On the bright side, the Mets won three of four on the first leg of their West Coast trip and showed signs of being an offensive juggernaut.
Pelf balked his way to defeat
On the not-so-bright side, the winning streak came to a halt, Big Pelf made a fool of himself with a bizarre psychological National television audience meltdown, balking three times, once nearly tripping over and falling down and being removed for a pinch hitter finally, mercifully, after only 78 pitches in the 7th inning.
You could say that Matt Cain, one of the better pitchers on the Giants staff and now 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA, was simply a superior pitcher waiting to cool the Mets off.
The haunted look in David Wright's eyes returned...
But that wouldn't fully explain why the Mets hit into double plays twice with the bases loaded, first time in the 2nd inning when Cain walked three batters in the inning to load them with none out.
In essence, that was the Mets big chance to break the game open early and finish their sweep of the Giants but instead, Jeremy Reed grounded into a double play and Big Pelf grounded out to end the inning.
Nor does it explain why the Giants bullpen, humiliated for the last three days, were suddenly capable of throwing three shut out inning and preserving the slim two run margin.
Nor does it fully explain why the only recently healthy Angel Pagan pinch hit for The Magical Murph with the bases loaded in the 8th. "I don't think Murphy is swinging quite as well right now," Jerry tried to explain. No shit Jerry, he's made an idiot of himself in the outfield and no looks to have been benched for a 40 year old only to get sporadic starts. Of course he isn't swinging well, he isn't playing enough and his confidence is getting punctured at every turn. Pinch hitting for him in a key situation isn't going to help him either.
The temptation to raise one's hands up to the heavens and moan about a lack of clutch hitting is somewhat tempered by the previous three games when the Mets were exploding runs out of every orifice.
A four game sweep of the Giants in San Francisco is a tall order and even though Pelf made a fool of himself on national television he still pitched decently enough to win most games. Just not yesterday. Yesterday was not the Mets' day.
Not only did they lose but Alex Cora, the successor to Jose Reyes, still suffering from the mysterious "calf" ailment, jammed his thumb sliding into second base leaving Jerry Manual to move Fernando Tatis to shortstop for the first time since 1998 and Jeremy Reed to first base.
After stealing stealing stealing for three games, the Go Go Mets were held without a steal and their lone attempt, by David Wright in the 7th, ended up in an out.
So really just a rubbish game all around.
Delgado looks like he might have to be put down like a horse with that dodgy hip, Reyes'
Now Cora, who batted lead off yesterday instead of Castillo (why? why ruin a good thing? if it ain't broke don't fix it) isn't available, The Magical Murph's confidence is shattered after a prolonged absence, Sheffield looked his age yesterday at the plate and about the only good thing you could say was despite these defensive musical chairs the Mets managed to get through a game without making any stupid errors - any errors at all in fact which is, for these fielding buffoons, nothing short of a miracle.
So now, after the inevitable blip following a near-sweep, the Mets move down to LA and give Nats reject Tim Redding his first start of the season. Redding of course, was the "insurance" in case Omar failed to sign either Ollie Perez or Randy Wolf during the offseason.
We all know Ollie has a "knee injury", is psychologically unstable and pitches as if he were just learning case declinations in Latin instead of just throwing a bloody baseball.
But Wolf? Why he's starting for the Dodgers on Monday, of course. And unlike Ollie, Wolf actually looks like a pitcher. He has given up just 10 hits and three runs over his last three starts and 17 1/3 innings.
So brace yourselves for another of those ironic little twists of the knife as the feel good vibe fades further.