Cardinals 8, Mets 7
Live and learn.
The Mets sank into a hole almost immediately last night, thanks to Pedro Martinez's early ineffectiveness. The boys went down a 4-spot in the first when Pedro left a few balls over the plate, including one Troy Glaus hammered for a 3-run job. Those pitches weren't the only thing being described as "over" in the Mets Township chatter. Pedro, we hardly knew ye.
I cracked open a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon to spur on the visiting Metmen, and unsurprisingly, it worked. The Mets tallied three runs in the 3rd (bench Damion Easley at your own peril, Jerry Manuel), and then the skies opened up. I redoubled my efforts on the drinking and waited out what was a fairly brief rain delay.
Pedro actually came out sharper after the hiatus. Reason for hope, quickly dashed when Rick Ankiel launched a bomb to right. As an aside, I love the Rick Ankiel story -- his is one our alter egos at Gheorghe would mightily endorse -- but the portal where he becomes the next Pat Burrell to the Mets is where I draw the line on rooting for the opposition. Enough.
In the 7th, however, the Metropolitans did what they've started to do just a tad more lately, put together a little rally and come from behind. A two-run Delgado base-knock off another comeback story, Mark Mulder (This week's ABC AfterSchool Special: the 2008 St. Louis Cardinals), and a sac fly made it 7-5, Mets.
And that was it. My work was done. I was beat from a long day of work and a few beers, and didn't you read how the Met pen was now water-tight? Off to bed, TiVoing the conclusion for this morning's enjoyment.
Ah, yes. This morning's enjoyment. The new breakfast cereal, Kellogg's Punts-to-the-Groin, ushered in the day's events for me. An Aaron Heilman bump and a Pedro Feliciano spike made it 7-7 in the eighth. Of note was Feliciano allowing Chris Duncan to tie the game on the first pitch he threw last night.
Now, let's pause and acknowledge Pedro Feliciano (Est. 2002), the Met with the longest tenure of any on the roster with a montage of old quotes from the pages here at MLC:
- "Feliciano, for his part, pitched just the 8th but handed out singles like it was his bachelor party, allowing four runs to score."
- "By the time Pedro Feliciano 'relieved' (if you will) Wheeler in the seventh . . ."
- "Feliciano came on and did his best 'When in Colorado . . .' rendition. After getting the heart of the lineup out routinely, he issued walks and meatballs to the bottom of the order, and two more came across for the Rockies, making it 6-4. These guys are pitching in key spots but are more suited for mop-up than Hong Kong Phooey. Is this the best the Mets can throw out there?"
- Enter Pedro 'Feliz Navidad' Feliciano, as in 'I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas by tossing you a meatball for you to clear the bases with a double.' Nice relief. It's like taking a Tums and realizing you swallowed a sand burr."
- "Feliciano, after delivering all three of his inherited runners safely home, walked a batter and induced a fly-out before getting the hook."
- "Had I not already known this game was in the 14th inning, I couldn't have been more unwavering in my belief that Feliciano would screw it up. One batter faced, one walk. Thanks for playing."
- "Pedreadful Feliciano looked to undo all of the good that TG did in his six-plus frames of work."
- "Then Feliciano hits Prince Fielder and Mota throws a meatball to Bill Hall, who ground-rules Tom Glavine out of his 300th win."
- "When Pedro Feliciano allowed yet another inherited runner to score in the 8th, he not only tarnished John Maine's rock-steady performance, but he allowed the demons to start knocking at the door of our collective psyche. It's the kind of thing to start me drinking. More. And nobody needs that."
- "Pedro Feliciano, Joe Smith, and Scott Schoeneweis (walked into a bar?) surrendered eight runs over the final pair of frames in a scene not seen since the days of Dan Wheeler's Blanket Party Bingo."
With the "Pair o' Peters" ultimately responsible for the 7 runs the Cards scored, the bottom of the ninth went another direction. Carlos "Cheese" Muniz recorded two outs and had a 3-2 count before Troy Glaus bookended an otherwise nice Met performance with his second home run. Lovely.
And yet with plenty of blame to go around, I blame myself for going to bed. Shame on me.
Live and learn.