of ugliness hadn't come since the debacle against the Phillies, the 3 earned runs in a third of an inning.

It wasn't quite as ugly a breach of the public trust this time around. After all, it wasn't until his 8th pitch of the game that he surrendered run number one, the first homer of Brendan Ryan's thus-far quiet career to give the Cards a one-run 11th inning lead.

And after Adam Kennedy followed that with a single you're thinking to yourself of course, oh christ, the floodgates are opening!

"My mom could be up right now and hit a home run," Schoeneweiss was heard to mutter post-game. All good and well, Scott, but maybe if your mom could be out there on the mound she wouldn't be giving up game-winning homers...

But Schoeneweiss managed to get by three more batters, including an intentional walk of Albert Pujols before wiser heads prevailed and Joe Smith, whose 7.60 June ERA was rather foreboding, entered the game.

He might have gotten them out as well were it not for a run-scoring error by Jose Valentin. In fact, Valentin had a rather dodgy night all around from the field. In the 7th, he lost the handle on a ball that allowed Ryan to score.

He tried to make up for it with his game-tying double in the 9th but by the 11th, the 12-6 advantage the Cards held over the Mets proved to be too much to overcome.

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