Monday, August 15, 2005

Kicked While You're Down

Games 115 through 117 - Mets

Dodgers 7, Mets 6
Mets 5, Dodgers 1
Dodgers 2, Mets 1
Record: 59-58

Man, what a tough weekend. This series held a fair amount of potential for the upturn to the Mets' season, but it played out as a definitive acceleration to the downward momentum that may quickly grow into a landslide. Late leads on Friday and Sunday, had they been held, would have been greater than one win each for different reasons. A win Friday night -- in the face of Thursday's outfield wreckage and the cloud of gloom it created over the Township -- would have felt like some sort of heroic underdog victory. A dominating Pedro Martinez performance, sustained beyond the 7.1 innings it lasted, that led the team to a series win would have extended the fleeting hope in this season. And it's an enormous if, but if Pedro had managed to notch that no-no, oh, my what that would have meant to the Mets.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. On Friday, Victor Zambrano tired, Aaron Heilman offered little relief, and Braden Looper gave up a prospect's first major league home run in the 10th. Yesterday, Pedro made two mistakes, and that was that. Another series loss, and more disappointment amid an already difficult time for the team.

Kick in the Gut: My associate here at MLC and I were watching the game late yesterday afternoon (we watched most of in super-fast TiVo redux, slowing it down for the painful end). As Pedro's tremendous outing stretched into the eighth inning, I turned to Rob and said, "I just know it's going to be one of those lose-the-no-no/lose-the-game scenarios, dammit." And then it happened. With the Mets, there's such a fine line between pessimism and realism.

Punt in the Groin: After Gerald Williams alligator-armed the wall on the no-hitter-eliminating triple, Rob was quick to point out that Beltran makes that catch without a great deal of trouble. At least the old Beltran would; who knows how timid that outfield (Williams included) is playing these days?

Today provides a much-needed day off; tomorrow begins a brief, six-game homestand against the Pirates and Nationals, two teams that, going into last week, wouldn't have presented much of a problem. If there's any juice left in this season, we're going to need evidence of it between now and next Sunday. If the Mets limp through this week before another seven games out west, it's denouement time in Metropolitan City, and I'm applying for my license to resume full-fledged mockery despite the unfortunate episode of last week.

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