The Big Borkowski

It was a reasonably close game prior to the insertion of reliever Dave Borkowski. Well, reasonably being a relative term - the Astros had started off gaining entry to a 2-0 lead, had threatened to explode with the bases loaded in the top of the 2nd until Reyes booted the double play straight into Castillo's hands and Mike Pelfrey was winning few hearts and minds with his mound performance, like hitting his 8th batter of the season, either a headhunter or, as Keith coined it, effectively wild.

In fact, Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez was not much better. The man who had tossed a 9-inning, 8 strikeout out, 4 hit shutout in his last go against the Mets essentially gifted the game away with 4 walks and 6 hits in less than 5 innings of work. His walking of 2 batters in the bottom of the 3rd created a near-certainty that the Mets would make him pay. The 24-46 record on the road the Astros have makes that almost fact before it happens.

The Face of The Man Striking Out An Astro With The Bases Drunk In The 6th...

That Borkowski worried through a 21.94 ERA in 2000 and possessed a disappointing 5.85 lifetime ERA anyway, should have indicated a potential explosion point. That he is in the MLB despite those numbers speaks volumes, one would imagine, about the Astros' bullpen. But be that as it may, he was still incredibly awful, beyond Borkowskiesque in allowing 6 earned runs in less than an innning of work and allowing the Mets to blow the game WIDE open. Or perhaps fledgling manager Cecil Cooper was even more awful for leaving him in there that long to begin with. Regardless, the Mets took full advantage on the way to the 11-3 laughter.

Semi-Chronological Chains Of Thought

1. First there was the fake-catch of Lance Berkman's homer by Carlos Beltran in the first inning and then Carlos airmailing a throw over home plate when Berkman was scoring in the 3rd. Two semi-gaffes, although the fake-catch was at least entertaining for a half a second, made one wonder what the lad would do offensively later on to even the performance out.

2. If Pelfrey starts a World Series game (god forbid) just imagine how much chatter will go on about his bloody mouthpiece by the network nitwits. Can you just imagine a Joe Buck 15 minute monologue on it and Tim McCarver spinning yarns and waxing hillbilly poetic about it til the 5th inning spending every dead air moment chuckling to himself over and over about it like a dog with a bone?

3. Tom Seaver's top of the 3rd soliloquy on the legacy of Gil Hodges was fascinating in a creepy, voyeuristic sort of way. Not for what it said about Gil Hodges but for what it said about Tom Seaver's personality and mindset. Seaver was a great pitcher but listening to him reaching for superlatives from the shelves of a relatively empty repertoire was painful at times. Ok, we got it. No-nonsense, ex-marine. I think you're in the booth to add the colour of personal history, not point out the obvious in the that excruciating Fresnonian nasal twang. Oh, alright, Tom Seaver's a hero and a Hall of Fame pitcher, not a Hall of Fame announcer, we should point out in all fairness. Still, must be all those lonely hours amid the cabernet sauvignon vines...

Is this Anna Chakvetadze celebrating the end of Seaver's pensées on Gil Hodges?

4. Quick calculations on Moises "Despite the Injuries" Alou numbers had he played in 132 rather than 66 of the Mets' games this season: still only 20 homers and 66 RBIs. I was rather shocked by that. He seems as though he'd be on pace for alot more and he seems to be ready with clutch hits when needed. He will be a tough out in the post-season I think.

5. Beltran's 28th homer of the year harkens me to The Idiot's Guide To The Mets I had the misfortune of reading earlier in the week, wherein it was whinged: that the Mets could become the fourth team since division play started in 1969 to win the division without having a 15-game winner or a 30-homer slugger...

6. Beltran's 28th homer also made me think inevitably, about the Dunkin Donuts cup and how sorely England needs a Dunkin Donuts franchise and then further made me wonder why there even IS a Dunkin Donuts cup to hit a homer beyond. Is it a baseball stadium or a bloody amusement park? And if there's that many sponsor's propaganda NOW, just wait til the new stadium opens..."there's a ground ball just beyond the Citigroup cash machine where Reyes used to stand..."

7. Waving Alou home in the 5th on Jeff Conine's hit: I was cringing at the thought of him suddenly pulling up lame, the hammies you could almost hear tigthening...is it necessary to make Moises exert his agèd muscles like that in such a relatively meaningless game? Game 7 of the NLCS, yes. This instant? No.

8. Ty Wigginton v David Wright is all it takes to harken back the miseries of a few seasons ago. This is no knock on Wigginton, before I knew any better, I loved watching him play. If it weren't for Wigginton, in a way, there would be no John Maine. (Since Wiggy was traded for Mrs Benson in turn for Maine, of course...) But what ever happened to him? What twists did his life take that saw him end up playing out the string for the Astros? I did a little catching up on the Man That Was Ty and discovered a line which I thought was certainly someone taking the piss with the auld Wiki:

"Wigginton was forced to handle the delivery of his son Cannon, whom he named after his right arm, at home when his wife Angela went into labor unexpectedly. Following the instructions of an operator on 9-1-1, he delivered the baby in a bedroom closet of their North Carolina home and tied off the umbilical cord with one of his shoelaces"

But then I saw this story and I realised no one was taking the piss.

Ty Wigginton continues to amaze...

9. Lastings, Lastings, Lastings. And to think he was trade bait 6 months ago...

10. The lead, with the Phillies' loss, is now nearly officially insurmountable. Unless they have an 8-game series in Philly next week...

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