Monday, June 07, 2004

Games 54 through 56 - Mets
W at B III

Marlins 5, Mets 1
Marlins 7, Mets 6
Mets 5, Marlins 2
Record: 28-28

A mostly aggravating weekend of Met-following was capped off with some mostly redemptive work by Al "Heart" Leiter and Mike "Soul" Piazza. Leiter threw five shutout innings, permitting just two dinky bunt singles (one swinging) and a batch of walks. Meanwhile, Piazza hit his third tater in two games and drove in four of the five. Nice to have him in Sunday games, isn't it? Plus, Jason Phillips' rotten season at the plate is much more palatable for a catcher than at 1B. Anyway, the Mets were able to salvage a split in Game 4 of the series and prevent a second consecutive baseball equivalent to Weekend at Bernie's. (Actually, I have a good friend who would consider that utter sacrilege, so I'll say Weekend at Bernie's II.)

Friday night's game made the case for playing baseball on paper, as the not-terribly-bold prediction that the Marlins had Steve "Tied to the" Trachsel figured out and the Mets didn't have Carl Pavano figured out held true. This was like watching Weekend at Bernie's II -- the same annoying story as the first time around, re-told only slightly differently with the same cast, the same lack of humor, and the same outcome. Only the setting was different. Yikes, that's painful, now that I think about it.

Saturday reinforced the Met clubhouse rule that rookies get hazed and pay their dues, not with shaving cream pies or anything but with veteran bullpenners blowing a nice performance by the rookie arm. Matt Ginter pitched well again, only to have each and every one of the five relievers do damage. In fact, when John Franco and Dan Wheeler added to the yuks by surrendering an extra run in the top of the ninth, that allowed Mike Piazza's second homer of the game in the bottom of the inning to be completely wasted. Much like myself by the time this one ended. Symmetry is neat.

The bullpen reeked all weekend, with Franco getting touched in the bad way for one on Friday and Braden "Slip Slidin' Away" Looper allowing a pair in "Garbage Time But Almost Not" yesterday. Buckle up, boys. The game is still nine innings long, though there are rumors that Bud Selig wants to add to his laundry list of legacies by reducing games to seven innings.

Interleague play begins this week. At first glance, you'd have to say the Mets have a soft IL schedule. Twins, Royals, Indians, Tigers. I hereby predict a sub-.500 record over those games for the Mets, simply because I just said that. And so here ends the Era of Positivity II. I didn't like borrowing the label from Rob, anyway. I never really liked borrowing anything from him, what with his considering hygiene a "hobby."

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