Thursday, April 20, 2006


Game 14 - Mets

Braves 2, Mets 1
Record: 10-4

Nothing happens to the Mets that isn't exploded to the extreme. Hell, nothing happens in New York that isn't reported 100 different ways, all of them in a different hyperbole. Losing two of three to the Braves . . . well, it sucked, don't get me wrong, but there is no long-term analysis to make over losing a single series.

Unable to get to MLC headquarters until now, I've had a range of thoughts rational and emotional about the first bump in the Mets' long road. The overarching sentiment I've felt, though, is that none of the thoughts are worth going berserk over, so I won't. I'll only make one quick point -- game's on in a few minutes.

I'm not fretting in the least over the dearth of hitting; it's been hideous to witness, but you have to remember one thing. You may tell yourself: This is not my beautiful team. These are not my beautiful Mets. Endy Chavez, Jose Valentin, Chris Woodward, and Ramon Castro do not start for my team. When they do, this will be an aberration from the expectation, and -- so long as they will not be needed on a semi-permanent basis -- little can be judged from the negative results at this time. Fear not, Township, and godspeed, Carlos, Clifford, and Anderson.

Beltran and Floyd should be back soon, but Anderson Hernandez could be gone a while, hitting the DL with a bulging (enunciate -- I've already bungled it once in mixed company) disc. We're in luck, though, because boos-hound Kaz Matsui is getting healthy at just the right time. What fortune! On the plus side . . . uh, still taking suggestions for the plus side.

You'll note I said that "little can be judged" from the past two games of hitting gone AWOL rather than "nothing can be judged." Here's what we know: the New York Mets have a startling lack of depth. Woodward, Chavez, Valentin, Castro, Franco -- these fellows range from mildly serviceable to woefully inadequate, and based on the AAA Tides' face plant into the mud out of the gate, the Mets' aren't waiting to unveil something spectacular. Ask most Mets fans' about the state of the farm, and you'll get "Lastings Milledge . . . Mike Pelfrey . . . and, um . . . a lot of dreck." It's not that bad, in truth, but if the Mets expect to make a run, they are going to have to be able to perform from time to time without their starters. Take a quick gander at how the Sox did when Coco and Trot (for the unfamiliar, they're baseball players, not entrants in a dog show) went down. That is how teams with a postseason future handle the adversity of injured regulars.

. . . As opposed to the Keystone Mets of the past two days. David Wright made three (3) errors yesterday, two in one inning that handed the Braves a run. Of course, we still love and admire Dee-Dub with the kind of affection real men do not speak of . . . so let's move on.

Meanwhile, the random flailing, ahem, the hitting, as it were, was rather light. And we all know the cure-all for that is a trip to Petco Park against Jake Peavy. Well, getting away from Shea and the rumors of the impending apocalypse may well be good for these guys. They'll get to see (and steal bases off) Mike Piazza, and every series is a new series. Here we go.

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