Monday, April 12, 2004

Games 4 through 6 - Mets
Will the Real Mets Pitching Staff Please Stand Up?

Mets 3, Expos 2 (11)
Expos 1, Mets 0
Mets 4, Expos 1
Record: 3-3

In three games against the Braves, the Mets were outscored by a count of 30-25. In three versus the Montreal Expos, they outscored Montreal 7-4. I haven't seen such erratic, bipolar behavior since a couple of my girlfriends in college. Youngster Tyler Yates looked better than sharp in his debut, Al Leiter threw five shutout frames to shake off that noggin knocker, and Tommy Glavine built on his Opening Night performance to go seven without an unearned run crossing. The pen had a couple of missteps (Mike Stanton on Friday, Jae Seo on Saturday to cost them the game) but held strong the majority of the time. Right about when Patrick was nearing the panic button a la Red Sox Nation, the Mets demonstrated that just when you have them pegged, they'll go out and make you look a fool. Repeat after me: The only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing at all . . .

So San Juan wasn't the disaster it was last spring (dropping four straight to incite me to multiple, tired uses of the word "crappy" in my recaps). It did wreak a little havoc on the Mets' health, though. Mike Piazza looked a little green at 1B when he got mowed over by Peter Bergeron on a bunt play gone all wrong, and he's probably still a little banged up -- as well as shell-shocked. Oh, well, it couldn't have been as bad as a crash at the plate. Worse news came from Cliff Floyd, who strained his quad as he was streaking (we're going streaking in the quad!) down the first-base line. Floyd, who homered Friday night, went on the DL today. His replacement, Eric Valent, hit a key home run yesterday, his first in the bigs. Cliff Floyd is a trooper who toughed it out for most of the season last year before succumbing to a slew of injuries. His last few games of 2003 had him limping to the outfield like the fife player in that "Spirit of '76" painting. He's definitely down in the dumps after getting nicked so early in this campaign, but here's hoping his return to active duty is a speedy one.

Speaking of San Juan, the key players in a group still bent on bringing the Expos to Washington, DC (including the current mayor, Anthony Williams) offered up a deal which MLB cannot reasonably ignore. A 100% publicly-funded stadium proposal beats any other offers on the table, and takes one more excuse away from Bud Selig & Co. You'd think eventually they would have to concede that they are afraid of Peter Angelos. (And why wouldn't they be afraid? I saw three former asbestos execs panhandling outside Camden Yards last week.) But in the mixed-up, muddled-up alternate universe that is the Office of Major League Baseball, nothing makes any sense. Up is down, wrong is right, shady is acceptable, and what makes dollars for a few always beats what makes sense for everyone else. Supertramp really did a number on Bud Selig, as he still believes "logical" is a bad thing.

Home Opener for the Mets today, weather permitting. The opponent is the Braves: more T-ball scores in store?

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