Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Beat Happening

Game 118 - Mets

Mets 5, Pirates 3
Record: 66-52

You know, there's not a whole lot to take from beating one of the league's perennial doormats in rather unsightly fashion, but here's what I like: losable win. Remember the winnable losses of the years that led up to 2006? How could you not, when the Mets kept having them and I kept talking about them? Last year the art of the losable win came out of nowhere, but this year -- especially of late -- the "winnable loss" has crept back into the steady vernacular.

The Mets tried to give the Bucs as many breaks as they could; hell, even that new-fangled ballpark (a dandy, in actuality) took a couple of runs away from our guys last night. But it wasn't to be, if only because the Pirates are a team that loses nearly every close game, and the Mets are not. They pretended they were at one or two junctures this season, but they're not.

El Duque continued the parade of starting pitchers asking fans not to count any chickens just yet via middling mound displays. 130 pitches catches your eye. Only 70 for strikes, even moreso. At the end of the day, his line wasn't terrible unsightly (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 8 K), just so long as we get to face the Pirates every game.

Baseball is baseball, and even the most one-sided match-ups (this not necessarily being one of those) don't play out every game, but going into the sixth inning, being down a run to the Buccos was remarkably agitating. Once Pittsburgh handed the Mets the tying run on a bad error, I felt pretty sure that even if the Mets weren't going to take the win, the Pirates would just give it to them.

And that they did. A trio of relievers couldn't manage an out, and Moises Alou began to generate some real belief in him and the contagion he might produce in the Met lineup. It takes just a spark to light up a squad; I asked whether a brawl might do the trick, which was clearly grasping at straws. It really could take just one man (besides David Wright) taking it upon himself to get it done.

There's a hedge that involves the letters G, I, D, and P, but I'll tuck it away. Eh . . . Let's Go Mets.

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