Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Games 99 through 106 - Mets

Mets 8, Pirates 4
Mets 6, Pirates 3
Pirates 8, Mets 4
Nationals 6, Mets 2
Mets 3-5, Nationals 1-6
Mets 5, Nationals 0
Brewers 4, Mets 2 (13 inn.)
Record: 59-47

It's been an abysmal fortnight for blogging for your heroes at Misery Loves Company, but a damn good time, let us assure you. There's about six days worth of hangover in the past two weeks, which tells you something about the back-to-back long weekends. Lots of gamesmanship, not much sportsmanship, and enough cold lager to turn a battleship around.

We come to you live from Miller Park, appropriately enough -- not literally, but the magic of satellite television has us going pitch by pitch as Tom Glavine makes his bid to be the latest, and perchance the last, 300-game winner in the major leagues. Game on. I'll do what I can to fill in the gaps of the last week and cover the trade "deadline" (as accurate as the "second half") as we go on. In truth, it'll be all I can do to stay on topic. The fog from FlynnFest 2007 in Bethesda, MD is just now lifting. Stay tuned.

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Crap. The daggone Milwaukee booth is calling the game on Extra Innings. If only Uecker could take the telecast tonight instead of radio.

Not exactly ominous for either a milestone win for a Met or an enjoyable evening for a Met fan. They led off with the tone-setter that this homestand was big because the Brewers were blowing their lead on the Cubs. Oh, and something about 300 somethings or something. Crap.

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Facing Jeff Suppan. Vague recollections of wishing him drawn, quartered, and socked in the nuts last October. Off-season hypnotic therapy wearing thin...

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New Met Luis Castillo batting second. I'll have more to say about him, but before he takes his first swing for our guys, let me just say that I'm not a fan. He hits for average. Power, speed, range at second are either diminishing rapidly or were never there. But I was very wrong about Oliver Perez last year, so let's have a look-see before we naysay too much.

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One frame gone without much to report. Suppan once again seems rather Rubik's-like to the Mets, and TG is throwing too many pitches early. Color me unsurprised. Time for another beer. Color my wife unsurprised.

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The spotlight on Glavine was sponsored by the Piggly Wiggly, now there's an ad that says "Tater Talk" with a head chef named Jerry Garcia. God bless the Midwest.

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Walking Tony Graffanino to get to the pitcher is like going commando in a mild acquaintance's borrowed burlap britches when you've got a drawer full of skivvies. You didn't need to do it, and you may well get what's coming to you.

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Glavine evades any damage, however (it helped that Suppan bunted foul with a pair of strikes), and we're scoreless after three. Onward we go, Castillo leading off.

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And Castillo blasts one to the on-deck circle for out number one. Sweet.

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Who's the black private dick who's a sex machine with all the chicks? Shaft!
Who's the only guy that's gotten on through twelve batters for the Mets -- and done it twice -- and just went first-to-third on a wild pickoff attempt that culminated with a head-first slide? [sigh] Wright!

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Mr. Green . . . with the very slow bat . . . in the conservatory. Three outs.

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Walks will always always always cost you, but what am I telling Tom Glavine that for? He's issued close to 1,500 free passes in his career, and every one of them cost him. Well, almost. A double and a groundout after the walk give the Brewers the lead.

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Here's what constitutes a "great at-bat for Kevin Mench," according to the announcers:
Ball 1
Ball 2
Ball 3
Strike 1 (looking)
Ball 4

Really?

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Home plate ump Brian Gorman is squeezing Glavine just a tad -- make no mistake, when Glavine was a Brave I'd have applauded it. He did miss a couple of calls on earlier pitches, now TG and Castro make grimaces about a ball that looked fairly outside. Gorman gets angry -- not the most fearsome Gorman ever to get mad at a Brewers game, but not what we need. As Piazza would say, "Just play baseball."

Oh, and if you want to see a very silly cartoon that mentions Gorman Thomas, go here.

1-0, bottom 5.

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Teege settles down for a 1-2-3 inning, culminating with a swinging strikeout by Corey Hart. It was like Hart was wearing . . . oh, I just can't. The guy could make the Hall of Fame, and I'd still think of the Canadian rocker; a little like that Browns wide receiver Michael Jackson, it's just hard to make a name for yourself with that name. (He did make a nice charging dive earlier -- he never surrendered.)

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Might as well take a second to mention the other deals in the division. The Phils got Kyle Lohse and Tadahito Iguchi; I like the latter guy a lot better than the former, though I'm not sure where he goes when Utley returns. Meanwhile Teixeira to the Braves is big-time trouble for those of us in Metville, make no mistake. That's a huge acquisition, and we can only hope for an Alomarian plummet down the stairs, though the manhole, and into the sewer. Meanwhile Octavio Dotel seems to have impressed people once again, but I remember the former Met prospect as a guy who, when it's most on the line, crumbles like a . . . crumb cake. Benitezese, if you will. And yes, clinically speaking, I am projecting my own horrific memories in a very obvious way right now. Somebody, somehow, has got to pay.

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Reyes doubles, Castillo bunts him over, and Dee-Dub comes through once again, tying the game with a chopper over the drawn-in infield. Nice.

Delgado singles to left, Wright makes it to third (as if trying to single-handedly carry Tom Glavine to 300), and Alou sac flies him in. 2-1. Nicer.

I was just wavering between "Mr. Green . . . with the creaky swing . . . in the conservatory" and "There's a rumor making its way through the Township that Shawn Green's bats are actually emblazoned with 'Lousiville Tapper'" when he belted one to right-center. Alas, though Delgado's batting average has quietly crept northward, so have his time trials. Gunned at the plate on a ball that missed the cutoff. Ugh.

2-1, though. So you're sayin' there's a chance.

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Well, shut my mouth. Shawn Green just dove headlong into the side of the stands to make a terrific catch -- on a ball that, if the ball landed fair, would've been at least a game-tying hit if it'd dropped. He might not know where the hell he is right now, but that there is some guts.

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Tom Glavine lines a 2-2 pitch to third that gets knocked down and thrown awry -- first and second, one out. A nice piece of hitting by any standards.

Then Reyes sends the first pitch to centerfield, and here's part of why we love this kid. He gets to first to load the bases, and the first thing he does is break a huge grin, point at Ramon Castro at third base, and laugh heartily at Castro's ice wagon wheels for not scoring on the play. Mirrored my thoughts, and I laughed out loud. Love that guy.

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Of course, if Castro had anything resembling footspeed, I would have gladly forgone the moment of levity for that run. He gets stranded when Luis Castillo rockets one to deep, deep shortstop and David Wright proves imperfect, if only slightly. 6-4, short to second. 2-1, Mets to Brewers. 6-1, beers to ballgames.

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Just a follow-up on Octavio Dotel. Check out the sponsorship on his Baseball-Reference page. Yikes.

Oakland Committee to Impeach Octavio Dotel sponsor(s) this page.

You can sponsor a page.
Page Expires: 2007-09-30 Alert Me!
Our stance is that Octavio Dotel is the worst closer of alltime and a disgrace to the Green and Gold. September 23, 2004 - the day the 2004 season really ended for Oakland.

Note that the link goes to an e-mail account named dotelheartattack@aol.com. Uh, dudes . . . if there's really a "committee" and not three dropouts doing whippets in Aunt Ruth's basement in San Leandro . . . you might want to look for a more positive message in all that you do.

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Oh, boy. Damian Miller singles to lead off the seventh and Glavine is gone. A fine outing for his first bid at the big number, and the Milwaukee faithful tip their caps. Nice, Milwaukee.

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In comes Aaron Heilman, and this beer is suddenly giving me a headache.

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Wow! Heilman induces (and Delgado executes perfectly) the 3-6-3 DP, and there are quickly two down. Craig Counsell, whom I've always wanted to go away, beats out a bunt thanks to Ramon Castro's caterpillar-like quickness behind the dish. But Corey Hart . . . well, he just grounded out. To the 8th we go . . .

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Well, that didn't take long. Heilman gets screwed when he jams the hitter and Reyes nearly makes a great play in the not-that-shallow outfield over his shoulder . . . and the outfielders aren't even in the screen. Then Feliciano hits Prince Fielder and Mota throws a meatball to Bill Hall, who ground-rules Tom Glavine out of his 300th win.

Nice work, pen. There will be nights that matter a lot more than this, wins we need rather than individual accomplishments. Let's hope at that time that you look moderately serviceable. Tonight . . . not so much.

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Luis Castillo has a chance to deliver the go-ahead run with Reyes on 2nd and 2 down in the 9th. Eh. He doesn't.

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Enter Jorge Sosa. Relieving. This should be interesting. 4 pitches, 1 walk. On the first pitch I swear you could hear Uecker call, "Juuuust a bit outside."

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Laughable -- the announcers, after destroying Brian Gorman when -- well, all night but especially after he rung up Damian Miller on a supposed foul tip when the ball clearly hit the dirt, just made the correction: Chad Fairchild is behind the plate tonight. Gorman is at first. Brian Gorman should meet these guys after the game tonight and settle it with some bare-knuckle brawling.

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Oh, my. The Mets, by all rights, should have lost that game, but Jorge Sosa, the defense, and some bad swings gave them new life. Milledge dove for what was termed "an unbelievable catch" by our esteemed play-by-play fellow, but what amounted to a good grab on an iffy dive on a questionable jump. No matter -- he made the play.

EXTRAS.

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Wow. Milwaukee reliever Matt "Putting Me In Was Not" Wise came in and threw 10 straight balls. A Bronx cheer to Ned Yost, who yanked him before we at home had a chance to do the "Ball Four / Ball Eight / Three Walks on 12 Straight Pitches" bit. Woulda fit so perfectly with the earlier Harry Doyle moment.

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Sonuvabitch. Moises "That B"Alou just swung on a Ball 4 that would have loaded the bases, instead giving the Brew Crew a 6-4-3 inning-swinger. Not veteran. Veterans Stadium, maybe.

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For the second time in the game, Lastings Milledge has Kelly Leak-ed Alou. He called for a routine fly right at Alou. Alou may be old and just blew the offensive chance, but Lupus he ain't. Inning ended. To the 11th we go.

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And to the 12th. Close calls by David Wright and then Prince Fielder, but nothing doing. Another diving catch by Milledge. And most surprisngly, a single by David Newhan. (When did he . . . ? Never mind.)

Come on, boys, I only came here to do two things, watch a Mets win and drink some beer. Looks like we're almost outta beer.

****
Looks like I came here only to drink some beer. Aaron Sele gives it all he's got but gives up a two-run, game-ending jack to Geoff Jenkins. Good night.

Four and a half hours for that?

Hmmm. Get the feeling that if the schedule had dictated that this game be played Monday night we might be seeing Dotel or Gagne shoring up the pen? As it is, we have a third-place bullpen and a fourth-place knack for timely hitting. And a guy who pitched a game good enough for his 300th win, only to be let down by his (current) teammates. And the Braves put up 12 tonight without Teixeira.

Can I take another week off?

6 comments:

Jerry said...

I'm not match fit, as they say. Went to bed after the 8th, which turned out to be a pretty strong move. Mets could've used some bullpen help, but it wasn't a good market.

I'm not a fan of Castillo either, but he's probably a marginal upgrade over the pu pu platter that was on the roster and he didn't cost much so it's not keeping me up at night.

Whitney said...

I'll agree with you -- they gave up nothing to get him. Gotay had been hammering the ball -- that might not have kept up, and his agility at 2B was questionable at best, but he had a little pop. We'll see. I won't be losing sleep wither, so long as the Mets can win in the standard 9 innings.

Jerry said...

The problem with these kind of trades (we'll call them Shawn Green Trades) isn't the current year, it's the following years. Acquiring a mediocrity like Green last year may have provided a marginal boost, but it limited the team this year. Fortunately, Castillo is in the last year of his contract, so the Mets have options next year. Limiting yourself to an expensive, aging, average-ish player is bad business.

The other thing is that Willie looks like he's going to hand Castillo the #2 spot in the order because he's the old school version of a #2 hitter. I'd rather see a more productive player like Milledge or Beltran in that spot. Castillo is so limited because he has zero pop.

Jerry said...

That strike 3 when Delgado dropped the bat was one of the worst calls I've ever seen. Really. You don't see blown calls like that in baseball too often.

TJ said...

You should have seen the knuckleball kid on the White Sox get tossed last night...worst call I've ever seen. I am amazed Ozzie didn't kill the ump right there on the spot.

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