Sosa Hands Nats The Opener

Jorge Sosa, pack yer bags.

Was the tag hanging out of the collar the final blow for Sosa?

This was the ever-struggling Nats, dead last in the National League in runs scored, dead last in homers hit, a sinking ship to be torpedo'd to the bottom of the sea of franchises running on fumes.

This was Sosa, 1-4 with a 6.90 ERA in his last 6 starts, surrendering one double after another as though he were pitching batting practice rather than the opening game of a home series against the Nats.

The 4th double of the inning was off the bat of Nook Logan, a Nat who had struggled so much this season he'd recently given up switch-hitting to concentrate on right-handed batting and gave the Nats a 3-0 2nd inning lead for his troubles.

Adding insult to injury, Sosa walked the opposing pitcher before Rick Peterson finally came out to the mound for a visit. Sosa's arm continued to drop on his pitches, the slider continued to flatten out, and it was just barely that he made it out of the inning at all, 34 pitches long.

An additional highlight of the nearly disasterous top-of-the-2nd was Moises Alou making a diving stab on a fly ball to left field in his return. A collective silent, holding of the breath in Shea watching and waiting as Alou stood back up, seemingly unscathed. A gust of wind did not send him back to the DL? A sliding dive did not permanently incapacitate his 41 year old bones?

(Encouraging as well, in his first at-bat after missing 66 games, Alou doubled off the left field wall and scored the Mets' first run to bring it back to 3-1.)

But the question of the number five starter for the Mets continues unanswered thanks to yet another lamentable outing from Sosa.

Looks like Mike Pelfrey will get another shot to break his winless streak and perhaps replace Sosa as the fifth starter, in the day-night doubleheader against the Nats tomorrow. But if we have to see another "encouraging" start, which is like a puking bolimic telling you how much they enjoyed the meal, from Pelfrey which results in another loss, let's just say he's jinxed this season and leave him down in New Orleans.

Of course Pedro had another encouraging simulated game but he hasn't even reached the minor leagues and what to do with Sosa in the month-long interim before Pedro returns?

I wouldn't waste talent trading for another starter.

Then again, when Ryan Church blasted his first homer in 116 at-bats in the 3rd inning to bring the lead back up to 4-1 you begin to realise that there really isn't anyone to fill out this rotation, not even down on the Zephyr roster where obviated ERAs are worn like a badge of pride amonst the pitching staff.

4-game winner over 2 years for the Mets, Cy Bloody Young agin' them.

You have to wonder if it was more luck than talent that got Mike Bacsik through this game to victory? When you consider for example, Ryan Zimmerman's ridiculously lucky grab of of a lined shot that might have narrowed the margin to 4-3 and considering how Bascik was getting stung that inning, might have blown the game open and fed Met hitters into a vulnerable and tired Nats bullpen.

But it's all conjecture - Zimmerman made that grab, the rally was virtually snuffed (as much as it was on Milledge's rally-killing double play grounder in the second inning) and the final was a decidedly underwhelming 5-2 loss to a team the Mets really had no business losing at home to.

What this game did bring was the news that the once-indominable Joe Smith has worn out his welcome and was replaced by Jon Adkins who was part of the infamous deal with the Padres involving Heath Bell and Royce Ring.

(Ring you may recall, surrendered a homer to Carlos Delgado in that series in San Diego not long ago and was recently optioned to Portland whilst Heath Bell is 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA, thanks to a cookie diet and prospering in San Diego - you might say this was a deal that Omar got burnt on)

Adkins managed a scoreless inning of relief in his debut for the Mets. Not Heath Bell, but not the Merengue Night highlight either.

All in all, a game to forget. Uninspired and raising questions - Sosa did finish with 6 innings pitched under his belt, perhaps owed more to Willie's desire to preserve the pen for the day/night doubleheader tomorrow than a semblance of competence on Sosa's part, but it was yet another in a deadly string of twitchy, uncertain and frankly, inept outings that have plagued him since he returned from the DL and perhaps began even earlier than that.

1 comment:

Sammy said...

U shouldn't be so hard on Sosa - we'll need him to beat the Braves and avoid sweeps later in the season.