July Starting Uglier Than June

Three games and three losses for July 2007.

No amount of mound chatter was going to turn this into a successful outing

Last night even more hideous than Tom Glavine's miserable 3rd inning the night before, was Zephyr Jason Vargas' pitching for the Mets.

Now we can cut the kid a little slack. After all, I seem to recall 7 innings on May 17th against the Cubbies that ended with a walk-off homer by Carlos Delgado where Vargas threw a reasonable 7 innings of six-hit, five-run pitching (two homers and a 6.43 ERA to show for it).

But there, kid. You've been cut your slack and then you go and hang yourself with the kind of atrocious outing that should make you happy to take the next bus back to New Orleans. I mean, wild pitch, balk, intentional base on balls, unintentional base on balls, 11 bloody hits, two of which were homers and 9 earned runs surrendered and you didn't even make it out of the 4th goddamned inning?

What was this? Justin Vargas' impression of German neo-expressionist painter Anton Henning? (Henning's Composition with Meatballs, Gherkins, Beetroot, Potatoes, Watermelon, Lemon Juice, Riesling, and Large Brownie,having disgourged a painting using his own faeces rather than oils...not so far from giving up 11 hits and two walks in less than four innings of work...)

And hey, if 9 runs aren't enough for you, let's have Joe Smith and Aaron Sele combine to give up another pair because lord knows, 9 runs for the likes of Aaron Cook (0-3 for June with a plus 5 ERA)is far too small a lead to hold against the venerable Mets batting order.

Cook did throw 7 shutout innings at Shea earlier this season but yes, the Rockies bullpen is the worst in the MLB with 18 blown saves, so you do the maths - did we really need to see the bullpen choke down another pair of runs?

It wasn't all hideous.

In fact, the game began nicely enough before Vargas took the mound.

Night of the Living Jason Vargas'

A first pitch bunt single from Jose Reyes, about 15 nervous tosses to first by Cook before Reyes stole his 41st of the year anyway. Gotay chopping a ball to Cook, who threw it a third to try and get Reyes but ended up seeing the ball get away and Reyes scoring the first run of the game.

Wright's 45th RBI scored Gotay to make it 2-0 and you could almost sense, wow, small ball might smoke 'em tonight. Delgado followed with a single to put runners on first and third with only one out but well, Shawn Green ended that potential moment of beauty prematurely with his double play grounder.

Still, you'd think But sadly, no. That 2-0 lead did not hold up with Vargas on the mound. Not at all.

The lead off bunt single king Taveras worked a 9-pitch bloop single. Former Met hero Kaz Matsui, reborn in Colorado, singled to Gomez in left who bobbled the ball and put runners on second and third with none out. Smelled trouble? Matui had FIVE HITS last night against the Mets.

Halladay had a two-run single, perhaps not unexpectedly, to tie the game with the greatest of ease and then a batter later, Garrett Atkins had a two-run homer to give the Rockies a lead they wouldn't lose.

The Mets could have brought up Brian Lawrence (5-2 3.78 ERA) instead of Vargas, I mean, why not? But all that kind of hindsight isn't going to erase a loss as ugly as this one. But this is Colorado facing a New York team. Strangely enough the Rockies have won 5 in a row against the Yanks and Mets, outscoring them by a 32-10 margin.

And yet again, fortunately for the Mets, both the Phillies AND the Braves shot themselves in the foot and instead of closing the gap, remained behind the Mets in the NL East.


In an effort to avoid a humiliating sweep, the Mets use El Duque to try and offset Josh Fogg, who has given up 12 runs in 9 2/3 innings over his last two appearances.

And not all the news was bad last night.

Pedro Warming Up

Pedro threw a second simulated game without his arm detaching from his shoulder giving us all wild hopes about an August return.


sanchez said...

Man, that was one ugly game. Vargas-ugly now the new buzzword over coyote-ugly. I stopped watching it after the grand salami, only so much torture a guy can take.

Itsmetsforme said...

Anton Henning? Very literate, but I was thinking more Doug Henning cause to be that bad is just magic.

Jaap said...

Vargas-ugly, I like that one. Add one to the dictionary.

And the magic would be in making him disappear!

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