Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cutting Crew

[A weak second choice to a better title snagged by MetsGrrl, dang it]

Games 31 through 33 - Mets

Giants 9, Mets 4
Mets 4, Giants 1

Mets 5, Giants 3

Record: 21-12

Normally I have to lump my pithy commentary on Mets games into bunches when I miss them for good reasons like three-day benders in far-off locales; I can't even blame late start times and afternooners for my tardiness this week, however. Sad to say, I caught two 10:10 starts earlier this week and a 3:30 contest yesterday (note to Rob: tendering your resignation apparently leads to much more baseball watching), yet these will be my first thoughts aired on a noteworthy series. I guess it could be argued that I spent my recent blogtime on the label-mandated compilation release below, and that that post needed some time to breathe before being shoved downward by decidedly inferior new material.

It could also be argued that I'm lazy.

Anyway, the trio of games was more eventful than the scores might indicate, but all of the play took a back seat as far as storyline goes. The real "news" was that the New York Mets roster has decided to shave its collective head. 25 grown-up adolescents on a road trip to Cali can have predictably bizarre results. Deep analytical excavation into the shearing by journalistic counterparts has discovered a "bonding tool," "mojo reversal," "change of fortune," and other keen insights. (Although, like Crash said, if you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid or because you're not getting laid or because you wore red silk panties, then you are.) My reaction to the head-shavings: Damn, I miss college.

(If the Red Sox shave their heads, of course, the Boston media will make parallels to Samson and the Ku Klux Klan, then blame the stunt for every single thing that goes wrong for the next month; don't do it, boys.)

Game 1 of the series saw Ollie Perez throw four good innings. I wish we could leave it at that, but the 9-spot the Giants posted in the 5th probably warrants mentioning. Three of the nine runs were earned: first, Damion Easley proved once again that, amazingly, we miss Lt. Castillo's glove more than his bat; soon thereafter, Shawn Green was unable to come up with a relatively routine fly, and I'm unable to come up with a real reason why. Three home runs in the inning made those errors that much more costly. That Yadier Molina's brother hit two of them is just a punt in the groin for anyone unfortunately paying attention.

After it went to 9-1, I spent less time watching the Mets crawl back towards a respectable score and more time flipping over to the Independent Film Channel to watch The Bridge, a documentary on the massive number of suicides via leaping off the Golden Gate Bridge. The coincidence of the setting and the symmetry of the nosedive the New York nine had just taken seemed ripe for metaphor . . . until I watched a while and actually saw people plummeting to their deaths, putting something of a damper on my jokes. At any rate, it was significantly more compelling than the 9-4 loss. And more depressing.

Game 2 was all about the baldness, and I was buying into it when the first three Mets hitters doubled. The 3-0 lead claimed in that frame held up, thanks to then-hirsute Tom Glavine. Tommy parted with his graying locks soon thereafter; the only remaining Met not to go the route of the clippers will be Jose Reyes (once Aaron Sele has his family portrait taken). It's not exactly spelling it "teim" to hold out, but Jose should avoid any inferred divisiveness and part with the follicles just the same.

The final game of the set saw an early lead squandered and recaptured, and the late-inning tandem of rallying play and blind luck might lend itself to crediting the haircuts once again . . . except for one thing. When Armando Benitez implodes in the ninth inning, luck and fate have zero to do with it. For those who weren't around for The Benitez Years (or those for whom hypnosis and medication have successfully blocked out those memories), just check out his mention in the post a couple below for a peek into the angst. Despite some success against his old club in recent years, I felt the Mets had it locked up when he took the hill yesterday.

In truth, Armando had a tiny bit of help blowing this one. Reyes hit a floof that somehow fell in 'twixt RF and 2B. Between the sun, the haircuts, and bad vibe of having Benitez on the mound, it was just too much to handle. That loaded the bases for Dee-Dub, who's been coming around around lately (thereby making Mets Township giddy). He doubled to left on a 3-1 count to plate two and put the Metmen just a Wagner 1-2-3 inning away from taking the series.

Full circle. I'm now elated to see Benitez enter a ballgame. He's still the same old guy; he seems to start every batter with a ball a foot above or wide of the strike zone. In many cases, he goes 2-0 before the batter can ever settle into the box. Every Met batsmen up to and including Wright took a ball to start the at-bat, while the final two outs after D-W began with quick strikes. As always, Armando throws hard, but his balls are obvious and when behind in the count, hard often means straight and lends itself to getting taken deep. (God bless the juvenilia that passes for mature comment here.)

Off-day today as the Mets travel back home to host the Milwaukee Brewers, who have the . . . wow, it's true . . . best record in baseball. Time for the Mets to separate themselves from the middling chaff (read: small-market payrolls) that the Brew Crew has been pounding so far this spring. Doing so with Jorge Sosa, Mike Pelfrey, and Oliver Perez, though, might require some more home barber work.


rob said...

metsgrrl digging the hold steady and the mats. niiiiice.

colt said...

You guys seen the game, unbelievable, Mets is my best team in the MLB. I wish I could go to watch all their games but ticket prices this season are getting very pricy. Brokers made the game hard to attend. Well talking about Brokers. I found a new web site where you can compare New York Mets ticket brokers, the site is Well I hope this will be helpful for you guys. Go Go Mets. Keep me updated Great blog!!!