El Duque Outduels El All Star

Whose the All Star now?

King of the Hill For A Night

The guy who threw six innings, gave up six hits, walked more batters than he walked himself, allowed 3 earned runs and went hitless at the plate?

Or the guy who threw 7 beautifully pitched, 2-hit shutout innings, had a hit, scored and even stole a base?

That's right, El Duque.

The other guy, Jake Peavy, the one who started the All Star game only a week ago on the other hand, earned his 4th loss against 9 victories. Shall we mention that the All Star is now winless with two losses in his last four starts whilst Duque improved to 6-4 and lowered his ERA to 2.90?

It wasn't just the pitching that earned the Mets this rare West Coast victory but the fact that with 8 hits they managed to score 7 runs.

Of course this could be immediately attributed to the effect of HoJo re-introducing early batting practice. Or perhaps mere coincidence? Hardly.

And just one night removed looking like somnambulists, they were led by the likes of those who were meant to have been leading them all season:

Beltran had a pair of doubles. Delgado had a pair of singles but drove in two runs. And Paul Lo Duca drove in two runs.

Of course, early BP or not, perhaps more importantly (is this patient Mets plate-work or erratic Padre pitching, the Mets drew EIGHT walks. We needn't bother mentioning that despite this virtual barrage, the Mets left 20 runners on base, an indication of precisely the kind of blow out this could have been. Shhhhh. It's the extra BP.

But the victory slows the momentum of what had started off as yet another hum-drum or perhaps even humiliating West Coast trip. It staved off the wolves for a night and the best part is, the Mets did it against the best pitcher in the National League.

No comments: