Holy Heilman! Lead Held, Mets Shut Out Marlins

Just when you thought one more kick would bury this guy forever, Aaron Heilman came into last night's game protecting what, in the Mets world anyway is a very, very slim 3 run lead with 6 outs to go.

Was there ANYONE at Shea or clenching their fists listening on the radio or watching on television that didn't expect Heilman to simply wilt and if not give the lead away at least open the door to a demoralising Marlin victory?

And yet just when you think the world is going to end there is Heilman doing the unthinkable, pitching with an UnHeilman-like efficiency, a perfect 8th and 9th inning to earn his first save of the season. Mets victory, coupled with the Phillies loss to the Pirates now narrows the NL East lead the Phillies hold to a single game.

Whoops! Last out of the night for Olly that nearly wasn't.

Whilst the focus has been on the bullpen's weak-kneed antics, the other story was Oliver Perez's wonderfully pitched, if not slightly rutted game, one wherein he showed Johan Santana how to pitch above and beyond that mysterious 100 pitch mark, throwing 120 all by himself. Of course Perez doesn't have the biggest contract in baseball for a pitcher and he's demonstrated throughout his career that any sparkling performance can be followed by something lame, weak and disgusting the next so he and his arm are perhaps expendable in the organisation's mind, even if he has been pitching with rare skill minus the lapses in concentration for the second half of the season.

And yes, we are now free to revel in David Wright's two-run homer in his first at-bat last night, in essence his second game-winning homer in two days proving yet again to his manager that the last thing he needs is a day off to rest.

The guy who did get the day off, Carlos Delgado, added a homer of his own and for one night anyway, the bullpen hysteria could be put to bed, the victory tallied without the typical nerve-wracking expectation of failure and well, hell, there's just nothing to reasonably complain about as far as this game is concerned.

Tomorrow however, as we all know, is another day and just when you think you can exhale again you can be sure someone somewhere, will emerge like a festering chancre to cock up another run of hopefulness. It's the Mets way.

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