Game 18 - Mets
Cubs 7, Mets 1
Aaron Heilman, what you're doing with slim leads . . . I'm not seeing it.
If you merely scanned the scores from last night, you might figure that this was one of the 30 or 35 oft-referenced, predetermined losses, a laugher lost to a good club. And you'd be wrong. This was a tight 2-1 contest through 7 1/2, one featuring top-shelf starters throwing well, minimizing damage and leaving their fates in the hands of their respective relief corps. That last phrase contains the rub, though. Carlos Zambrano enlisted members of Kelly's Heroes or The Dirty Dozen to see it through. John Maine handed it over to the soldiers from F Troop and In the Army Now, and they proceeded to wease the juice right out of this game.
Herr Heilman sends big thanks out to Err Reyes for booting a grounder to open the bottom of the 8th. The way Heilman's been going, you just knew that would come back to kick us in the groin. And though he battled just about each hitter he faced, Heilman retired just two of the next five Cubs, so the score was 4-1 instead of 2-1. 9th inning dramatics seemed to drift from the Mets' reach.
Enter Jorge Sosa, fade to black. He faced pinch-hitter Felix "Unger for a" Pie. (Author's Note: I recognize that his name is not pronounced like "pie"; I intended to go with the more original Felix "Pittsburgh" Pie, but it was deep enough that my editors overruled me and went for that terrible gag. My apologies.) Anyway, Sosa served one up to the scrawny, .143-hitting, no-pop Pie. 7-1 just like that. Well executed, 'pen.
In truth, the Metbats didn't help the cause, scratching but one run across on a GIDP in the 6th. Zambrano was tough, David Wright looked abundantly human, Raul Casanova was a lover of inside pitches on 3-ball counts, and it just wasn't the Mets' night.
But the bullpen needs to chill. Grab some Z's, mack on some grindage, maybe get some fresh nugs, and get after it tonight, bud-dies. Don't make me talk Pauly to you any more, it's very annoying for everyone.