Just Say No To A-Hole

Now that one of the more disappointing baseball seasons in my recent memory is finally over it appears we have a sudden bout of indigestion or perhaps slowly formulating gout to deal with and that is the likes of Hackmaster Flash waxing poetic about "going after" A-Hole now that he's given the auld two finger salute to the Yankees and is free to fuck over another franchise with the delusional demands of his meglomaniac agent Scott Whore-Ass blending in nicely with his own impressive When They Don't Count numbers.

Firstly, let me say that I just know auld Wally is simply taking the piss. He must be. NOBODY is that fucking stupid. He had a column to write and nothing provocative came to mind so he decided to cheat and write the sports page equivilent of a Dolly Has Tits tabloid headline and send us all puking into our deskside rubbish bins with the idea of moving Kid Franchise to make room for the Cancer Franchise Kid in the hot corner.

Signing A-Hole is not just a bad idea, like having a one night stand with a fat, wobbly bird you wouldn't be caught dead talking to in public when sober. It's a life-threatening idea, like not only having a one-night stand with her but getting her PREGNANT to boot. (I know that Knocked Up is supposed to be a comedy but really, consider Katherine Heigl being replaced with oh, let's say Ugly Betty and it graduates to an epic ComiTragedy with Oscar potential.)

As one allegorical genius infers, there is no need to fix wot ent necessarily broken (yet), i.e. moving David Wright or Jose Reyes in order to make room for Mr Regular Season, his man-sized ego and prima donna coterie.

Unless Whore-Ass can magically turn A-Hole into Cy Young, I don't even see why the conversation is even necessary, where the debate is about spending the GNP of Sub-Sahara Africa to buy a franchise headache with an unsustainable erection for the post-season.

If Wally Matthews thinks Omar "should open the Mets vault" for A-Hole you have to wonder what this guy spends his OWN money on. Transvestite whores? Self-hate DVD programmes on hot-ticket topics like Achieving Massive Fiscal Irresponsibility In Less Than 30 Days? Was that Wally Matthews we heard whispering sweet nothings in ears of the Merrill Lynch about the subprime mortgage market?

But perhaps the Mets signing A-Hole is not as improbable as the saner man might imagine. After all, the Mets think tank were the same menagerie of chimps wot brought us the brilliant plan of bringing back Rickey Henderson as First Base Coach, last season wasn't it? If they're capable of that kind of idea perhaps they're really capable of anything. Psst: Let's move David Wright to catcher, put Delgado in right field, re-sign Tom Glavine to play first base when his ERA hits double digits next season, and make signing A-Hole a priority...

While we're at it, why not replace Keef on SNY with Irritable Bowel Joe Buck to broadcast all the Mets games next season?

Whilst perhaps not reflective of your standarised Met fan, I would certainly not see signing A-Hole as an incentive to buy more tickets to Mets games. (Not unless Scott Whore-Ass was going to be within spitting distance and I was allowed to bring a lunch bag of D-sized batteries into the stands with me, of course.)

No, I'm not Avin' it. Let's squash this ridiculous chatter about signing A-Hole and focus on a few signings Omar should get inking straight away:

Carlos Silva - a right handed starting innings-eater, something a starting rotation like the Mets, loaded as they are with starting pitchers who can't make it out of the 5th inning, is crying out for: 2004-2007 innings pitched: 233, 188, 180, 202. 4.31 lifetime ERA. Good fourth or fifth starter. 28 years old.

Dave Riske: A solid choice for right-handed set-up to the closer to give Heilman his chance as Starter or Bust then trade him to the Pirates for Xavier Nady...

Jamey Wright RHP versatile as both a starter and reliever, 2.73 post-All Star game ERA, otherwise unsexy, no A-Hole on the mound but let's save our money for something important.

Armando Benitez: On the face of it, this is stoooopid and even beneath the surface it is stoooopid, not to mention the fact we already have a Choking Closer. But for comic relief, absurdist value and the human punching bag that every Met will cherish though the course of 2008, look no further.

In the interests of journalistic integrity and full disclosure, I have to admit a very prolonged, nearly rabid hatred of Scott Whore-Ass and everything he represents. If you're looking you won't have to look far to find some good Boras Bashing. Certainly more entertaining than A-Hole For Life offseason twittering, innit?


Let The Off Season Begin!

Well, now that my fantasy ending to the Mets season, which, we can now reveal, was created using completely random box scores from the 1970s and 1980s September Mets games, is over, reality can set in.

What's it been, two, three weeks now?

The Latest Spin is that the adversity of the Worst Collapse In the History Of Mankind is a "character builder". I don't know if anyone has actually said or written that but it's the typical sort of rubbish slogan supporters will stand behind to justify another season of mediocrity.

I have several different spin angles available to stand by in the event you are dissatisfied with searching for farthings in steaming piles of horse manure:

The Dubito, Ergo Cogito, Ergo Sum Spin: This method requires an anatomically correct Willie Randolph doll with a Billy Wagner head and involves knowing instinctively at the season's onset that any remote element of belief will slowly be eroded by the reality of the underperforming and injury of an elderly and underachieving roster and thus we should be grateful for all the delusional months of happiness the Mets spent in first place to begin with.

Optimist Spin: The Worst Collapse in The History of Mankind will logically be followed by the Greatest Comeback in History wherein next season, the Phillies or the Braves will have a 12 game lead with 14 games left, the Mets will win every September game they play and they will then go on a Rockies-like run, sweeping the NLDS, NLCS and World Series.

Zenophobic Spin: The Mets season would have been alot worse if someone like Mullah Omar or Mullah Obaidullah Akhund had been the manager instead of Willie Randolph. Neither Mullah has shown any understanding of the finer elements of baseball as Willie has and besides, Mullah Omar only has one eye and the Mullah Obaidullah Akhund was arrested by Pakistani police at the end of February which would have caused an unreasonable amount of uncertainty going into Spring Training. Scouting reports also indicate that Mullah Omar cuts off the left arms of left handed pitchers and forces them to throw righty.

The Hungarian Lingerie Lesbians Are Possibly Fitter Than Croatian Birds Spin: Admittedly slightly off-topic, there are some Mets fans who believe that such debate allows for an abating of mid-winter misery whilst Omar busies himself signing further 40+ retirees and dead-enders to stock the 2008 roster and the rest of us wonder why Willie wasn't offered a pay-cut to stay with the Mets like Torre was with the Yankees.

The Spin City Spin: This allows one to compare the relative success of the series even AFTER Charlie takes Mike Flaherty's place in later years as the Deputy-Mayor of New York City to the Mets chances post-2007 collapse and also allows for the contemplation of why Heather Locklear was allowed to appear in 59 episodes whilst Jennifer Esposito appeared in only 18. That's like over-using Guillermo Mota because you've traded Heath Bell to the Padres for Ben Johnson and Jon Adkins. Oh right, they already did that...not really a spin but if you spin enough you become dizzy and you don't know where you are anyway. If it's 2007 this must be second place!

Also know as the Yanqui Go Home Spin.

The Just Think Willie, If You Hadn't Left the Yankees, The Job Could Have Been Yours Spin: Where do YOU think Willie would rather be right now? Or, if Joe Torre had been the manager of the Mets in 2007 instead of the Yankees, would the Mets have blown their 7 game lead in the NL East or would they have won the NL East and then get swept by the Rockies in the NLDS like the Phillies. Is Charlie Manuel the new Joe Torre? Is Willie Randolph the black Don Mattingly? Is Don Mattingly the Quieter Joe Girardi? Who has a bigger managerial gut, Bobby Cox or Charlie Manuel?. If Lou Piniella had been the Mets manager in 2007 would he too have overseen the infamous collapse or like he did managing the Cubs would he lead an unspirational three games and out NLDS flub? If you stood Piniella, Cox and Manuel belly to belly to belly would you still be able to see the sun? This spin is premised on asking so many questions you forget what happened to the season and start watching the Jets lose game after game as a form of comfort telly.

Next week we will examine why there are no great pitchers available as an immediate elixir to the Mets Missing starting rotation and why this, in combination with another season of Willie spells disaster and allows us to commence with the First Annual How Many Games Will the Mets Finish From First in 2008 Sweepstakes

Rockies Silence Mets Season

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Rockies 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 0
Mets 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 3

Out-dueled in Game One, Jeff Francis was not to be denied in the decisive Game Five

The once-vaunted offensive juggernaut of the New York Mets is no more.

For the second consecutive game the Mets were shutout by the pitching staff of the wild card Colorado Rockies, an embarassing display at Shea Stadium to cap an early end to a once-promising 2007 season and to fill fans with disillusionment, vitriol and biliary disgust.

Reyes contemplates titles for his new Spanglish Gangsta Rap CD planned with Lastings Milledge this winter

"Willie should be fired," one fan spat, exiting Shea Stadium among the thousands of others herded towards the #7 train home. "Perhaps first he should be disemboweled and THEN he should be fired..."

Mr Met Prays For Guillermo Mota Corpses To Fall From The Sky...

Although they managed a total of seven hits; 5 off of Rockie starter Jeff Francis over the first 4 1/3 innings, in the 5th inning, already down 1-0 and after singles by Paul Lo Duca and Pedro were sandwiched around a Lastings Milledge sacrifcie to put Mets runners on the corners with only one out and the top of the order coming up, they were quietly put down: Reyes, who has a dreadful NLDS, a miserable fielder's choice and Castillo ground out to end the threat after Francis was removed.

Mets Good Luck Charm, Art Howe, was in the dugout hoping for Willie's job in the late innings...

Pedro was, as expected, nearly flawless. He finished with one out in the 7th having struck out 6 whilst allowing a lone run and 5 hits. But it wasn't enough given that the Mets bats failed them once again.

"It's going to be a bitter winter because I am going to have to do a lot of work to get ready for a full season of pitching again." Pedro droned in a quiet and shocked dressing room after the game. "I made good progress but as a team, we have to consider why we couldn't score in the two most important games of the season. The pain I feel about losing is one of the worst I have felt without any injury in my career."

The Mets nearly opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning following a pair of two-out singles by David Wright and Carlos Beltran but Carlos Delgado, as he was all season, was found lacking, striking out to end the threat.

Other than the 1st and 5th innings the Mets did not mount a serious attack the rest of the game and fittingly, they went down without a peep, down 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th when Delgado, Alou and Lo Duca went down in order to end the game and the Mets season.

"It seems hard to believe the season is over already", David Wright commented quietly in the lockerroom, "but at least we didn't blow the NL East title..."

Pedro not pleased, but the season is OVER


Back on Short Rest, Francis Dazzles, Forces Decisive Game 5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Mets 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Rockies 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 1 5 0

It wasn't the type of game you would normally expect; a Coors Field shutout which saw 12 hits but only 1 run and several Mets were quick to accuse last night that the Rockies had returned to their evil days of illegal waterlogged baseballs to get an unfair edge.

But speculation aside, Rockies starter Jeff Francis, pitching on short rest, was simply dazzling against a suddenly inept Mets offence, scattering 7 hits and striking out 5 over 8 innings before yielding to Rockies closer Manny Corpas, who completed the shutout and helped force a decisive Game 5 at Shea.

Perez was nearly spectacular but not nearly enough...

Mets starter Oliver Perez, who hadn't pitched since a wild outing against the Marlins on the 28th of September, was brilliant in spots, and disgustingly wild again in others.

Perez surrendered only 5 hits in a complete game shutout but walked an NLDS record 8 batters en route and balked twice causing pitching coach Rick Peterson to visibly age and Willie Randolph to make uncharacteristic foot-stomping a new dance craze throughout the Dominican Republic.

The lone run was scored in the bottom of the 4th when Perez walked Matt Holliday on 4 pitches. Holliday stole second on Perez’s second pitch to Todd Helton and Helton then plunked a single into left field but a shallow-playing Moises Alou held Holliday on 3rd and with men on the corners and none out, Coors Field going mad, Garrett Adkins came to the plate with breaking the game open on his mind.

Adkins didn’t really get much a chance as Perez balked Holliday home but struck out Adkins then retired the side with only one more walk in the inning. Thereafter, the Rockies, like the Mets, remained quiet. There were only two more hits the rest of the game although Perez did manage to scatter a further five walks throughout his 8 innings of work, constantly in danger but always able to wriggle out.

Alot of those struggles were down to the fact that 5 of the Mets 7 hits were accumulated by David Wright and Carlos Delgado combined and the rest of the Mets lineup, including a horribly slumping Jose Reyes who went 0 for 4 and has only 2 hits the entire series.

"It's tough to lose a game like this," Willie recounted afterwards. "But it's one game and we'll put it behind us and look forward to returning home."

That decisive Game 5 will see Pedro returning to the mound against Rockies starter Josh Fogg, who last started the Rockies' decisive victory over the Padres on the 1st of October which brought the Rockies to the post-season in the first place.

"Our pitching has done a wonderful job of shutting the Rockies down for the most part, except for Tom Glavine and Billy Wagner, surprise, surprise," Peterson remarked bitterly or perhaps optimistically, in the post-game lockerroom. "We have to hope that Pedro is capable and prepared for a 9-inning performance but if not, we have El Duque available out of the pen and maybe even John Maine if it's necessary to see us through into the NLCS."

Is Pedro Ready To Lead Mets to NLCS?

Or Josh Fogg?

(Apologies to readers for the long pause in between Game 3 and 4, but as usual, the Army was marching elsewhere, filled with Bulls Blood, Stuffed Paprika and of course, Goulash...

A mild detour on the way to Shea


Rockies Out-Slug Mets In Game 3; Wagner Chokes

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Mets 2 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 8 15 1
Rockies 0 0 4 0 1 3 0 0 2 10 14 1

You had to know that this domination of the Rockies batting order couldn't go on forever. Not after the lucky tear the Rockies went on to get to the post season to begin with.

Last night, back home in the friendly confines of Coors Field, the Rockies finally struck back.

No ace when you need him, Glavine contemplates a breakfast of grits when he gets home.

Mets starter Tom Glavine was battered over five innings for 10 hits and 7 runs although it wasn't until the 3rd inning that the deluge began in earnest.

Prior to that the Mets looked as though they were going for the jugular in Game 3, pouncing on Colorado starting pitcher rookie Ubaldo Jimenez for a pair of runs in both the first and second innings for a 4-0 lead.

In the top of the first, Luis Castillo once again ignited a rally, singling with one out before stealing second and scoring on Moises Alou's single. David Wright scored when Todd Helton made a rare error allowing Carlos Delgado to reach base.

After Glavine allowed Matsui to single, he set the Rockies down in order in the first.

In the second the Mets scored another pair when three straight singles scored a run and set up David Wright's RBI double to stretch the Mets lead to 4-0.

A pair of walks in the 3rd, a single, an error by Alou and a two-run homer by Brad Hawpe evened the score and brought the crowd of 50,724 to their feet in a frenzy. Glavine battled on to finish the inning but he was finally gone after the 5th when he let yet another Met lead slip away, walking Garrett Atkins and then letting a pair of two-out singles by such luminaries as Ryan Spilborghs and Yorvit Torrealba spell his demise.

"I still enjoy pitching," Glavine said of his questionable performance. "I enjoy that day when I go out there but I really miss my first love, Atlanta and I miss seeing all those tomahawk chops and I miss looking up into the stands and seeing Confederate flags waving even though I'm a New Englander by birth." Glavine would not comment on his future as a Met but hinted that he'd like to be around to pitch in the World Series this season, even if he had to wear a Mets uniform to do it.

The fun wasn't obver of course.

Four hits weren't enough to save the Mets from their closer

The Mets scored another pair of runs in the 6th behind a David Wright triple that scored Castillo's second run of the game and a wild pitch by Matt Herges made the score 7-5 in the Mets favour. Wright had another MVP performance with four hits in 5 trips to the plate and a pair of RBIs but in the end, it wasn't enough to overcome the Mets bullpen.

Glavine warily came out for the 6th and managed to last only two batters, giving up a quick double to Matsui and an RBI single to Troy Tulowitzki before Willie yanked him, bringing his beloved Guillermo Mota into the game.

After a brief discussion on the mound and what looked like a delicate moment of hand holding with Willie, Mota gave up a Matt Holliday single before miraculously retiring Helton on a weak pop up but by then, with runners on 2nd and 3rd and still only one out, Willie whistled Jorge Sosa into the game.

Sosa immediately gave up a two-run single to Atkins that gave the Rockies a daunting 8-7 lead before settling down a little late and retiring the next 6 Rockies in order.

"The run-scoring single was unfortunate, but once Jorge settled down, he kept us in the game," Willie remarked of his bullpen selection.

In the 9th, the Mets finally answered against the Rockies bullpen in an attempt to close out the series once and for all. Carlos Beltran led off with a double and the Rockies went to Manny Corpas to kill the game.

Corpas struck out Delgado before surrendering an RBI double to Alou that tied the game and sending Mets hopes into delusions of grandeur but he retired Lo Duca and Milledge in order to keep the game even going into the bottom of the 9th which has been the Rockies' rallying point all season.

For the first time in 26 innings Willie finally summoned Billy Wagner from the pen.

Wagner has undergone intense media scrutiny for his stiff back and inappopriate closing performances over the last month but of course one of the other reasons he was rotting in the pen was for criticizing d Willie Randolph's usage of the bullpen and said pitching coach Rick Peterson "has no experience talking to a bullpen."

He came out in the bottom of the 9th with orders to hold the lead and promptly walked Spilborghs. Torrealba bunted him to second and Jeff Baker, a .222 hitter was brought up to pinch hit. Baker hit the second pitch over the left field fence to give the Rockies a 10-8 victory.

Wagner hung his head and his teammates ignored him, walking off the field in a barely disguisable fury.

Before the odd backdrop of palm trees in Denver which were cultivated in a humidor, Billy Wagner considers which was more depressing, the two-run homer he surrendered to a .222 hitter to blow the game or his rapid hair loss.

"I don't want to comment on Billy Wagner's performance tonight," Willie commented after the game. "All I'll say is it took 5 guys to hold Peterson back from attacking him in the locker room after the game."

From here on in, the Mets fans are praying, every lead will be at least a dozen going into the 9th but for now, the Mets are still hanging on to a 2 games to 1 lead and the hope of meeting the Diamondbacks in the NLCS.


Maine Masters Another Rockie Patch

Apologies to the night staff and beer porters who have patiently awaited the latest edition of the Mets What If Season. This Crystal Ball of Unhappened Circumstances is a bit blurry at the best of times and in the glorious haze of nearly watching the Yank Me's swept up in a neat little pile, reality took a little bite of time. In any event, one hopes in this series of uncertainty, Game Two will be followed swiftly by the simulated game three and so on.

With the Cubbies swiftly floating out of the postseason as ridiculously as they entered it, the Mets late season swoon appears to be history.

The second stellar pitching performance in a row begs the question of whether the Mets starting rotation is suddenly this good or has the Rockie offensive juggernaut and unfathonable dream team finally hit an intergalactic glitch in the fantasy ride to the World Series?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Rockies 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
Mets 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 X 4 8 2

John Maine had a horrible second half of the season.

But this last ten days has been another story altogether. Following his near no-hitter in Game 161 of the season, Maine continued his domination pitching a complete game, scattering 7 hits and allowing only 1 run in helping the Mets to a 4-1 victory and a commanding 2 games to 0 lead in the NLDS against the once-red hot Colorado Rockies.

For a second consecutive game the Rockies batting lineup looked enfeebled by a superior Met starter. Better still, Willie has been able to keep his foot off the bullpen pedal and the Mets in the Game by telling his starters, just pitch us through the nightmares and into the light.

Pedro was good for 7 1/3 innings on Wednesday and on Thursday, Maine was good for the full 9. Next up will be Glavine, a man who has never, in a Mets jersey anyway, seen the end of a 6th inning he wanted to stay in for, will not likely buck up and carry the mantle a game further which means inevitably, Willie is going to have to whistle in some of the dodgier suspects out of the bullpen in Coors Field and it might not be pretty. His pre-series, half-joking promise to keep Guillermo Mota out of the festivities may yet prove to be the godsend the late inning version of the club has been waiting for the entire second half of the season.

But last night it didn't start well. Kaz Matsui, back to avenge the boo-birds of yore, led the game off with a double off the right field wall to silence Shea and scored one batter later when Tulowitzki singled him home to give the Rockies an early 1-0 lead.

Of course for Mets fans who endured an excruciating collapse that nearly saw their side blow a 7-game lead, this was yet another omen of impending doom. "We are too enured to disappointment this season," one skinny kid sporting a Jerry Koosman tee-shirt and slurping a can of indistinguishable liquid outside Gate E before the game. "The slightest set back causes rash and unfocused rage and fear."

Down by a run before even reaching the third batter, Maine miraculously settled down. Matt Holliday ripped a line drive to the right of David Wright who made a miraculous, sharp diving catch on the third base line and stood, firing to first to double Tulowitzki off the first base bag in an example of pin-headed baserunning usually reserved for the Mets rather than their opponents the last month of the season.

Holliday falls to the ground trying to urge Tulowitzki back before being doubled off first...

"That was a key for me," Maine noted afterwards. "David really got me out of an early jam which completely changed the context of the game..."

The 26-year-old starter who had shown none of this form in recent revealed yesterday that he was plagued with a painful left hip injury all season. Maine said he believes he'll need surgery although he won't know the full extent of the injury until the end of the season when he will see a specialist in Philadelphia, of all places.

"It's been bothering me all year, but especially around the All-Star break it started barking," Maine said as he was holding his MRI films in his hand just prior to the staryt of the game, ready with excuses he never really needed.

The Mets didn't wait long to answer in the bottom of the first when Reyes led off by drawing a walk, Castillo singled, Beltran bunted both runners forward and then David Wright, batting cleanup in a somewhat surprising lineup switch by Willie grounded out, scoring Reyes to tie the game. Moises Alou then singled Castillo home to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Maine retired 15 of the next 17 Rockies he faced before Holliday singled in the bottom of the 6th. But by then the Mets had already built a 4-1 lead behind an Alou homer in the bottom of the 4th, another RBI single by Castillo in the 5th (Castillo is 5 for 8 in the series). He went on to finish the game in full, striking out pinch hitter Sullivan with two outs and two on in the 9th.

For a second consecutive game Willie was unspeakably conservative with his bullpen use.

Disenchanted bullpen drench Willie in pig urine before last night's game...

"Mainesy didn't need alot of pitches to reach the 9th," Willie shrugged, playing with the place under his nose where his pimpstache used to be. "It's simple math. I don't trust the bullpen and Maine was the best hope we had. Unless he gave up another run, I wasn't about to take the heat by bringing someone in to finish and watch them blow another game..."

The Mets will now have a break whilst traveling to Colorado where they are x-x this season.

"It's getting to be a better time to be recognized in this town, I almost hate to go" Willie joked whilst considering the flight to Denver. "I was afraid for my job and maybe even my life before but now I know that mismanaging a weak bullpen is no way forward. Of course if Maine let that error in the 4th bloww his concentration, who knows, you might have seen Mota out there giving away a half dozen runs..."

It's easy to joke with a two game lead in a 5 game series.

"We're not over the hump yet," Alou noted calmly having now assumed a strong leadership role in the lineup despite playing on one leg.

Meanwhile the Rockies are suffering an unbearable offensive outage. Yes, they managed 7 hits yesterday twilight off of Maine but at the end of the night had only 1 run to show for it. The fighting spirt that brought them this far is dwindling fast as reality sets in.

As the series moves to Coors Field they can hope that the combination of home field advantage and leaving the nastiness of New York will be the balm they need to return to their winning ways.

But first they have to prove they can beat the Mets again.


Mets Take Opener, 3-2

In the spirit of "what if" scenarios and perhaps simply because it ent over until I say it is, the Army is pretending that the Mets actually defeated the Marlins, knocking D Train out of the box in the 3rd, following 6 strong shutout innings by Glavine (how now THERE'S a preposterous scenario), a pair of homers by Delgado and a 7-3 victory whilst the Phillies were upset by the Nats by a 5-3 margin. What that means of course is that instead of the most humiliating fall from grace in the history of the Mets narrowly snatched victory from the maw of defeat and lived to play another series...

The theory is, why should *I* miss out on all the fun simply because Willie and the Boyz decide to dog it the last month of the season?

Thus, for the foreseeable future, Archie Bunker's Army will be presenting

Mets Postseason 2007.

Pedro Leaves to a standing "O" in the top of the 8th...

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Rockies 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
Mets 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 3 7 1

Having been fortunate enough to avert an historic collapse with a last-minute resecue mission, the Mets took the field at 3:05 this afternoon to a smattering of curious and perhaps somewhat hesitant applause as though the Shea faithful, still filtering in from the 7 train and fist-fighting their way past ticket touts and parking lot attendants, were not certain they should bother to get too excited about their team. The residue of nearly-disasterous fate still hung heavy in the warm afternoon air.

The Rockies, not unlike the Mets had just barely qualified for the post season, a questionable home plate touch by MVP candidate Matt Holliday having seen them through to this fate and as they watched Pedro Martinez warm up some of them perhaps were still a little giddy from their recent run of good luck. They were, after all, making just the second postseason appearance in their 15-year history, and on the heels of Monday's shocking victory, there had been little time to consider the road ahead.

But that giddiness was soon dispelled in the top of the 1st when Pedro set the top of the order down in order and the Mets scraped together a hard-earned run that began with a Luis Castillo single off of Rockie starter Jeff Francis and ended with a sacrifice ground out by Moises Alou that gave the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

An inning later, Ramon Castro's solo homerun gave the Mets a 2-0 lead and the capacity crowd at Shea began ever so hesitantly to try to believe in their team again.

Pedro was as effective as he'd ever been through the first three innings allowing only a pair of meaningless singles in an otherwise flawless performance.

But Holliday, his chin still cut up from the face-first slide that won Monday's wild-card tiebreaker over San Diego, homered off Pedro with one on in the 4th to tie the game and once again, a murmur of subtle disbelief began to fill in the quiet minutes between overhead flights.

Indeed, rather than You Gotta Believe, the theme of the afternoon seemed to be one of pending disaster as though this precious postseason slot, unlikely as it was, would only last as long as this first game and the expected doom and gloom to follow would be an almost welcomed respite from the weeks and weeks of nail-biting frustration they had experienced nearly all September.

Matching Pedro was Francis' domination of the middle of the Mets batting order. "I'm always aware of my success or nonsuccess I have against teams," said Francis, who had a 2-1 record over the last three seasons in three starts and a 4.15 ERA against the Mets. "Today, my execution was better but it still ended in disappointment." Francis said of his loss.

Called shot or not? Castillo points towards the Big Apple one pitch before his decisive homerun.

It wasn't until a rare homerun by Luis Castillo in the 5th that gave the Mets their precarious 3-2 lead that the corwd considered the possibility that fate would not abandone them spat out on the roadside. Castillo hadn't homered since so long ago people thought it might have been 16th of July but no one could remember for sure.

As Pedro pitched deep into the game, continuing to hold the Rockies at bay, the question turned to the bullpen. Once Pedro tired, or reached 100 pitches, what then?

Willie, his pimpstache a distant memory, elected to go first and only to Aaron Heilman with one out in the 8th which in itself was not so much a surprise until he strode back out onto the mound in the 9th, closing in place of Billy Wagner, whose sordid comments earlier in the week and his gutless performance in recent weeks (some call it aches and pains but we know better, don't we?) saw him take up what may be permanent residence in the dog house.

Willie's decision to leave Heilman in to get the final 5 outs of the game was of course, shocking. He shrugged in the lockerroom to questions about the health of Billy Wagner. "Billy's fine. I thought Aaron would appreciate the work." And why weren't any of the other bullpen staff used as Pedro threw a season-high 106 pitches? Willie shrugged. "You've seen what our bullpen can do," he explained, leaving it at that whilst sportswriters nodded themselves, knowingly. A season of late-inning mishaps will do that to you.

And for one afternoon anyway, the Mets were back on top.

Until Game Two anyway, when John Maine will take the mound against Franklin Morales Thursday afternoon.


Hell and Damnation


Bye Bye

1. Glavine (times up)
2. El Duque (2 consecutive seasons unavailable as a starter for precisely the time of year he was obtained for. times up)
3. Castillo (those knees are just too beaten to last another full season, not worth another contract)
4. Lo Duca (passion only goes so far)
5. Guillermo Mota (no need to explain)
6. Shawn Green (one of the best hitters towards the end of the season but a defensive liability and simply not worth an extension)
7. Schoeneweiss (don't let the door hit you on the way out)
8. Aaron Sele (ditto)
9. Willie (Joe Girardi)
10. Rickey (fired from a cannon)
11. Billy Wagner - (let's face it, he'll never win the big one, historically not as bad as Armandogeddon but he is an Armandogeddon waiting to happen - are you comfortable with him closing Game 7 if we were ever to get there?)


1 Wright (the backbone)
2 Reyes (needs his head straightened)
3. Beltran (can't argue with his numbers but the passion?)
4. Endy Chavez (hopefully injury-free)
5. Maine (number two behind Pedro - once he's ready for a full season and overcoming those mental lapses)
6. Heilman (give him a chance to start in the Spring and if he can't do it, get rid of him)
7. Oliver Perez (same as Maine - needs to learn to pitch 7 strong innings twice in a row)
8. Jorge Sosa (versatility a plus)
9. Ruben Gotay (shouldn't have lost his spot to Castillo)
10.Ramon Castro (good backup but don't make him the starter)
11.Mike Pelfrey (another year to prove himself but that's it)
12.Pedro Feliciano
13.Joe Smith
14.Pedro (ride him hard his last year or two...)
15.Phillip Humber (same as Pelfrey only a little more time...)
16. Moises Alou (worth half a season's salary)
17. Lastings (with the right manager to control him if there is such a manager)
18. Rick Peterson (you don't go from a genius to an idiot that fast - I'd give him another year to prove himself...)


I didn't keep the in-game blog for very long as you can tell from below. I won't belabour the aburdity of Sunday's first inning but I will leave my opening thoughts there, like the piece of a monument remaining from an explosion.


Pregame Thoughts...probably the worst pitcher the Mets would have to face today - D Train is 5-0 with a 2.70 ERA at Shea.

Imagine back to when the Mets signed Glavine back in 2002 and whether or not you'd have imagined four years later, at 41, Glavine is starting Game 162 of the season, season on the line.


Marlins First - No opening pitch beanball to Hanley Ramirez for being quoted as saying Fuck the Mets after yesterday's game. Of course, it isn't football - there won't be any forearm shiver paybacks but this will definately be an emotional game for both sides. The Marlins claim to be on a mission. The Mets, merely trying to preserve their season.

Shit - Uggla is the first to score after Cabrera's RBI single. Glavine and the Mets in an early 1-0 hole. Falling behind early is not the formula for winning this game and Glavine appears to have early trouble locating with the change up.

Nats and Phillies are preparing to start in 15 minutes.

And here comes more trouble, two runs score, one big disaster after another and the Marlins jump to a 4-0 lead.

Is this for real? Double, two runs batted in, Glavine throwing the ball away to allow another run on the heels of Castro having already dropped a ball....What the hell. Quick way to deflate this game.