Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Game 63 - Mets
I Am Sgt. Shultz

Mets 7, Indians 2
Record: 30-33

Kaz boots a grounder: no, he helped turn a DP
Cameron swings through strike three: no, he singled in a pair in the 1st
The Mets lose, 5-4: no, they won, 7-2
Steve Trachsel surrenders a tater to Matt Lawton: no, he gave up no HR's, though Lawton did go 3-for-4
The bullpen dumps a vat of OPEC output on the fire: no, Franco/Weathers/Looper allowed no runs at all in 2 1/3

Why do I bother? The only thing I got right was that Alex Escobar didn't record a hit, and on that one I cheated -- I had read he was shipped to AAA Buffalo a couple of days ago.

Am I actually a Red Sox fan? Over on their side of the wall, Gabe Kapler made an error, Jason Varitek fanned, Bronson Arroyo gave up the tater, and Alan Embree faltered in relief as the Sox lost, 6-3, very close to the 5-4 prediction. Must have been crossed brainwaves or something.

What I obviously didn't know was that Mets hitting coach Denny Walling was being canned before the game. Don Baylor stepped into the role and clearly scared the crap out of the guys, as the Mets responded wth 14 hits and seven runs.

I do hope yesterday's posting didn't induce the firing of Walling. While I briefly traced the Mets' hitting slump, I didn't mean to indicate it was worthy of the removal of the hitting coach. Maybe it was, though I'm never sure how much influence that role has over the collective offensive output of a team. In some cases, firing the batting coach is like taking Pepto-Bismol for jock itch. Maybe you feel better just doing something at all, but it's probably not a cause/effect action. Then again, as Crash Davis pointed out, if you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you are. And if you believe you're hitting the ball well because of the new hitting coach, then you are. I just feel especially bad for Denny Walling. When I wrote that epic (droning) piece last week on that NLCS Phils-Astros game, Walling was a key factor in it, yet he received nary a mention -- not even when I talked about links to the current Mets. My apologies and condolences to the freshly liberated Mr. Walling.

The Mets did what they were supposed to do with Jason "Shufflin' Off to Buffalo" Davis. 7 runs, 11 hits, 3 walks in 4-plus innings of work. Apparently they decided not to assist yet another struggling MLB player or team. When your charity work gets people fired, it's time to start helping yourselves.

Keeping up with the Joneses: having seen NL Easters the Florida Marlins pinch-hit star pitcher Dontrelle Willis on a handful of occasions, Art Howe penciled in Tom Glavine to pinch-hit last night. Glavine grounded out to short. The Mets were slightly short-handed, having lost Vance Wilson in the 4th to a hamstring strain and having Shane Spencer still day-to-day with a shoulder problem. Interesting decision, but nice to have a decent hitter in your rotation for just such a situation.

Jose "Hamstringing Us Along" Reyes is headed to AA. But really, given the way the Mets' season has gone, aren't we all?

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