Goofy Uniforms And Green Shoots, Mets Top Giants

As with nearly every Met victory, the temptation to giddily proclaim a new beginning is tempered by the reality of the season and the roster.

Last night the Mets showed up in strange throw-back uniforms, with a starting pitcher recently converted from the bullpen and sent fans home with a pleasing and fully unexpected 3-0 victory.

In only his second start of the season, Bobby Parnell outdueled former Met target, Barry Zito needing only Angel Pagan's lead-off homer in the bottom of the 1st inning to earn his first win as a starter.

Parnell looked promising - with a high 90s four and two-seam fastball with a hard slider he baffled the Giants for 6 shutout innings allowing only three singles. Of course, the Giants' recent run shortage might have been attributable - they have now scored only 21 runs over their last 8 games and rank ahead of only the Mets in the least amount of homers hit this season.

But a victory is a victory, meaningless as it may be to start off a meaningless 11 game home stand against one of the main competitors for the NL Wild Card slot the Mets have no claim on.

Nothing more than Pagan's homer was needed which was a good thing because other than an RBI double by Francoeur caused by CF Aaron Rowland's misjudgement of a fly ball (Rowland, 3 K's and a misplayed RBI double, whattaya night...), the Mets only had 5 hits all game.

Pagan's homer was only their 70th of the season, still shy of Barry Bonds' one record for homers in a single season by one player. Steroids or not, how pathetic is that?

And without much run support the bullpen needed to do the sterling job that it did; three scoreless innings and only one hit allowed by a combination of the continuously effective Brian Stokes, the one lefty out from Pedro Feliciano and FINALLY a decent outing from Frankie Boy.

surprising the Mets haven't signed this ace yet

Anderson Hernandez who went 3 for 28 as a Gnat against the Mets this season, is hitting .333 with a .467 OBA in his Mets return. He's beginning to grow on me already, looking a better prepared to hit MLB pitching this season, a solid back up to Castillo (or a replacement shortstop should the Mets be able to unload Reyes this off season...) Castillo looked like he was gimping around the bases last night in scoring a pair of runs but so far, no word if he's injured, playing hurt or just generally gimpy-looking. He always has had that half pimp-walk gait but maybe the ankle injury is still painful.

They say, inexplicably and probably lying, that Carlos Beltran is making very encouraging progress and due back soon but really, why? The Mets are out of it and maybe resting him the rest of the season will give his knees plenty of time to recover. The Mets are 9 1/2 games out of the wild card and 12 behind the Phillies. With no sign of Delgado and Reyes, the inclusion of Beltran would help but not enough to merit not resting his knees.

Meanwhile, Billy Wagner continues his free agent audition for 2010. It's very difficult not to think about having the Hillbilly and Frankie Boy as a 1-2 set-up combination next season but enjoy it while you can this season because it's probably not going to happen for several valid reasons. (unless Wagner was satisfied as a set-up guy, for one...)

Expect a total of ZERO runs in support of Johan's start today.


Luis said...

A Hern is a decent backup inf, but nothing more. Much like Pagan is a decent CF, 4th OF. If the Mets think these guys can start on a pennant comtender then the next few years will be a carbon copy of this year. As for Castillo, while I am no fan of the player, I have become a great fan of the man. HE busted ass to prove that he was better than last year and has played hard all year. He faced the music after the pop up drop, and has done as well as he can. It is not his fault taht the Mets cannot see that he needs to be platooned(as a RH hitter, he can be productive, as a LH hitter,he has no power at all and cannot drive in anyone from 2nd). Watching him play this year, he is in obvious pain, yet never whines. In a Whitey Herzog/Earl Weaver world, he would be platooned and have a longer career and be more productive. Alas, in the modern NY Mets world-that is not to be.

jdon said...

If the mets had a cheap, left-handed hitting second baseman, that would be a good idea, but they will not spend a ton on 2B. I too must say that I respect Luis' demeanor this year, although I still wished we had never signed him. Did not see a whole lot of the game (watching Mark Sanchez), and the Giant offense stinks, but I did notice Parnell showing some real touch on his breaking ball. He also was employing a cutter of some type. He has a live arm. Time will tell. I saw a few brains last night, that was good. How about we get this Thole kid up for a look? Why wait til September, they are not in the minor league playoffs. We must have some duds on our 40 man, like Figueroa, if it is necessary to add him. Of course the mets do not want to start Thole's clock, but it is essential we see him. We have no full time catcher for next year and it does not sound like we will be spending any money. They say he may have holes defensively. I have news for you: B. Shneider had holes and he got 5 mill for his defense. I will live with it.

Jaap said...

Hell, Luis, you could say that about pretty much all the Mets starters outside of Wright and Francoeur. They'd all make decent backups, bench players but don't really cut it as starters. You're right about Castillo - he's done what he said he would do this offseason and he's clearly playing hurt. Only one season left on that contract though...might not be as bad a move as most of us had envisioned by the end of it.

Jaap said...

much harder to get the NFL over here than baseball jdon otherwise I'd have been watching Sanchez as well (well, NFL pre season games anyway, once the regular season starts we get everything else as in the States. Good job though, I read - I'm looking forward to this season, especially on the heels of the Mets season

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