Heilman's Single-Handed Destruction Of The Feel Good Vibe

Ok, feel free to shower Aaron Heilman with abuse.

How do you spell Douchebag? Paging Mr Heilman. Paging Mr Can't Buy An Out To Save His Life Heilman...

Too much to ask for, a little consistency. Yeah, he struck out 4 in a row the other night in the Mets' biggest win of the season but last night it was Stink-O-Rama as Heilman entered the game in the 8th with one run lead and departed it with an insurmountable deficit. 4 lousy batters, none of them out. All of them, with Scott Schoeneweiss helping to further Heilman's ridiculous outing, scoring.

Now, if you want to play devil's advocate for Heilman you might say that absolute rubbish call to start the 8th, the one where Juan Pierre is called safe when he was clearly out for all the world to see bar the blind man who they had making the call, was not helpful. Sure, it's only one baserunner but sometimes it's only one baserunner required to get a rally started. You needn't look further than that 4th inning the night before when a dubious catcher's interference call sparked a 4-run Met rally that put the game almost out of reach.

But no, the blind man didn't give up four consecutive hits and rip the soul out of this feel-good movie the Mets have been living for the last 3 days. That was Heilman's doing.

And the Mets have lost a game they should have won, just like they have so frequently this season.

Question now is, do they bounce back or does this repulsive glitch send them scurrying back into their loser holes for the rest of the season? This moment, Saturday's game will be the truest indication yet of where the Mets intend on taking themselves this season. A serious run at the playoffs or just another torturous series of brutul inability, apathy and failure.


Don't Let The Giddiness Get To Your Head, Mets Win 3rd In A Row

Well now. Not only are the Mets winning but the nearly-unthinkable; Carlos Delgado looking like he wants to play baseball again, has occurred, for one game at least.

Yes, the mantra about not losing one's head over a few victories when this team has raised hopes only to dash them almost immediately so many times already, is still applicable.

Torre still looking more like a Mets manager than Willie...

Ok, so what if they haven't had a three-game winning streak since April. So what if they've only just now returned to a meagre .500 mark. So what if their opponents, the Dodgers, have now lost 4 in a row and 6 of their last 7 without the Mets' and are having a low down of their own to swallow. And yes, so what if the Mets' personal punching bag, Brad Penny, was on the mound for the Dodgers.

They still had to win this game because as everyone knows, including Delgado for a game anyway, games do not win themselves. Someone has to go out and win them.

Not as fast as you think...

For the second game in a row, Endy Chavez had a hand in the champagne of success by throwing out Dodger speedster Juan Pierre at the plate.

And David Wright had a little bang of his own in the 3rd AND the 4th which cushioned a Mets lead they wouldn't relinquish.

But the real story of course was Claudio Vargas. It was Vargas who appeared to be out to end the 4th with the Mets clinging to a 2-0 lead and in fact, didn't even really bother to run it out but the ump called catcher's interference against Dodger catcher Martin and then all hell broke loose - the momentum swing was palatable, this kind of mental breakdown pitcher's often suffer when they think they're out of an inning only to see it extended. By the time the inning was over the Mets lead had grown to 6-0.

And perhaps just as exciting, when the Dodgers started chipping away at that lead, had it down to 6-4 even, the Mets bullpen slammed the door shut to give them a third consecutive victory.

But shhhhhhh. Let's not jinx it with all this crazy talk about turning the corner. Let's just sit here for awhile and pray the magic spell continues.

As for Delgado, well, back from his two-game benching he had a pair of hits and made a diving, shirt-dirtying grab which stunned us all so that even Willie Randolph was sounding cocky. “His uniform’s been clean for a while,” Randolph said.

Well, maybe the attitude adjustment isn't quite complete. When Delgado was told about Randolph's remarks, he wasn't exactly grateful. “I’m not going to dive just to dive.” Carlos the Jackal clarified.

Of course Delgado doesn't need to dive. He just needs to not pretend he's only waving at balls that skip passed him. And for one game anyway, AND LET'S ALL REMEMBER ONE GAME IS NOT A SEASON, Delgado looked like he cared, looked like his pride was wounded and he had something to prove. Let him be pissed off and stay pissed off. If anger helps him hit, helps him hustle then let him get as pissed off as we can make him.

And on top of all this good news and pluckiness comes The Return of Don Pedro. Woop. Hopefully this isn't the high point of an otherwise miserable season.

Try to hold yourself together this time, Don Pedro.


Time For the Duct Tape And Plastic Sheeting: Mets Win Again


We've heard it all before. Mets win two games in a row and everyone starts chattering about ohhh, maybe this is it, maybe this is the big one, maybe this is where the Mets finally start playing like it was 2006 all over again.

No, the Mets haven't just won the World Series, just two games in a row...against the Marlins.

Sure, until last night, the Mets' record when trailing after 6 innings, that same ugly, familiar formula of losing, was 1-19. When trailing after 8 innings, 0-24.

So this is not just a two-game winning streak, this is an almost unprecedented event for the 2008 Mets. A second victory, a series win, beating the first place team in the NL East (even if they are the Marlins) AND a come-from-behind, extra inning victory.

New Mets unsung superhero Fernando Tatis with the manager-in-waiting, Jerry Manuel.

Oh yeah, and this was a game Oliver Perez tried his damndest to blow. I mean if ever there was reason to despair, here it was staring everyone in the face all over again:

1. Mets take early, thin lead.
2. Oliver Perez (actually you can replace this with every Met starter this season bar Johan and usually, Maine.) suffers a meltdown or momentary lapse of concentration or just plain ole sucks and the Mets fall behind by a thin margin.
3. Bullpen comes in, thin margin becomes Grand Canyon, Mets lose, yet again.

Only this time the script was a little re-written.

Carlos Beltran made a great grab in the 5th to save Perez's bacon for one more inning before he collapsed.

Perez did indeed collapse, surrendering a 3-run moon shot that saw a 4-2 Mets lead turn into a 5-4 Marlins lead quicker than you can say here we go again...but then a funny thing or two happened. Like Aaron Heilman striking out the side. Like the bullpen holding the margin to one. Like the Mets coming up in the bottom of the 9th still behind only one run and what??? Endy Chavez hits an 0-2 homer to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

Oh yeah, if game-winning hits aren't enough, how about a somersault in the outfield?

I mean, this was a game you could be proud of.

And not only did the Mets come from behind once, they did it twice, even after Duaner Sanchez coughed up a homer and a one-run lead and you could pretty much cash this one in as another Mets demoraliser.

No, this is all different.

This is a team you can root for in public without fear of humiliation. (Well, in New York anyway, given the state of the Yankees, perhaps this is not a risk anymore anyway....)

Ok, to say IF the season has a moment, this is it is probably a bit of premature ejaculation from our good man, Mr Matthews, jumping the gun like the rest of us.

But it smellt good. It looked good. It felt good, dammit. Felt good to be up at 3 in the morning without having dread lingering in the bones, to get a little excited before dawn.

So there it is. A victory. A come-from-behind victory. Not once, but twice. Not only one victory, but two in a row, against the NL East leaders.

Who knows, maybe Willie might be around for a few more months after all.

How much did Willie pay those poor bastards to pretend they wanted his autograph? Jeez, c'mon skipper, just one more ball before you're sacked!


Mets Win A Game (Start Stocking Up On Canned Goods)

Well yes, the Army nearly marched off the face of the earth recently. But, having returned from the annual pilgrimage during which it is always been hoped the Mets turn around their fortunes and go on an unprecedented hot tear (which has yet to happen in the near last half dozen UK seasons running) I see the Mets won, hmmm, one hell, let's be crazy, mebbe even TWO games in my absence.

Aye, well, success is always short-lived for these Metsies so I shant be holding me breath that they will take the series from the (gulp) still division-leading Marlins.

Having reviewed the press clippings of recent doings in the absence of the Army I would humbly present the following observations at the Game 50 mark:

"Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
Here awa, there awa, haud awa hame!
Come to my bosom, my ae only dearie,
And tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same."

Robert Burns, Wandering Willie

1. Wandering Willie, aka Mr "It has to start somewhere" is still hanging on to this team by a thread. I can't help but think this is baaaaad news. Of course, the half vote of confidence is a bit disappointing but realistically it is difficult to imagine Omar fessing up to his biggest decision to date as a GM (the manager) is back-firing in his face like a bomb-maker's device exploding in a restaurant whilst the author was still on the terlet". Nooo. Yet whenever I feel certain he should be sacked I get the strange feeling that just when you're ready to give him a final kick, he's going to rise from the floor, Pedro and Johan leading the charge with a bunch of no-names following in their wake and whilst the Marlins and Braves and Phillies flail, the Mets suddenly find their ritmo and finish strong to win the NL East. Well, ok, not really. But it's a nice change of pace from idle speculation about who might be a worthy successor.

2. Give up on Mike Pelfrey already: like a girlfriend gives you hot sex once a fortnight but makes your life a living he11 in between, it's time to reassess the commitment. 0-5 6.08 ERA for May makes you think he's back to square one which was us last season wondering if he would break the Mets' consecutive losses by a pitcher record. Is really no other arm, either in the minors or amongst the free agents, capable of filling these pigeon-toed shoes?

Please, no more Perez!

3. Oliver Perez will never win NL Pitcher of the Month. That would require at least three decent starts in a row and frankly, that ent gonna happen. Quick quiz: Which is more likely, Olly putting together three consecutive quality starts or El Duque slinging off that protective boot and winning 10 games for the Mets this season? Answer is: None of the Above.

One more magical moment...

4. Pedro's Return: Yes, like the rest of the remaining faithful hordes, I too dream childishly of seeing Pedro's return, Pedro's resurrection, Pedro's swan song before retirement leading the Mets to the postseason. Quick Quiz #2: who is more likely to spend the rest of the season dancing on and off the DL; Pedro, El Duque or Moises Alou? Gotcha. Answer is: All of the Above.

Unsung heroes

5. Raise your hand, you who had Nick Evans in your Fantasy League because you knew Moises was going to be on the DL most of the season as well as his replacements and well, Double AA is sometimes such a fortuitous leap. Still, the resurgence of Evans, plus the unsung Fernando Tatis, the unexpected success of Ryan Church before the untimely concussion sends him back to reality, these are all tiny hints of the kind of unexpected contributions from unexpected sources that lead one to believe rather fantastically that the Mets are destined to overcome this malaise and rise to the occasion. Quick Quiz #3: which is more likely: Evans, Tatis or Church (any of them) continue their unexpected success or each take a miserable plunge back to reality a la Brian Schneider?
PS: Can you blame the Mets for rushing Ryan back despite all his dizziness and lethargy when he's the only guy in the lineup who consistently hits his weight? (Jose Reyes doesn't count because he doesn't weigh enough soaking wet to qualify)Answer is: The miserable plunge to reality.

Welcome back Carlos

6. Carlos Delgado Benching: About effin' time. Not only to bench him but for Wandering Willie to show that when pushed to the very edge, he's now ready to jump. Quick Quiz #4: Which is more likely, the benching/platooning of Carlos Delgado causes Carlos to rethink his apathy on the field and his incompetence at the plate and sparks a magical comeback from the dead with a massive 2nd half of the season OR, the benching/platooning merely induces more brooding and bad attitude until someone finally wises up and gives him his unconditional release? Answer is: at his present pace he will still hit 24 homers and drive in 75 but that sinking abysmal batting average and on-base average is just the sort of albatross to keep the Mets batting order in its constant state of slow, internal bleeding.

6. Food For Thought: David Wright and Carlos Beltran are still do to heat up massively at least one month this season. If they spread it out between them who knows, maybe they can inch towards third place....


Aroma Du Jour: We Stink

Why bother with incremental hysteria at this sudden turn of fate?

Just a few days ago there we all were, basking in the warmth of humiliating the bottom-dwelling Yankees and here we are now, three losses in a row to the Braves, each one a deeper dig into the fabric of optimism.

Does it matter who the losing pitcher was last night or who failed to get the key hit or why Willie and His Boys, stunted by the racist media (oh, go ahead and apologise, what difference does it really make, the proof is in the losing anyway.)

This isn't about expectation getting doused by mediocrity, this is about mediocrity coming to blossom.

But take heart, fans. This is rock bottom.

Nowhere to go from here but up!


Mets Quickly Crash To Earth

Mets Quickly Crash To Earth

Let's see, getting swept in a doubleheader by the Atlanta Braves not bad
enough for you?

How about losing to Tom Glavine in the opening game to really rub our noses in it and letting someone with hmmm, let's see, ZERO career victories beat the Mets in the twilight for an encore.

How about having Pedro wax poetic about an early retirement before
he's even returned from the bloody Disabled List?

Or Wandering Willie's bizarre and meandering comments about his management style and some sort of subtle racism alleged for not depicting him the way he would like to be portrayed as a swaggering hero with all the charm and brains of a beauty pageant contestant:

This guy just OOZES passion, doesn't he? Don't let them racists in the
media tell you different.

"Well, my players are watching the monitors in the bullpen going, 'Look at Skip, he's cursing us out.' That's not how I lead. But when the game is over, I'm [on them]. 'And why don't you turn over a couple of [food] spreads?' I've done that. You might not know it.
"Why [isn't] SNY shooting me when I'm ready to go down the dugout clapping my hands and patting guys on the butt, schooling them during the game? I'm on the top step every game. ... Why don't you show that side of me so people can say, 'Wow, jeez, Willie's fiery'? ... You watch any manager in baseball, you see him look like a bump on the log sitting there. They don't move, they don't talk. I'm as animated and as demonstrative and as involved and as intense as any manager in baseball."

Look at Skip, he's a douchebag who couldn't manage Nelson Figueroa's girls softball team.

How about wildly contemplative moments on the john? Why aren't they showing Willie holding his players' hands at birthday parties or driving an SUV covered in rose petals through a Macy's Day Parade crowd? He's as tough as nails this bastid, don't let those racist media chimps tell you different.

How come they don't show Willie smashing television sets and making everyone listen to Iggy Pop and The Stooges at ear-bloodying decibals in the lockerroom? Why don't they show him pinching Jose Reyes' bum and spitting sunflower seeds all over Aaron Heilman for being like the worst relief pitcher ever spawned?

"Is it racial? Huh? It smells a little bit."

Well Wandering Willie has finally cracked.

Worse than Figueroa blaming the girls softball cheers eminating from the Nats bench for his loss rather than his crap pitching, Willie's random accusation of racism blighting his public image is a classless gesture from a desperate man who knows his time is running thin.

And I want to see CCTV footage of Wandering Willie getting animated and turning over a couple of food spreads. You might not know it but once the cameras are turned off, Willie is a fucking animal. He turns over food spreads, discharges fire extinguishers when there is no fire, grows facial hair in a second-rate 1950s pimpish sort of way. Sometimes after losses he runs into that clubhouse and eviscerates players with his wit and charming anger management capacity. All whilst he's patting guys on the butt. That especially. Just in case anyone's feelings get hurt.

Well my feelings are officially hurt. The Mets lost a doubleheader and rolled over for the Braves like the obedient little dogs that they are.

Oh yeah, and let's have the ONLY guy on this team playing like he's a
baseball player rather than a spectator, get injured.

And as we already sensed, innately, knowing these Metsies as we do, they have extinguished the temporary feel good, two-game momentum joy ride against easily one of the crappiest Yankee teams in 17 years and are now staring at what might well be a new low for the season. Losing to Tom Glavine. Losing a doubleheader to the Braves, losing to Jorge Campillo in his first start since 2005. Losing, humiliating themselves, demonstrating a thrilling inability to rise to the occasion, maintain consistency or play baseball as if they meant it instead of as if they were afraid someone would find them out for who they really are.

No wonder Pedro wants to retire. Would you want to pitch for these Mets?

David Wright says the Mets have too much talent. We've got too much talent to be a .500 team. We've got too much talent to be mediocre the whole way through the season.''

Hahahaha. Prove it.


Bronx Bombed

Both New York teams edged into this series wounded and flailing within their respective divisions.

The Yankees, down to the bottom of their division, were faring slightly worse than their Queens counterparts going in but would have been salvageable with at least a split in the two game rain-shortened Subway Series. Instead they were battered and deposed by their crosstown rivals and in turn, the Mets have given themselves a little lift, a little momentum to take with them on the road where they perform better, sans boo-birds,than at home.

(The baseball gods are not kind to Carlos Delgado. For the first time in like three years, Carlos comes up with two men on base and doesn't strike out or ground into a double play or pop up uselessly to an infielder. Instead, he jacks a three-run homer only to be robbed by the monkey-brained umpiring crew. And perhaps an even bigger shock to the system was the resiliance in singling home a run anyway. Just don't cheer him and ask for a curtain call kids, he might bite your fingers off!)

The Yankees lost another game to the Mets, this time on international television (yes! Live feed to UK!) and this time with their ace Chien-Ming Wang on the mound against Oliver Perez, a frustrating ongoing work of inconsistency and lack of focus. Whilst Wang was being treated like a female impersonator at a wife beating convention, The Good Perez showed up to stifle what is admittedly, an incredible weak and watered down Yankee batting order with the end result being an 11-2 battering which kicked the Yankees when they were down. Again and again and again.

The double play combo showing some long awaited signs of life.

Yeah, let's listen to the Pinstripe Puericulture prattle on about the greatness of the Mets for a change. Yes, these same Mets who only Friday were on the verge of imploding in clubhouse anarchy. These Mets we've mocked from a distance, sneered at from afar, showered with boos and groans and waited all season to date for a sign of life from. The Yankees are half-way buried. I don't care how many times they've swung it around. This is bad. Losing both games of this series to this Met team with all its flaws and incapability of summoning respect was almost as bad as the Mets losing 3 of 4 to the Nats at home last week. Well, not quite, but the reversal of fortune is palpable.

But let's take a brief break in this miniature glory and temporary satisfaction to comment on Willie Randolph

Jerry! Get out there and do your job! Get tossed by the ump because I'm too cool
to stoop to emotives.

Inevitably the point will be raised that when Carlos Delgado's three-run homer was erased by the ignorance and stupidity of a nearly unanimous umpiring crew, Willie went out there, mumbled a few sweet nothings, shrugged his shoulders when the umps told him to piss off and left it to his assistant, bench coach Jerry Manuel, to go postal from the dugout and get tossed from the game. Where was Willie and why was he so passive in a moment that surely called for passion and rage?

"That's what bench coaches do. The ump told me to shut up and he was looking to bait someone. I wasn't going to argue with him, but Jerry took the bait. Thanks, Jerry."

That's what bench coaches do? Is that Lou Piniella switching to bench coach? Did Leo Durocher or Earl Weaver repeatedly cower from confrontation to let their bench coaches do their cursing and dirty kicking and madness gesticulating for them? Of course not. Because that's what MANAGERS do. Having your bench coach get ejected whilst you stand there pretending to be Joe Torre Lite is like asking a casual friend to sleep with your wife on your honeymoon night. If you've got balls, use them, they aren't decorative ornaments, Willie.

Jeter, Posterboy for Whingers, tries to cash in on his celebrity with the umps by making blind and unfounded arguments. Show 'em some love, douchebag. The Yankees deserved their beating for such gamesmanship.

As far as I'm concerned this was a damning moment, even in light of the Mets' surprisingly simply mauling of the Yankees. If Willie isn't willing to fight for his team, why would his team be willing to fight for him? And why can't Jerry Manuel be manager now since he's doing Willie's job for him out there and not slinking away like a wet dog the minute the umps give him a little stick. Let Willie go back to coaching third base. For the Yankees. He isn't doing the Mets much good here.

But what the hell, we're getting off topic.

Let's glorify Oliver Perez for one night as much as we will inevitably villify him in the next outing or the outing after when he throws a pair of wild pitches, hits a batter, walks five and allows 4 earned runs all in one inning. He pitched like he belonged out there, pitched like he could maintain his focus better than that of a puppy for more than a few innings in one game and the result was beautiful to behold. Ok, it was just the Yankees, the Laughingstocks, the enemic batting order, the wash-ups, losers and parasites of the AL East, but it was still a big game to take and Oliver took it.

And the Mets were able to beat the Yankees in the Bronx against what is arguably the two best Yankee pitchers in the rotation. Hang on, they didn't just beat them, they beat the crap out of them. By an explosive aggragate total.

So enjoy this for a day or two. Let the bitterness ebb from your soul. Rest up for the next inevitable round of misgiving, lack of effort, poor execution, failure to perform up to standard and all around loseability.

It's there, just around the corner waiting to mug your temporary loss of sanity, your momentary delusion that the Mets have finally righted themselves and are ready to go on a roll.


For One Day It's Better, Sorta

Well I dunno about the rest of the Mets world but even in victory yesterday, the kind of rousing victory that can snap tailspins, this game almost seemed more like a win by default than the Mets really seizing control.

Willie survived the first game - what will happen if the Mets lose Sunday? Does the chorus calling for his head grow louder?

Not just because the Mets went down like lambs against Petitte in the first inning or even Jeter's two-run homer in the bottom of the inning.

But also because in the early stages of this game, the sense of fragility on this team was almost palpable. Yes, things began to break their way as early as the 3rd inning when Johnny Damon was thrown out at the plate. Like the Mets, the Yankees hitting is spotty at best and like the Mets, to overcompensate for this lack of hitting, they have been forced to take chances. Damon was one such chance and the Mets made them pay.

Yet it wasn't a game to feel comfortable in. Even the 4th inning, when Petitte needed 41 pitches to even survive, the Mets had a golden opportunity to bust the game wide open yet, despite getting three runs, one couldn't help feel more relieved than confident. Especially in that brief nerve-wracking period when, with the bases juiced, Carlos Delgado was induced into a completely useless pop up and Damon Easley struck out.

First Yankees base running mistake cost them a run.

Fortunately for the Mets, Brian Schneider, whose plate-blocking heroics the inning before had helped save a run, was able to work Petitte for a run-scoring walk and Luis Castillo's infield tapper scored another. Yet still, once the inning was over you couldn't help but believe the Mets had encountered a little good fortune to overcome the ineptitude of pounding runs home forcefully when you begin an inning by scoring a run and loading the bases before a single out was recorded.

Good enough to win but not in the way an ace-stopper should

Importantly, Johan Santana, the ace who only sorta looks like an ace, held the fabric of the game together, even as he surrendered 3 homers and 4 runs over nearly 8 innings of work. It wasn't a gem by any stretch of the imagination but like the Mets' performance generally yesterday, it was sufficient to gain the Mets an important victory.

Greed is not always good

A second key yet questionable base-running gaffe by the Yankees came in the 6th when Jeter tried to stretch a single into a double and was thrown out by Beltran. Whilst it didn't seem so at the time, this was probably the back-breaking moment of the game as when the Mets next came to the plate, on the heels of Jose Reyes' inning-opening homer came David Wright's two-run homer to widen the lead to 6-2 and give the Mets a sense of space.

And kudos to Billy Wagner, who has appopriately opened his mouth twice this season to single out teammates (some of which he admits to, some of which he denies), for closing out the 8th and then finishing off the Yankees in the 9th although not without the requisite fingernail chewing melodrama which started by surrending back to back singles and finally, mercifully ended with him striking out Morgan Ensberg to give the Mets the victory.

Does the 4-out outing mean Billy won't be a hero Sunday night?


Subway Series: Battle of Expensive Mediocrity

When was the last time the Mets faced the Yankees with the Yankees in last place in the AL East?


Whilst Mets fans can bemoan Willie's ongoing inability to form his team into one of discipline, togetherness and success, whilst they can ridicule and rain boo choruses down upon players like Aaron Heilman and Carlos Delgado, for their disappointing seasons, whilst they can sneer at the paucity of Met successes dating back to last September and piss and moan until the taps are turned off, at least they can be proud that unlike the Yankees, to date they are not in last place.

They can also be thankful that for a change it is the Mets, not the Yankees who swung the deal of the winter in obtaining Johan Santana. The Yankees,as you recall, refused to part with any of their trio of young buck pitchers: Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy or Phillip Hughes to obtain Santana.

Joba the Mutt has a 4.30 ERA in May, including a staggering 11.25 ERA with runners in scoring position, lefties hitting .450 against him. Kennedy is 0-3, bounced back and forth between the Minors and The Show, has an ERA of 8.48 and frankly, makes even the likes of Oliver Perez seeem like an ace by comparison. And Hughes is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA. Any wonder the Yanks are in last place?

A-Hole is recovering from injury, Robinson Cano is hitting even worse than Delgado (is that even possible??!), Jason Giambi is like a giant,puss-filled goiter waiting to burst and yes, with a .181 batting average is a FAR worse first base selection than Delgado, their back up catcher is hitting .204 in place of the injured Posada, etc, etc, the list goes on ad infinitum.

So be happy. The Yankees are a far worse team than the Mets right now.

Which means they'll probably sweep the series.

The Army's bold predictions:

Game 1: Johan Santana, LHP (4-2, 3.10) v Darrell Rasner, RHP (2-0, 3.00) Santana has a brilliant record against the Yankees. In a Twins uniform. In a Mets uniform, who knows, this doesn't appear to be quite the same pitcher.

But this is what the Mets paid the big bills for, having Santana as their ace in a big series and incidentally, to be great whilst he does it. This is his moment to shine. 3rd start of season for Rasner whose finger was broken against the Mets last season. Expect this to be low scoring with the victory to the team whose bullpen implodes the least. Yankees 4 Mets 3.

Game 2: Oliver Perez, LHP (3-3, 4.61) v
Andy Pettitte, LHP (3-4, 4.40) Perhaps another duel by two pitchers who can't maintain consistency but do well against each others' teams. Pettitte has made 16 starts against the Mets dating to 1997, going 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA. Perez has a 3-1 record and 3.04 ERA in four career starts against the Yanks. Lean nod to Mets as the bullpen can't blow EVERY game. Mets 7 Yankees 5.

Game 3: John Maine, RHP (5-2, 2.81) v
Chien-Ming Wang, RHP (6-1, 2.90) - Say
what you want about Santana but Maine is the defacto ace of the Mets staff
right now and appears to get better with each game. Tight, tight game.
Mets win in extra innings, 5-4.

Homestand Against NL Dregs Ends Up With Mets Hanging Heads In Shame

What a crap home stand.

Say whatever you like about this game, the bottom line is the Mets lost three of four AT HOME to the Nats. That's like erectile dysfunction, not wanking off and certainly not getting laid.

If you were going to try and conjure sexual metaphors for the frustration of last night's 1-0 loss, that is.

Delgado perfects the Mr Anti-Clutch game losing face

Try and turn this into a positive spin and the most you're going to get is an observation about Mike Pelfrey's sudden impact since he's stopped wearing that annoying mouthpiece. Last night it was a no-no into the 7th which ended in a hard-luck loss. Last time it was another narrow loss despite pitching well, that time against the Reds, another minor league quality side.

If you're into comedy, you could point to Billy Wagner's second and third teammate back stabbings of the season, as equally justified as the first against Oliver Perez, this time when he gestured post-game to the lockers of Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado and told reporters they should be talking to the pair about the loss (especially considering Delgado's game-ending line out concluded with Beltran getting doubled off third,) rather than him but then sarcastically and bluntly noted "Oh, they're not there. Big shock."

Yeah, big shock.

How on earth at home do these Mets flail like spastics on ice against the likes of a Muppet like Jason Bergmann (1-1), who hadn't started in the majors since April 9 and came in with an 11.68 ERA.

Too many outs at third base - too aggressive? Is there such a thing?

Is it because Manny Acta's team, already out-managing the other side, out-played them as well? Played smarter baseball?

Or is it just because the heart of the Mets order continued a season-long slump which has seen opportunity after opportunity after opportunity snapped like a twig and tossed into the fire?

Of course is it.

And the knock-on effect of Reyes, Delgado and Beltran in particular failing to hit the way they're counted upon to hit is that they (well, Reyes and Beltran anyway) overcompensate by trying to be too aggressive on the basepaths which in turns ended up with both of them getting thrown out at third, once to kill a rally in the 8th and the second time to end the game.

What it means is that this is a team that is on the verge of experiencing a change in management.

Sure, it's early in the season still, reasonably so anyway, but the writing is on the wall. The team can't hit, doesn't execute, and can't shake the doldrums. Losing a home stand against the likes of the Reds and the Nats is not only embarrassing, it's inexcusable.

Today, the first salvo in the war of pointing out the obvious, Willie is officially in the hot seat.

The related fan poll shows the overwhelming majority want Willie gone as soon as possible.

He's lost the team, the clubhouse and before he loses the season, it's time to say goodbye.

It's Time: Willie Randolph Has To Go

Wouldn't it be cool to start the Subway Series with a shockingly suddenly replacement manager?

Ah well, don't expect any gutsy moves like that so soon. If this were the English Premiership, the club would have been floating all sorts of sexy manager replacement scenarios to the media for weeks and Willie would by now, be gone. Perhaps the problem is in finding the appropriate replacement, especially as it would come less than mid-season.

The Mets Report (a href="http://metsreport.com/replacements-for-willie-randolph/#more-556">already has his replacements lined up

I still think Showalter is a good short-term replacement although Lee Mazzilli is intriguing.

And of course, in typical Mets fashion, they'll probably take two of three from the Yankees in the Bronx and save Willie's job for another few weeks of discombobulated meandering through the bowels of the National League.


No Secret: Heilman Sucks

Yes, it was a game that the Mets were lucky to stay close in considering the guy they sent out to the mound for them, Claudio Vargas, rushed up from Triple AAA, released by the Brewers in the last week of Spring Training, hadn't pitched a game for the Mets in his life.

But Vargas surprised us all perhaps with his sort of stunning 3 hit,Standing Ovation sort of performance in the 7th.

He certainly deserved a victory but within minutes of Aaron Heilman taking the mound in his stead, the Mets were behind 3-1 faster than you can say get this douchebag out of here.

Should NY on Heilman's cap be replaced with the auld "L"?

He's already been knocked down from set-up guy to set-up to set-up guy and one wonders where Heilman goes from here. Bullpen catcher? Trade bait for a few middling prospects to a team like the Brewers?

The Long March To Obscurity

At least credit him for being a man and not resorting to whingeing about the fans expressing themselves with a deep, growling chorus of boos and abuse. "What can I say? I've been kind of up and down all year," Heilman said of the booing. "I don't begrudge them for expressing their opinion."

He could have picked up one some strange facet of antics emerging from the Nats dugout and made a show of a tirade about unprofessionalism but hey, that's already been done and look where it got Figueroa anyway. "It sucks," Heilman described of the feeling of another wretched performance and being showered with the full brunt of Shea's anger and frustration both with the team and in particular, with him. Yes, it does suck indeed but who does it suck more for, Heilman for the professional ineptitude and the target of hatred or Mets fans, who have endured Heilman's lacklustre nowhereism for what might amount to half a Met career?

Does it suck to be Willie as well? Willie, like Nero, fiddling once again whilst the bullpen burnt the game down, failing to give the hook quick enough to spare the Mets another disaster. Willie says he left Heilman in because the bullpen was cashed already and perhaps wary of the results of overworking his pen, probably because so few of the arms can be thoroughly trusted, he let Heilman and the fans suffer another humiliating loss to a team pacing itself for the doldrums of the league.

Schoeneweiss meanwhile, think he wasn't happy to be in hospital rather than getting booed?

And if you think it's just the fans who are pissed off, witness Moises Alou's uncharacteristic outburst at the plate ump earning him an early dismissal from the game.

And triple goddamnitalltohell!

Look, Mets fans feel bad about Heilman shitting the bed in this game but think of poor boy Vargas, a tale ready to be woven, plenty of steam left in the arm before Willie prematurely ejaculated Heilman from the pen and yanked Vargas for a certain loss.

One more chance to redeem themselves this afternoon.

Let's hope the Mets show some bloody spunk.


Mets Regain Modicum of Respect Over Nats, 6-3

So many little stories for what seemed like a somewhat innocuous mid-May meeting between one middling team and one less-than-middling team from the National League East.

Nelson Figueroa's ghost hovered around Shea last night even though he'd been mercifully set free, designated for assignment by the Mets following his lousy performance and rather sensational outburst against the Nats the night before.

John Maine showed he's a team player by plunking the first Nat he faced, sending a message to the "softball girls" about their unprofessionalism the night before. Hardly shocking, considering the Nats roster of young but talented misfits. Or, considering how well Maine has pitched: he has allowed no more than two runs in seven straight starts, the longest streak of that nature by a Mets starter since Masato Yoshii had eight such starts at the end of his 1999 season.

Church and Delgado yuck it up thinking about Delgado's bunt single, but don't cheer like softball girls.

Maine went on, after sending his little message, to win his fourth consecutive start, helped in large part by Ryan Church, whose heretofore unforseen offensive outburst continued against his former team, this time with a tying home run, a go-ahead, two-run double and an insurance-run sacrifice fly.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Lastings Milledge of the Milledge Trade was booed heartily for the second night in a row, this time went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and an error in centerfield.

Rather than cheer like softball girls, Church and Wright try the Shazaam ritual...

Despite the battering he's taken since that trade, at the moment anyway, Omar Minaya is looking like a genius again. The other player he scored off the Nats for Milledge, Brian Schneider, had three hits of his own.

And Fernando Tatis, another player whose expiry date seemed long passed but who Minaya yanked up from obscurity anyway, had a pinch hit in his first appearance since 2006.

Most heartening, of all the wonderful little stories and personal successes last night, was that the Mets came back and showed some spine for a change. Showed perhaps they mean business after all.

Of course, then again, they might just have four errors and lose the next night's game anyway.


"Softball Girls" Beat Mets 10-4

Nelson Figueroa's got it all wrong.

"They were cheerleading in the dugout like a bunch of softball girls," Figueroa moaned about the antics of a dugout populated by the likes of Elijah Dukes and Lastings Milledge, the Bonnie and Clyde of young Major League prospects. "I'm a professional just like anybody else. I take huge offense to that. If that's what a last-place team needs to do to fire themselves up, so be it. They could show a little more class, a little more professionalism now that they won tonight, but in the long run, they're still who they are."

You don't shut the mouths of softball girls by making a stink about it, perhaps sounding just as softball girlish yourself in whingeing. You shut those mouths by keeping them down, holding them scoreless, pitching a gem. Not by giving up five walks and hitting two Nats in the process in pitching one of the uglier games this side of Oliver Perez.

Last hurrah? Figueroa appears to have shot his 2008 wad...

And really, did it make much difference what Figueroa pitched like when the Mets were as listless as projected, another game of baseball somnambulism, errors, ugliness, losses. Another game to question why Willie even bothers to show up to manage the lot of them.

The 2007 Collapsing Mets brash style of incompetency showed up again on Monday against the Nats and the results, predictably, were as ugly as always.

Jorge Sosa was no bromide for Figueroa's implosive outing gifting the Nats 4 runs in a lone inning to make sure the rout was official.

The less said about this embarassing loss the better.


Mets Mothers Avenged, Mets Hammer Reds 8-3

Carlos Beltran's heating up,
heating up, heating up.
Carlos Beltran's heating up,
Go Pink Metsies...

(sung to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down

Next Mother's Day why don't they have the team wear Pink Uniforms and little bows in their hair? Sweet jesus, where is the sexist outrage in having a single colour represent one half of the human sexes? Why not make everyone where inflatable breasts instead? At least THAT would be a little more relevant.

Two run homer, RBI double, 8 RBIs in his last three games. All would conspire to have us believe that after taking the month of April off, Carlos Beltran might finally be reviving his thus far humiliating campaign which commenced this season with an uncharacteristic outburst about the Mets being the team to beat this Spring.

Considering that the offence to date has consisted primarily of Ryan Church with the occasional David Wright and Angel Pagan thrown in, this is indeed, an encouraging sign.

If we were feeling bold following this rare home series victory, even if it was against one of the dregs fo the National League, we might even note that Oliver Perez pitched with impeccable efficiency. Well the Perez version of impeccable that is, including four walks,a hit batter AND a wild pitch but more importantly, no one key meltdown moment, sailing to his third victory of the season.

Cueto doing a remarkable Oliver Perez imitiation.

And you might even point out that with rookie Johnny Cueto on the mound for the Reds, the Mets jumped to a 6-0 lead before Perez could begin trying to undo the good. He was ultimately saved by the bullpen who stuck in three scoreless quality innings of relief when things turned momentarily ugly in the 6th.

Oh yeah - Jose Reyes, more than two hits, Mets win. Simple maths. they are now 9-0 when Reyes has more than a pair of hits in one game.

You know, in the Dominican Winter League, players wear pink every day because they like their colours LOUD....like their music.

Even Willie Randolph, beleaguered and chased like a rabbit by a dug, had his moment of managerial acumen in the 9th when he rightly pointed out that the Reds were batting out of order proving that no, he isn't always asleep standing up in that dugout.

Whilst little to nothing should be read into Perez's outing, Beltran's sudden revival is encouraging, coming as it is during David Wright's slumber, as is the series coming up against the Nats, which should net the Mets several more victories in this little lull in the scheduling.

And not surprisingly, not all the news could be good. Luis Castillo strained a quad and will be out at least one, maybe several games. However, this is countered by the fact that Moises has finished yet another game without serious bodily harm and might be on to a record streak of appearances were it not for that nasty doubleheader on Saturday.

So overall, not a bad weekend.


Shocking: Mets Split Doubleheader Against Crappy Reds

So, you've got a doubleheader against one of the worst teams in the National League, at home and your ace is starting the first game.

Sounds like a good recipe for a sweep, doesn't it?


Oliver Perez failed his opportunity to publically criticise "dat focking heelbeelly who kun peech gangs ghe no cang ehsafe..."

Oh sure, they won the first game with Johan Santana "earning" his first win at Shea in a Mets kit but not impressively. Santana mucked about for 6 innings as though he was battling a case of the piles, giving up 10 hits and 3 runs, another homer, his 8th of the season which means one every game pitched basically.

Fortunately, and even despite an underwhelming showing by both Aaron Heilman, (which we've come to expect and would perhaps be disappointed by if he were to get through a flawless outing once in a while,) and Pedro Feliciano, the Mets were able to pile on enough runs to outscore the Reds.

All the non-hitters had hit parades in Game One - well, most of them anyway. Beltran drove in 5 runs and no, surprisingly, that does not top his season total to date, Mr No Show himself, Carlos Delgado managed to crack a meaningless homer and get 3 hits (and no, although one might have expected it, this too does not top his season total to date)

Goddamn you apes!

But all the good will sewn into the soil was immediately dug up and strewn about in a haphazard manner despite Mike Pelfrey actually having a better showing than Santana (two less hits and one less run surrendered in the same number of innings).

Just goes to show you what help 12 runs can be.

And this wasn't one because Boy Wonder was thrown out at the plate...

But the Mets batters reverting back to their usually predictable hitlessness, managing just four in the nightcap against Bronson Arroyo and Co which frankly, given Arroyo sumo wrestler sized ERA and solid reputation as a rubbish pitcher generally, was frankly, for the Mets, humiliating.

How do you make Arroyo look like he belongs in the big leagues? How embarrassing is that?

And Mr Outspoken surrendered some more unearned runs thus, whilst giving up two hits and a walk and 3 unearned runs, managed to preserve his seemingly flawless 0.00 ERA this season, did nothing to enhance his reputation as a cheap thrills whiner, overseeing a blowout grow to monstrous proportions.

Nor can we be all that thrilled with Duaner Sanchez's progress since returning to the Mets. I dunno, maybe it's worrying that the two guys who are meant to be set-up men for the closer are just shit at their jobs, or maybe I'm just being paranoid but I wouldn't mind seeing the Mets in the market for a set-up guy - hell, maybe we'd even like to see Francisco Cordero setting up or closing instead.

It's enough to make you wonder if Mr Bold Spring Training Predictions is finally waking up out of his hitting stupor with a little pesky fielding...

But what the hell, it's American Mother's Day today, they at least earned a split and they can take the series with a win on Sunday.

Could be alot worse.

Could be alot better.

So instead, just falling somewhere in the middle.

Keeping the Blahs alive.


Early Season Report Card: Blah

32 games in the books. 17 wins against 15 losses. Not quite where the Mets envisioned themselves after the hysteria of the Johan Santana trade yet thanks to the mediocrity of the NL East, much like most of last season, the Mets' own mediocrity has not crippled them...yet.

Based upon those 32 games, not the projections of what might happen later on, here is the Mets Report Card to date:

1. Jose Reyes, SS: .254, 10 stolen bases, OBP .324 is a crass underachievement for the guy who is supposed to be the spark plug for this batting order. He hasn't been the same since...well, one could argue since Willie upbraided him for failing to run out a batted ball but the general malaise has been there at least since his collapse in September basically matched that of the team. He hasn't been Delgado-esque terrible but he should be doing a helluva lot better and unless he ignites, the Mets aren't going to get much better. The Mets are 8-0 in games he has more than one hit which goes to show what he means to the order. Grade: D
2. Luis Castillo, 2B: Hitting .242. OBP .353. 7 stolen bases. The temptation is to moan about the idiotic contract he was given this offseason for clearly damaged goods. After floundering early, getting dropped to 8th in the order (which is especially disgusting given one of the justifications for re-signing him to that ridiculous contract was the argument that he was one of the best number 2 batters in baseball. He's hitting .185 against lefties this season. Worse still, there's no reason to think he will improve much - he's hitting .071 in May thus far with only 1 hit. Grade: D- with the comment that the only reason he's not an F is because his downfall although nearly isn't as fast, isn't quite as ugly as Carlos Delgado's.
3. David Wright, 3B: .262-6 homers - 28 RBIs. Paint it how you like but this isn't the continued improvement we have grown to expect from Mr Wright year after year since he made it to the bigs. It appears his reputation will give him the nod over Chipper as the starting All Star third baseman but don't let that fool you, this is a down season to date. True, there isn't much in the order to support him and true, he still leads the team in runs batted in but really, hitting .192 in May is not impressive nor has his fielding been and I'm not even sure the All Star spot is deserved. Grade: C
4. Carlos Beltran, CF: .218-2-13 It's pretty sad that so far the highlight of his season is opening his big gob to copy Rollins' bold prediction about being the team to beat. Since then he's hardly backed it up. Sure, he tried a little leadership role taking Reyes under his wing and basically telling him to ignore Willie's advice and enjoy the game but whilst that had some effect early, that effect has since diminished, much like Carlos' game. Yeah, he's got a bum knee and as usual, is not as healthy as he would like but broken down is no way to act as a team leader which is what his salary calls for. He's hitting .186 at Shea and only .202 against righties. His 26 strikeouts are hardly impressive. On the bright side, there's no where to go but up from here and at least he isn't old and faded like Delgado. Grade: D-
5. Carlos Delgado, 1B: .216-4-16 It's bad enough to be a laughingstock, to have tumbled so far down so quickly. It's bad enough being a black hole in the heart of the order but man, to screw up your one moment in the spotlight by dissing fans asking for a curtain call when you finally DO get a decent moment, well, that's just bitter and ugly. Worse still it isn't just being a crappy series of disappointing strikeouts with the bases loaded, his fielding range is on par with a senior citizen. His demise is almost as meteoric as Alomar's a few years back. Every boo is deserved. Grade: F
6. LF: Angel Pagan has been a blessing replacement for Alou, much like Chavez was last season. Unfortunately, his mad grab over the rail in his last game has left him sore or worse so Chavez might be taking his place filling in for Moises Alou every other game. Although you can knock Alou's age and fragility, you can't knock his hustle or his desire. Overall the hybrid that has been left field this season is only slightly underperforming, thanks to Pagan. Grade: C+
7. Ryan Church, RF: .328-6-24 Like everyone else, I knocked and belittled the offseason trade that saw Church and Schneider arrive in replacement of Lastings Milledge. Wrooooong. Church has been everything you could ask of a middling right fielder with few expectations and more. He leads the team in virtually every offensive category, is a defensive upgrade and frankly, is clearly the team MVP, offensively at least, thus far this season. Not only that but he filled in admirably in the number two slot in the order whilst Castillo has polished his excuses for his rotting knees and poor plate appearances. Grade: A
8. Brian Schneider, C .308-0-6. Much like Church, although on a lesser scale considering his physical demerits for fragility and age, Schneider has been an upgrade. Especially in light of Lo Duca's season to date. This was clearly a good move but the question is, how many games will he actually play this season? The other question is of the value Schneider has demonstrated for handling pitchers.. Look at the effin rotation to date. What is there really to handle? Unless he magically transforms Perez, the difference is negligible. In fact, I'm almost more excited about Raul Casanova, who has played almost as many games behind the plate. Overall grade: B

Still room to dream?


Johan Santana 3-2 2.91. You'd be hard pressed to match the expectations that came with the trade that brought one of the game's best pitchers to the Mets. No, he's no Brandon Webb, has not been the absolute lights out, best pitcher in baseball we hoped for but he's a damned good starter none the less, a steadying force on an otherwise unsteady team. Just imagine where these Mets would be right now without him. Likely the bottom of the division. The bullpen has blown two wins for him and he left a game against the Braves down only 1-0 so in theory, he might have 6 wins. I've got no complaints. Grade: A-
John Maine 4-2 3.00. I have the feeling that the worst of Maine this season is now behind him. Is this too bright a prediction? His early season control problems appear more or less resolved and there's still room for him to lead the team in victories this season although my Cy Young prediction was rather optimistic in hindsight. I still think he's one of the brightest on the staff and still the steal of the century given his salary is less than a half a million. Grade: B
Oliver Perez 2-3 4.63 What can we see about Olly that hasn't already been bitterly spat out by Billy Wagner? My other question is, if Rick Peterson is such a fucking mastermind of pitchers, why hasn't he fixed this guy yet? My primary concern here is that there is a good chance Perez will experience some sort of season-long meltdown wherein his confidence is frittered away game by game until he becomes virtually useless. If Pedro were healthy he'd be the 4th starter and frankly, as a 4th starter, he wouldn't be that bad. On the other hand, the times that he does look reasonably talented only makes you bemoan the hideousness that inevitably follows: Grade: C
Nelson Figueroa: Let's face it. This guy isn't even supposed to be in the rotation but thanks to Pedro's fragile and aging body, he is. Bearing that in mind, he was above average in two starts at Shea and otherwise hasn't humiliated himself with the conistency of Olly Perez. Grade: C+
Mike Pelfrey: 2-2, 5.27 ERA is basically like the Mets this season; neither terrible nor outstanding. He has improved ever so slightly over last season with a little luck and a little better control over his focus but this is still a flawed work. He hasn't even matched the promise of his first two starts this season and the feeling here is that unless someone shakes him, he's headed for a disappointing season. You just don't see this guy getting hot and churning out John Maine numbers any time soon. Grade: C-

Time for some gratuitous bird sightings?


Perhaps it's laziness or perhaps a Perez-like lack of focus but I've no plans to break down every pitcher in the bullpen and grade them individually. I will point out that Wagner has yet to surrender a run this season and has saved 7, all of which has come in games where the season is NOT on the line. I'll be impressed in September and October, not late Spring. Having said that though, the Mets would be even more lost than they are now if it weren't for Wagner and the rest of the bullpen. Yes, maybe Santana isn't enamoured with them but overall, Feliciano and Schoeneweiss have exceeded my admittedly low expectations. Yes, Aaron Heilman has pitched like a mutt. Yes, Duaner Sanchez appears to still be attempting to gain his sea legs. Yes, Jorge Sosa is tied for the team lead in victories despite a hideous ERA. But look, so far, this isn't a team weakness as much as the batting order has been. Grade B-


What has Willie done right? First of all, he oversaw that miserable effin collapse that nobody is going to forget any time soon. He has followed that up by overseeing a middling team survive middling performances in a middling division. My guess is someone in the NL East will heat up sooner rather than later and the bottom line is if that isn't the Mets, I see no valid argument to keep Willie on board if they aren't overachieving and leading the NL East by the All Star break. Really, if this sluggishness continues, it might be the only thing that can shake these bastids awake, sacking the manager in mid-season. Perhaps the only problem is there aren't any bright candidates to replace him. What about a NY return for Buck Showalter? Grade: D


Burn Baby, Burn! Mets Hammer Dodgers For A Change

Finally, a laughter.

On the verge of being swept by the Dodgers to make a once-successful road trip a misery, the Met batting order, sans Moises Alou, Brian Schneider and Carlos Delgado piled on the runs against Dodger starter Brad Penny en route to a laughable victory, their first this season in Chavez Ravine.

Look, kids! It's the John Maine Victory Dance!

Maybe we shouldn't have been suprised by this - Penny allowed a career-worst 10 runs on 10 hits in just 4 2/3 innings but more interesting, he is now 5-12 with a 6.20 ERA in 20 career games against the Mets.

John Maine, on the other hand, put in the kind of starting performance that for a night anyway, justified the pre-season Cy Young hype. (Ok, that was only coming from my corner and probably only because I picked him for my fantasy team but irregardless...) he still pitched a hell of a game, nearly a complete game in doing what an ace is supposed to do: stop losing streaks. He also hit a two-run blooper to seal Penny's fate. He allowed only 4 hits and a run in 8 1/3 innings of work, one of the more sparkling performances by a Met pitcher not named Johan this season.

Support for Maine was not only at the plate. Angel Pagan, subbing for Alou yet again because Alou in essence is too old and too fragile to play two games in a row, made a wonderous, head-over-heels catch of a foul ball in the first inning.

Not just tumbling into the stands to make great catches but diving all over the field, hustle winning games...

"Offense, offense, offense," Willie Randolph gushed after the game. "It makes a world of difference." That's what 12 runs on 13 hits will do for you. A day when every Met starter bar Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran drove in at least one run.

Ryan Church had three hits, three runs including another homerun in 4 at-bats to lead the charge batting back in the 5th slot whilst Luis Castillo, back in the number two spot in the order, showed some uncharacteristic life at the plate with a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs.

Another homer for Mr Glue Holding the Offense Together last night...

What it all means is that the Mets can go back to the dreaded Shea, Boo-Bird Sanctuary without their tails between their legs. Yes, they lost the series against the Dodgers but overall, they won 3 out of 6 against the NL West's best. No mean accomplishment.

Then again, the Phillies just finished taking two of three from the D'backs as well with another game, plus three more in San Fran to go, but who's counting? They're still a game and a half behind the Marlins and Phillies - just like the Braves so the NL East race is not going to be over any time soon.

It's nice to see the Mets show some character, some spunk, to punch back sometimes. The more I'm watching them the more I see a team that is struggling with injuries and consistency but a team that potentially, once everyone, or a few people even, start hitting, could explode into a nice fat long winning streak that could pull them ahead of everyone else.

Wishful thinking perhaps but after a game like today, why not?