You could say at leasr they hadn't blown the season after a half inning like last year but you'd be lying to yourself.

Last year was like ripping the bandage off. Yesterday was like getting a bone rebroken because it didn't heal right the first time.

I could moan about Schoeneweis and Ayala giving up those consecutive homers in the 8th.

But that would diminish the pathetic choke of managing only five runs against Marlin pitching in three games.

You want to hang some bullseyes?

Jose Reyes. after the September he had last season, 2 for 13 against the Marlins was disgraceful. Especially because he is the motor of the offense. When he chokes, the Mets have no offense. Maybe he shouldn't be getting 688 at-bats in a season. Maybe he needs rest more often. Something tells me he's got to go and now, whilst he's young and fast and popular. He'll be worth alot.

Wright, .340 in September but 0 for 4 last night. Yes, 4 hits in this series. All fucking singles and ZERO RBIs.

Church, 0 for 9 in the series. Need I say more? Ok, I will. Next season gimme >Shin-Soo Choo in right field instead.

Delgado, wonderful second half but you'll be 37 this time next year. Time to move on.

Beltran, bravo. You can't carry a team like you once did the Astros but you make a good number two hitter, always have. Stay there.

Jerry? He'll stay, whether you like that or not. After nowhere men like Art Howe and Willie, anyone's going to seem charming by comparison but he didn't win.

More later kiddies, but for now I'm off to drown my sorrows.


Golf Clap

Yes, a 3 hit shutout on 3 days rest is brilliant. Bravo.

Last year, game 161, Maine struck out like 14 Marlins and the Mets won by double digits.

Look where it got them. The Brewers still have to lose.

And go ahead, ask me: How do I feel about Oliver Perez starting with the season on the line?

All I can say is he'll be hard pressed to do worse than Glavine's season finale in 2007.

And even if he pitches like it is Game 4 of the 2006 NLCS, the Brewers still have to lose.

But at least we bought ourselves a day and that Gangsta proved to be worth every penny.


NOT What The Doctor Ordered

We've all been here uncountable times this season already, throwing our hands up in frustration and disbelief.

We've seen the Marlins end our season before, far too recently. Have they done it again already?

As it stands now, if the Brewers or Phillies don't lose again, the Mets season is over, regardless of what the Mets do.

So of the many disappointments of last night's seemingly predictable result, the Mets no longer controlling their own fate has to be the most disappointing.

After 160 games, the blame game matters least.

After a rollercoaster ride of a series against the Cubs, last night's loss seemed almost anti-climactic, as though perhaps the fight in this team had been exhausted.

Yes, Parnell allowed two runs without recording an out. Yes Feliciano threw one pitch and hit a batter. Yes, Reyes was 0 for 5 which is really all you need to know about the disappearance of the offense. But it doesn't matter who's to blame anymore. It seemed a team-wide effort.

Will they survive now depends more on the Brewers and the Phillies than on the Mets themselves.

I don't think it matters that Santana is going to go back out today on 3 days rest. The best he can do is win one game. He can't win two and he can't beat the Brewers or the Phillies over the next 2 days either.

So take a deep breath. The shit is about to hit the fan. Hopefully it won't be a Met fan.



Regretfully, I admit I quit.

Nice one, douchebag.

When Hoffpauir hit that three run shot off of Rincon in the 7th and in the pissing down rain, seconds after Pedro had made his graceful exit from the game, I snapped the game off and cursed myself to sleep. 158 games and and 6 1/2 innings of this up and down, high and low had finally taken it's toll. That and four consecutive nights of midnight starting times, virtual somnambulism. It was only human.

Little did I know one night after the worst loss of the season the Mets would pick themselves up off the canvas once more and give us yet another night of survival.

And in the morning, reluctantly reaching for the recorder to replay what was certain to be the final nail in the coffin, it suddenly became christmas morning three months early. I couldn't believe my eyes.

METS 7 CUBS 6, misery postponed.

Did you lose faith after Delgado grounded into a double play following Wright's lead off single in the 8th or did you wish you were one of thousands sitting in the pouring rain and gusting winds watching Church, Ramon Martinez and Cancel turn into heroes before your very eyes?

And what about Church twisting and inhaling and swerving to avoid the tag at home plate when he seemed certain to be out by a mile? Lastings Milledge, anyone?

And the 9th, after the sickening failure of the night before; the Magical Murph's comically inept bunting skills on display at the worst of times with Reyes running on a two strike pitch, Wright striking out in typical Mr Hit Em When They Don't Matter fashion, Delgado getting intentionally walked all over again and finally, with the season on the line, Beltran stepping up.

No doubt Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS must have crossed your mind.

Time to keep the bat on your shoulder for strike three again Mr Team To Beat? Mr Hitting .226 When It's The 7th Inning Or Later?



Three games left, no effin idea how this will play out now.

Good christ, what a season!

Marlins? Let's exorcise THOSE demons, too.


Now, Even Wildcard In Doubt

How often it feels like you're living and dying with every pitch, euphoria effortlessly blending with despair as this pennant race reaches its zenith.

Take the 8th, for example - down by 1, the Brewers winning in Pittsburgh, Delgado's leadoff double sent us soaring with hope. Then came Beltran's single, prevented from being an RBI single by Luis Aguayo's sudden conservative scaredy-cat decision to hold Delgado at third. Followed by the fear/knowledge it would be costly.

Aguayo, you will recall, has a history of questionable decisions to send runners from third. Now he overcompensates. Can we bring back Willie to coach 3rd for the last four games of the season.

And naturally, Choking Church K's to advance no one. Castro grounds out. Fear and disgust grows.

Then Chavez gets mysteriously and intentionally walked to load the bases for Ramon Martinez which leads to confusion as many scramble to figure out who the hell he is. First game in September? Mets' starting playoff second baseman?

More glee when Martinez walks in the tying run, relief and hope because Reyes could bust it open once and for all but....naaaaaaah, not tonight, inning over.

the Curse of Church has many forms

Leadoff triple in the 9th by the Magical Murph in the 9th sends us swooning and gave Wright the chance to be a hero but instead he strikes the fuck out on a clear ball four.

that should be your head not your helmet

Sweet Lou opts to load the bases for Church...fingernail chewing or chain-smoking time...Church, shiteejit, grounds into force at home, growing anger, how the hell do you not score with a leadoff triple?! Shiteejit, you say? Yes. A new word I've invented for Church, combining shite with eejit as in, Shite! What an eejit!

Castro meanwhile, strikes out and the chair smashing and bottle-throwing commences in earnest. 10 men left on bases over 5 innings. The sea gulls are going mad with derisive chatter outside the window. Two innings in a row, bases loaded nets a mere run.

Even the crowd is quiet considering the lost opportunities.

Turn to prayer as in "Please oh please Mr Met, don't let this end with another reassuring yet empty speech by President Bush to the American public.."

Countdown to Doom

Bollocks and double bollocks. Thence forward, the inevitable, massive cock up of a loss was certain to follow.

Can't honestly even blame the pen for this one.

When two innings in a row with bases loaded nets one stinking run, you pretty much already know yer fecked.

If we're lucky, the rest of the season gets rained out.


Another Day Above Ground

What a night.

Before anyone gets too giddy, remember that euphoria after Game 161 last season when the Met pummeled the Marlins and for a few hours anyway, all seemed right with the world again. That 13-0 win over the Marlins gave the Mets a final gasp of life before Glavine put them back under the guillotine the following day...

Ok, end of disclaimer. Woop!

So for one night anyway, this was how they dreamt it all winter and spring.

Santana, we now know, is a second half pitcher, so next season we needn't fret a slow start.

Since the All Star break, 7-0 with a 2.37 ERA, 3-0 in September alone.

Simply put, without Santana this September the Mets would already be gone, done, ovah.

that broken bat was some much-needed luck

Last night he rose larger to the occasion than perhaps ever before this season; 8 innings, 125 pitches, struck out 10, matching his season high, and even had a 5th inning broken-bat hit to commence a rally, finishing with two runs scored.

This is what we got him for and he's doing exactly as we hoped so for one night anyway, credit where credit is due. (Not sure it merits a 4 year extension for Omar but fuck it, I guess we're feeling giddy.)

And for a night anyway, two guys with questionable Septembers, Mssrs Reyes and Wright, the cornerstones of the Mets' future BOTH had the kind of clutch hits franchise winners are based upon.

keep it coming

Wright, who entered the game batting .245 with runners in scoring position, punched a single into left to tie the game in that luckyweird Santana 5th.

Surfing success in the clutch

Reyes made his 200th hit of the season a bases loaded triple in the 6th that was quite possibly the most euphoric point of the season, to date, we hope.

Both had a pair of hits and both are now hitting .300 for the season. If those averages hold there's a good chance the Mets will too.

By the way, cheers, Luis Castillo, for forming that impressive black hole in the two spot in the order. Those kids at the auld atom-smashing Hadron Collider got nothing on you.

Now, the bullpen was its typical heart-in-mouth pleasure. The instinctive, reflex "Oh fuck no!" flinching gesture surely kicked in the minute Feliciano allowed consecutive one-out singles to Blanco and Hoffpauir and the 4 run lead began to look fragile.

But Ayala, Omar's prized bargain basement pick-up (Anderson Hernandez? Pshaw!)closed it out after a little pinch hitter chess from Cubbies manager medicine-ball-belly sweet Lou Piniella two batters later to send us all hysterical with disbelief.

So another day survived just when we were nearly certain the Mets had been TKO'd for the season yet again they've picked themselves off the floor and continued fighting. Heart.

And if you like sweet irony, how about Met turncoat Mike "School System For My Kids" Hampton outdueling the Phillies' precocious little lefty Cole Hamels for a 3-2 victory (imagine that the Braves doing US a favour for a change) to bring the Mets back to within 1 1/2 games of the Phillies.

And to clinch a nearly perfect night THE YANK-MEES WERE OFFICIALLY ELIMINATED FROM THE POST SEASON and can take their maudlin stadium-closing ceremonies straight the feck out of here into the offseason!

Ok, the lone note of imperfection sounded in Milwaukee where the Brewers, led by Prince Fielder's walk-off, two-run homer, kept pace with the Mets for the wildcard. Personally, I'd love to see a Phillies tailspin and the Mets with the Brew Crew getting in instead of Philly but that isn't likely to happen so we'd like much more distance between us both.

Whilst the zenith has been breached tonight, sober times await us.

Tonght it's Oliver Perez against Carlos Zambrano. The Mets bullpen against their own mediocrity. Sabathia is pitching for the Brewers which means near-certain victory thus another miracle for the Mets is imperative.

Fingers crossed, it's the pennant race!


One Step Closer To The Edge

Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I need a little room to breathe
Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break

Linkin Park - One Step Closer

Mets mirror market crash

When you give up a grand slam to the opposing pitcher in the 4th inning, you can pretty much be certain of an uphill battle.

Of course when you start a kid with all of two starts in his MLB career under his belt in the heat of the pennant race against the best team in the National League I'm not sure you can expect much better than pissing into the wind.

I can't imagine two rally-killing double plays in both the 4th and 6th innings were much assistance and in reality, the margin for error wass virtually nil all along.

It all spells a looming doom as the Mets dropped another full game behind the Phillies and now, more importantly, allowed the Brewers edge a half game closer.

Call me crazy but as much of this season's dreary failures in the stretch run appear to mirror last season's historic collapse, these Mets appear more handicapped than choke artists. You had Beltran crashing into walls and gutting out the game, Wright's 2-run hopeful homer in the 7th and of course, the desperate rally in the 9th.

For one night the Mets bullpen wasn't the main culprit. I feel freer blaming Luis Castillo who, along with Heilman are the poster boys of failure this season. Castillo's lifeless K to end the game proved that his best contribution in this game was getting hit by a pitch. Or maybe it was just the only happy moment he produced.


What difference does it make when you've lost three games on the trot during the most imporant week of the season?

This is the time of the season when you either get it done or you don't. Excuses no longer matter.


Ok, Let's Assess The Damage

So, the Mets began their three game series in Atlanta Friday night a half game behind the Phillies for first and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers for the wildcard.

Two losses and one victory later, they still maintain their narrow wildcard lead but have fallen a further full game behind the Phillies. It ent lookin rosy.

On Saturday night the pen was flawless but Pedro couldn't knock in more runs than he allowed which was a pity considering the rest of the Mets order was stifled by a combination of mediocre Brave hurlers. 6 meagre hits by the vaunted Mets batting order and only Pedro's 2-run double amounted to anything.

And then yesterday, having relinquished their tender, day-old half game lead over the Phillies, the Mets revisited a predictable nemesis; the predictably disappointing bullpen. Schoeneweis, Smith, Feliciano and Heilman combined in one sad and pathetic inning to give up 4 runs, 4 hits and 2 walks as a rubbish Braves linep transformed a 4-3 lead, like a magical incompetence, into a 7-4 deficit. The bullpen must be like investment bankers gambling away leads like investments with dangerous, risky incompetence.

Heilman in typically galling fashion served up the coup de grace, a two-run double to Martin Prado. Remind us all how and why he came to enter this game in the first place...August ERA 7.90 and a nice, fat 9.00 for September. Why is he not on irrevocable waivers just to keep Jerry from foolishly tempting fate??

That Delgado concluded a big night with a monster homerun in the 9th to cut the lead to one only served to underscore what often seems the futility of trying to overcome themselves and their usually miserable bullpen.

Schoeneweis noted with a flair of understated genius:

I just don't know what to say. We're not consistently making big pitches at big times. We do it one night; we don't do it the next night. There's really nothing more to say or explain or philosophize about.

True enough. But not a mystery. It's called the bullpen sucks.

A familiar refrain around these parts.

No photo could do it justice.


Hee Hee Hee Hohoho hahaha

I see that the Mets won and the Phillies and Brewers lost.

First place for a night.

I'm due in NYC for Game 3, National League host.

Let's say Shea.


Santana Helps Mets Get Split

I have to admit, having listened to the Brewers bullpen implode against the Cubs and blow a 6-2 lead in the 9th, the woes of the Mets own pen were put in perspective and, knowing Santana was pitching last night, a little of the pressure against the Nats was off.

No doubt the Mets, with the exception of David "Choking Dog" Wright, felt much the same way.

Mr Masterful

Santana was masterful, hurling 7 nearly-spotless innings whilst the Mets built up a convincing 7-1 lead. 15 consecutive starts without a loss.

The bullpen, by and large, gave everyone's nerves a rest for a change, allowing only a run despite Joe Smith's dubious 23 pitch inning in the 8th wherein he managed to give up 3 hits and a run but started no major fires.

Show-a-loss shat himself again; giving up a pair of hits and trying to open the door to a 9th inning Nat rally before Jerry yanked him for Feliciano, who nearly walked Langerhan, a .231 hitter to load the bases, but instead, induced an inning and game-ending double play.

Keeping those throws to first in the bloody ball park tonight, lad?

Wright closed out a humiliating and nerve-ridden 1 for 18 showing against the Nats, which can only lead one to hope he's saving his hits for the Braves, whom he is hitting .500 against since the All Star break.

Brian Schneider, by contrast, hitting .333 in September, had a pair of homers against his former teammates, and was 6 for 13 in the series.

The Phillies of course, won again, maintaining their whisper-thin lead over the Mets.

They won't keep winning forever, not even in September, and move now to Florida to face the Marlins, who have won 8 in a row themselves.

does this look like the face of a man who is nervous, insane, excited or possessed by voodoo spirits?

It all boils down to what makes this all so exciting: the final week and a half of the season with the Mets still in the thick of it when only two days ago everone was wincing with doubt.



So for one night back to the foibles we are a little more comfortable with: the inadequacies of the bullpen.

Oh yes, for one night anyway, the Mets batting order regained a modicum of its swagger; 4 homers, one from each side of the plate from Beltran, a game opening smash from Reyes and a monster from Delgado.

Rather than rest on an early lead and fizzle for the remainder of the game as they're prone to do, the Mets even added 4 runs in the 3rd and another an inning later to build a morale-boosting 7-2 lead.

Anyone want to be in this poor bastid's shoes?

Of course with nowhere man Brandon Knight fighting to keep his head above water we all knew it was only a matter of time before anxiety began to set in and sure enough, with a series of tumultuous appearances by Ricardo Rincon and Brian Stokes cutting the lead to a paltry 3 runs by the end of the 7th, sure enough, it did.

Heilman, who inexplicably was allowed to debauch the game with an appearance, was wisely yanked after giving up a double and a single, bingbang in the 8th.

Somehow, likely with everyone's eyes wide shut, Scott Schoeneweis and Joe Smith were able to shut the door without further damage. Not exactly the sort you'd think to turn to in crisis but when they're passing out cigarettes and blindfolds in the bullpen, you can only be over joyed when the bullet misses.

And they saved the bottom of the 9th to kill the remaining faint of hearts.

Wright compounded his 0 for 5, 2 Ks, 4 LOB sorta night with a patented throwing error to complete the growing disaster for Mr No I'm Not Choking to open the ninth and there we were on the precipice of season's end.

Pedro Feliciano sorta saved the game before giving up a 2-run single to nearly blow it before Ayala finally saved the day.

Holy shit.

But better than another loss.

The Mets live to see another day.

Holy shit.

And tonight?

"Hopefully, with Santana, it will be nine innings and 170 pitches," Jerry said, probably in all seriousness, pitch count be damned.


Good Bye First Place, Hello Wildcard

"This is like deja vu all over again."
-- Yogi Berra

So, the replay of last season's September choke continues, albeit on a lesser scale this time, only a lead half the size has been blown.

yeah, thanks Mr Team to Beat. "With (pitcher Johan Santana), now, I have no doubt that we're going to win in our division," Beltran said back in Feb. "So this year, to Jimmy Rollins, we are the team to beat."

Last night's 1-0 loss to the lowly Nats introduced a new and exciting theme. The incompetence of the bullpen was no longer an issue with the meat of the Mets order going rotten faster than Lehman Brothers. Two runs and nine puny hits against the worst team in baseball is not a slump. It's the final sign this team is gasping for air, choking to death.

2 hits in 16 at-bats for Reyes, Beltran, Wright and Delgado says it all.

“Like I’ve said all along, this is a little bump in the road,” David Wright repeated to the world like a mantra. “It does not matter what Philadelphia does. It’s about what the New York Mets do, it’s about what the guys in this clubhouse do.”

That's right. And the guys in the clubhouse must now believe the only knowable reality they face; September 2007 all over again.

I've just seen the ghost of September past!

Adding to the funeral pall was the news that Fernando Tatis is gone for the season. Tatis was hitting .323 for September and you can bet that bat can't be replaced by Chavez or the AA Double league rooks Evans or The Magical Murph.

Lannan and Odalis PĂ©rez, two pitchers they had throttled this season, sudden masters of these Mets tells the story in stereo.

And of course the other plot line being repeated - the Phillies stretch of five victories in a row, including the comeback against the Braves last night moves them ahead of the Mets for the first time since Aug. 26.

So the Mets lead the wild card race ahead of the Brewers, bigger chokers than the Mets this season.

And taking back first is still just one win and one Phillies loss away.

If it weren't for last season you might almost believe it.


Mets Take Another Dump On Playoff Hopes

This was the kind of game the Mets have taken by the scruff of the neck under Jerry Manuel this season. On the heels of many demoralising losses the Mets have made a statement through victory.

Not so last night.

Last night they let the Nats to beat up on them with barely a whimper of protest.

I mean, c'mon. John Lannan??

Anderson effin Hernandez?

.209 in 158 at-bats with the bases loaded this season?


This loss is a deep whiff of 2007.

For the first time in months, the NL East lead down to a half game, the Mets failed to come back from a bitter, ugly loss and exacerbated it with another ugly loss instead.

Flat. Maybe scared. Maybe doomed.

"There's no panic. We know what's at stake," David Wright says with panic written all over.

Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Delgado; 1 for 15.

Talk is cheap, lads. It's now or never time.


Trouble, Trouble

Well, for the last 2 days anyway, what has been held together by the vaguest of hopes, chicken wire and packing tape, appears to be coming apart.

That's right - the oft-loathed, occasionally relieving relievers who have allowed us the wildest of speculations despite the lack of a "real" closer for their momentary daliance with competence may once again be on the down swing, at the direst of times.

no single-handed heroics were big enough

The debacle of three of the last four games now haunt us all and, like the sword of Damocles poised, threatens the seson yet again.

Of course there is also the lack of timely hitting to blame yet let's face it, not even a dozen runs is a safe lead when it omes to the pen at times.

yes indeed, exactly

Yesterday's stomach-turning reult, like so many blown victories this season, seemed almost pre-ordained: a slim 2 run margin into the 9th was almost laughable when bemoaning 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position yesterday and leaving 12 on base.

27 blown saves in one season will do that to you.

But, rather than piss and moan I'e decided to rest my faith in the fact that at every single cross roads this season these Mets have risen to the occasion. Yes, the bullpen is a dizzying mess but somehow the Mets have made it this far anyway.

The Mets aren't beating themselves up over this senselessness, merely moving on tothe next game and so will I.

Given the grit they've shown to date they deserve as much.

Besides, I've already bought my ticket to NYC hoping I'll see them in the World Series in October.


Hey Phillies! September Fade?

It appears all those Phillies phans who thought they could back into the post season again might have to reassess their October plans.

That's right - thanks to the Phillie phailure to go for the kill Sunday night the Mets' magic number is down to 16.

And, bonus - last night's 10-8 win over the gnats mathematically eliminated the Atlanta Braves.

The funny thing is with Carlos Delgado enamouring the fans with a couple of homers a night to the point they've begun to chant MVP instead of douchebag, you'd almost forget there wasn't a soul outside the team who hadn't written his career off and yet boom! There he is, righting all the wrongs, playing like it was the 2006 Division Series all over again.

Or yeah when everyone was dreaming about this in Spring Training we were all talking about how some washed out reliever on the Nats was going to save our season by replacing The Hillbilly as our closer.

And look, after last night how many Mets have at least 100 RBIs this season? Three? Is that all? Because Houston are the only oter team in the majors with more than one? Of course it appears to have been done with smoke and mirrors for both Beltran and Wright and damned if Wright wasn't out there getting extra BP in to mooth out his swing before last night's game.

And all this fearmongering about the pen? Well, ok, we've been lucky of late and we're still not in the clear on that one yet but look, we've only had to see Heilman once so far in September - any coincidence?

Lastly, we can hope that the 0 for 15 slump was Reyes' last of the season. When he hits, the Mets win, simple. 58 games with at least 2 hits, 81 wins. Somewhere in there is the god particle, you do the maths.


Won't be here for next few days but the Mets will.
Good night and good luck.


Phillies Phail To Do The Job

Game 1

The Mets hitting impotence carried over from the opener, Pedro looked his age and Fernando Tatis badly misjudged a Greg Dobbs fly ball to right. 2 runs scored in 18 innnings earned the Mets a pair of losses to their arch rivals and saw their NL East lead shrink to a single game by Sunday night.

Yes, the pen threw 5 scoreless innings but with Jose Reyes hitting .150 in September and Wright, Beltran and Delgado a combined 2 for 12 it didn't much matter.

Game 2

Rare Mets appearance on British terrestrial telly sees Carlos Delgado solidify his MVP credentials by single-handedly pulling the Mets from their offensive catatonia and saving the Mets from a disasterous sweep.

The Mets are now officially back on track - The Phillies had the Mets on the ropes but couldn't finish them.

Sure there are muppets who insist the sky is falling down anyway but for now, I'm simplt satisfied tragedy was avoided.

The collapse happened once. It isn't n annual holiday.

And if The Hillbilly is done for the season, so what. Billy's record in the clutch is less than stellar anyway. The pen, as reviled as it's been this season, hasn't surrendered an earned run over the last week. 21 innings worth of shush. Phillies pen can't claim that.

Nor does anyone else have Santana, who certainly out-pitched the alleged ace of the Phillies.

It might be smoke and mirrors but this isn't 2007. The Mets have a better manager and a stronger team toughness bourne from a season of adversity.

Yes, it's worrisome that Reyes has 1 hit in his last 5 games and was 0 for 13 against Philly but maybe he just needs a night off. 606 at bats will do that to you. Then again, he only hit .205 last September.

But for now, with a 2 game lead and the Nats up next, I like our chances.



Ok, I don't really believe a single home loss to the Phillies last night is
necessarily a harbinger of doom.

Why can't I be Bretty Myers?

Brett Myers, after all, continues to defy logic with his recent spell
of dominant pitching (four starts, 4-0 with a 0.58 ERA with 35 strikeouts in
31 innings) and the Mets went down swinging time after time. Pelfrey
was almost as effective but a miraculous grab by Fat Boy at
first robbing Reyes of at least a certain double, as well as
Murph missing a game-tying homer by inches in the bottom of the 6th.

Even if he'd caught this, the Mets would still have lost 1-0.

Another few inches might have helped Ryan Church catch Gregg Dobb's
two-run shot in the bottom of the 7th. Church also had us all jumping up in
our seats in the bottom of the 9th but alas, he didn't hit the ball quite
hard enough and the game ended drearily, 3-0.

The Mets were impatient at the plate and the number of Ks evidenced that.
Is that from the pressure, artificial or otherwise not to repeat a September
collapse? Will we be more grateful if it is a team-wide choke job rather
than a crappy bullpen that sees a September swoon?

Stay tuned, kiddies. They'll have another chance to snuff these Phils again
this afternoon.

My bet is the Mets have shown all season they're made of stronger stuff than
another miserable collapse.


How Sweep It Is!

I admit, throwing three lefties against the lefty-eating Brewers had me worried.

But who knows, maybe they were Nat or Pirate lefties they'd been feeding on. Sure, they beat up on poor Niese but otherwise, they folded meekly in the face of our trio of lefties. The Faux Brewers don't look like playoff material, CC can't pitch every game and don't be surprised if they go on an extended losing streak that drops them from the wild card lead altogether.

What we do know is that for three games the Mets' disspiriting bullpen has t least temporarily righted itself: tonight Joe Smith proved that when used delicately, he can almost be competent, when he isn't tipping his pitches Duaner Sanchez is nearly fearsome and when spotted a 7 run lead, even Schoenweiss can close out a game. Amazing what an expanded roster can do for you.

Nobody's catching Church's Granny

Ryan Church's grand slam was all the Mets really needed, run-wise to see Oliver Perez get his 10th win of the season.

Perez was less than stellar - downright baffling at times, and nearly blew it by the 7th until the pen shut the door for good.

And next comethe Phillies - a chance to seal the NL East.

Mets win again, Pen is Revived

Two wins in a row on the road and we can make the following observations:

1. Niese is not ready for prime time just yet. First batter he faced homered - no crime there Santana and Pedro love the early gopher ball. But the subsequent meltdown in the 4th was more Annie than ace. In another season or two he could be another Pelf but as Jerry rightly noted:

"This situation that we're in is not a time to be grooming or looking at people for the years to come. We're in a pennant race, and we're going to put the best people out there - day-in and day-out - to start the game. If he performs well, obviously you give him another shot."

2. Bullpen appears, for the moment anyway, to have silenced their critics with 13 straight scoreless innings.

3. Milwaukee's bullpen, by contrast, has blown both games against the Mets.

4. Given the above, conceivably the Mets could breeze to the NLCS if the Brewers ended up being their first round playoff opponent. They aren't patient enough to win in the post season.

5. Why isn't Brian Stokes, who has surrendered only 2 runs in 16 innings of relief for the Mets, the closer? Not enough melodrama?

6. Umps in this series, getting in Beltran's way at home on Monday nearly injuring him and then in Ricky Week's way last night makes me wonder if they aren't more fit as circus clowns than umps.

7. Is Beltran finally backing up his Spring Training bravado now hitting .400 with 5 homers and 13 RBI sin the last 9 games?


Gagne gifts Mets a victory

It's the Mets who are supposed to have the handicapping pen but in the opener it was the Brewers whose pen blew the lead.

Unfortunately my keypad is fucked so I`m typing this via an on-screen keyboard which is as laborious as chiseling it into stone thus although I`ve got many wonderous things to say about last night`s coe from behind victory, I will keep this necessarily brief.

Go Mets.

Hopefully keyboard will be sorted soon.

From mutt to MVP in a few easy months