Mets Win Again, But Only Just

You might have expected a loss out of this. Bone head fielding in the 8th and 9th innings by Castillo and Delgado but miraculously, the Mets escaped.

So many chances.

Is Kawakami the new Santa? Nope, Daniel Murphy swings at ball four with the bases loaded and two outs in the second to end what should have been a game-breaking rally early on.

In the 3rd, a slow curve David Wright laces for an RBI double. Meaning Wright, for the second night in a row has a base hit to drive in a run when a man was in scoring position. And it was Wright who bristled most publically at Omar Minaya's characterisations of team character. Connecting flight to Clutchville, Mr Wright?

In the 3rd, the Braves run themselves out of an early rally on a good play following a rubbish bunt by Livan Hernandez. When Livvy gives up a single right after that it turns out a run was saved.

If the Mets had batting averages with RISP like the Braves do they'd be undefeated so far this season.

5th starter puts most of the rest of the rotation to shame. Are you watching, Ollie?

Nonetheless, in that same 3rd, Livvy has worked himself into a bases loaded situation with Laaaaarrrrry to the plate.

Double play line-out. More base running blunders costs the Braves. You see? THIS is how to enjoy the Mets, taking greater and greater schadenfreude from the blunders of the opponents! Now if only it would happen more frequently than those committed by the Mets...

In the 4th we can play a little game. Two men on, one out, meat of the order to the plate. Will the Mets take the opportunity to increase their lead or will their will slowly funnel down the drain? Delgado gives us a good idea with two horrific swings on two consecutive changeups to strike out. Still, Wright to follow, all sorts of disasters are possible.

Just the usual, Wright strike three with the bat on his shoulders, end of rally. Looks like the good old days never left. And when he's up again in the 7th, nobody on, one out, nothing matters, of course he gets a base hit. Pressure's off. Gak!

Livan rolling through the innings inducing what seems like inning-ending double play after inning-ending double play to keep the Mets' slim lead.

This is not the usual way to go about it for the Mets. Yes, the early two run lead but by now, most Met starters other than Johan have had their period of inexplicable wildness allowing the opponents to claw the lead back. By now it should be 4-2, Braves ahead, if we were following the normal pattern but instead the Braves run themselves out of innings or ground into double plays.

But, by the 7th, Livan is tiring, two men on, one out, he's pulled, logically, to let the bullpen do their stuff. Amazing how much better the Number 5 starter performs than the rest of the rotation. Sad, really.

Bobby Parnell doesn't care. He gives up a run-scoring single after blowing away Greg Norton. 2-1. The Braves have an NL-best 59 runs scored with two outs. But he's left in there to try and redeem himself. And Parnell gets it done.

Now logically, after coming so perilously close to losing your lead, seeing it cut to a mere run, even with your gob-smacking bullpen to close it out, you're going to want some insurance runs. Two or three runs here would break the spirit of your opponent. The Killer Instinct. The one the Mets don't have.

Mets go down, 1-2-3. Puppies. Whimpering little puppies.

And in the bottom of the 8th? Luis Castillo, jackal, boots an easy ground ball opening the door for a Braves rally. Putz gets his gut check. Is he easily distracted? Coughing up an easy out like that is enough to spoil anyone's appetite but Putz gets Garrett Anderson to pop out. Brilliant job by Putz.

And on the heels of that brilliant outing from Putz, it is the Braves that gak and choke. Costly errors bloat the Mets lead to a demoralising three runs in the 9th.

But wait! Just when you thought it was safe to breath, the Mets holding on to a nice three run lead, two outs in the 9th, your closer to close it out for you and what happens? Delgado lets a game-ending pop out pop out of his glove!

Pssst, Jerry. You did well getting these Mets to practice hitting to opposite fields but how about some extra training on catching a simply bloody pop up?! How many times have we seen this? The Murphy and Sheffield in left field have done it two or three times between them. Delgado nearly blows the game because he can't close his glove in time. Is this difficult stuff? Basic baseball?! Jaysus, did they give you that cortisone shot in your hand?

And how about K-Rod's Armando Benitez impression? Did you watch him continue to feed that Brave scrub fastball after fastball when it was clear the scrub had his number? As if K-Rod's "manhood" was being challenged? Jaysus, remember how Armando used to go mad with that bloody fastball, challenging and challenging until the batter got their measure and bam! Out of the park.

But K-Rod's breaking ball, to be fair, wasn't going for strikes. He doesn't have much choice. Heat, heat, heat.

So it all comes down to K-Rod versus Chipper, clinging to a one run lead. THE moment of the game.


Chalk up another notch in the belt of internal fortitude for the Mets. This was a game they should have won easily and then, because of gaffes left and right and the closer's inefficiency, it could well have been yet another heart-breaking loss.

Instead, the Mets sweep the two game series at Turner Field and prepare to host the Phillies with K-Rod probably cashed for at least a game after that inefficient but effective save.


I.M. Forme said...

the mets just ran into a team that refuses to win more than they do.

just hope they can send the offense on the field tomorrow so we don't have to watch Johan labor and suffer through each of his starts.

Jaap said...

Well with Chan Ho (what did you call him, Parking Lot?) pitching, the Mets ought to be able to outscore the Phillies. Of course, if we don't blow it out early and with K-Rod likely knackered from last night, anything can happen in those late innings.

jdon said...

The Braves offense is an embarassment even to a Mets fan. We all know Chipper will be going down soon. McCann cannot see. Francoeur is a bust. I keep getting Omar Infante and Martin Prado confused. Our second most major nemesis, Kelly Johnson, has been thankfully relegated to the bench. We better win two down there, Del Ohno notwithstanding. I can;t even remember who started for them Monday night.

jdon said...

Thank you, Jaap.

jdon said...

Oh wait, he pitches for the Phillies. Who did start Monday's game? I am having a senior moment

Jaap said...

Vasquez - sailed through til that big inning...