Luckiest Game of the Year

Oh, they coulda sunk to mighty depths, the Mets coulda.

If Scott Schoeneweis hadn't gotten Brian Giles to fly out to centerfield for the final, desperate out of the game and the nerve-wracking 6-5 victory, the Mets would be staring at a 5-game losing streak, a gutting loss and probably their season out the window. Instead, they live another day.

The look of disgust on Jerry Manuel's face as he calls for the removal of Heilman is so succinct one would almost expect to see an ice pick coming out of the side of Heilman's neck...

Aaron Heilman, we all know, is a punk.

Actually, that can be said with a smile. I feel bad for the guy. He's not a closer, he's struggled most of the season even as a set-up man and thanks to Hillybilly Wagner's trip to the DL, his reward is to be named a closer. And perhaps predictably, instead of stepping up, there he was in all his glorious Heilmanesque hideousness, surrendering a nearly devastating three run homer in the top of the 9th to Jody Gerut of all people, the Padres' leadoff hitter, a guy who'd had 7 homers all season before last night. Joe Smith, (maybe even Argenis Reyes' maddening bobbling act of a foul ball out) and Schoeneweis finally closed the lid on the insanity of the Padres' rally but you get the impression this was a win to be relieved about, not proud of.

Does this look like the throwing motion of success?

One could go on bashing, as Shea probably will en masse every time Heilman steps foot on the field in the near future but the truth is, with Wagner out and the bullpen always one of those who knows sort of prospects all season anyway, the Mets need Heilman rather desperately and to kick a guy when he's down, a guy who always stands up to take the blame rather than blaming others, like Billy Joel, would be a mistake. Handle him with care. Help him along. Although he may have blown his chance at the closer's role the thing is, they need him and his arm and they need him not to be surrendering devastating homer after homer in every appearance. Yes, normally I'd say call for his head, vent mercilessly the frustrations of watching this guy blow it again and again but hey, the Mets still managed to win last night so I'm feeling generous. Oh hell, maybe one kick.

All last night's game really did was to emphasise how incredibally difficult a road the Mets are going to travel for the next few weeks if they are going to stay alive in the NL East.

How long does his pact with the Devil run?

I mean yeah, wonderful that Fernando Tatis is the game's hero yet again, further resurrecting a finished career. Those two homers and four RBIs last night were a continuation of a very improbable story you can't help but wonder will have an anti-climatic sort of finish - has he rediscovered himself and is set for a continuation of his career, right place at the right time or simply hot for now, only to cool off towards the end of the season, hot enough to help carry Mets through games like this when the rest of the fabled Mets lineup is off doing another disappearing act? (Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Delgado a combined 0 for 9)

Like Tatis himself we'd have to ask ourselves, who cares, just as long as it keeps up.

Nice introduction to Shea...

And maybe like Murph as well whose improbable leap from Double AA to the Mets continued last night with another leaping catch in left field in the 1st inning, first batter of the game, his first major league extra base hit and first major league RBI; i.e. an important RBI double in 7th, and a pair of walks. I know, it's only a few games but you can't help but wonder maybe this is the left field of the future, who knows.

I dunno, add it all up, another shining start by Pelfrey, Tatis' continued, unexpected mastery at the plate, the bullpen's rubbishing of clear and certain victory and what it all adds up to is this was one of the most important and certainly the luckiest wins of the season summed up perfectly by Brian Schneider:

"We can't lose on a night like this if we win."


jdon said...

I have loathed Heilman since Yadier Molina took him deep. He has always had a gopher in his ball. And he rarely shows intestinal fortitude. Still, I do not blame him for last night. He just does not have the makeup for the role. Pelfrey again won without his stuff. He said after the game he has not had a consistent sinker since before the break. All credit to him, then, for his continued success. You know, Tatis really seems to like hitting at Shea. He does much better at home, I think. Like Murphy and his patience. He might develop a little power as he ages. He already has size. 9 of 11. Theyneed to jump out.; To go 9 and 2, they have to sweep these clowns. Mark my words.

Jaap said...

Ah yes, the Molina atrocity - remember it well - like I said, I feel bad for the guy because you're right, he doesn't belong in the role of closer. His confidence looks shattered at this point but he must have pretty tough skin by now - he seemed to take a little pleasure in seeing Kunz give up that homer last night - said something sarcastic like, don't think it will be another 4 years before he gives up another - still, Heilman hasn't reached the status of Armandogeddon or Jorge Julio in the pantheon of bullpen douchebags just yet. He's still got time to hang himself.