Game 6 - Mets
Phillies 5, Mets 2
"…i hate to say it, but this feels EXACTLY like a game from last September…in every way, shape and form…"
That quote from MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone during yesterday's come-from-ahead loss crystallized to a tee the angst I was feeling. I couldn't place it for a while, I couldn't get a bead on why I was so annoyed with one early-season loss -- even one with sloppy play and crappy relief, even one to the irksome Phillies. But there it is. This was exactly the type of game the Mets continued to play and lose last September, with squandered opportunities early, a squandered lead late, and a gaffe just detrimental enough to swing the game.
Yesterday, said gaffe came courtesy of Carlos Delgado. It wasn't the worst error ever recorded; Delgado's throw to second base hit Chase Utley in the back. (Add that to the 3 HBP's for Utley on the day; the kid is a ball magnet, and you can take that any way you want.) But it was a play that should be routine coming out of spring training, and one that has to be made. It wasn't, the Phillies rallied, and the tenuous 2-0 lead evaporated.
Enter (later) Aaron Heilman, inflating deficits lately like he's a part of the current administration. For his second straight appearance he came into a game down a run and upped that to a three-run hole with just a few deft maneuvers. Aaron, if you could do less of that . . . thanks, dude.
Let's not let Scott "PED-estrian" Shoeneweis scoot out unscathed, though. His variation on duck-duck-goose (single-single-plunk) set the table for Delgado's peg, and it's all part of a growing concern. The purportedly galvanized bullpen is suddenly starting to look like the box of fireworks Willie had to select from every night last September. (Willie Randolph: "Wait, inflammable means flammable???) The round-robin of suckitude wherein every new day is someone else's turn to screw it up must come to a close.
Cue the broken record: It's early. That the Mets have the second-worst record in the NL can be assuaged with mentions that the Orioles, Marlins, and Royals lead their respective divisions today. (O's are 6-1; it says here they'll be 15-25.) We're not actually worried yet that the Mets won't contend. But what denizens of Mets Township have to see to get any sense of comfort after the mudslide of '07, however, is a serious break from the patterns of last fall.
Busting out of an embarrassing losing streak to the Phils tonight in some kind of impressive fashion might well help to shake off yesterday's spot-on impression of the New York Mets of yesterSeptember.