A few random thoughts on a Met Wednesday...
Pedro Martinez's sound bites from last night:
"In this stadium, with this team, you just never know – five runs, seven runs, it’s never enough. I’ve seen it before, it’s not the first time. (The Phillies) never give up, especially playing here. This band-box here is a perfect place for them to play, and they know how to play in this field."
"It's the ballpark's fault."
Except . . . hey, I make mention of this ridiculous stadium every chance I get, but those were rocket shots by Rollins and Howard, good for HR's in every park save Yellowstone. Tatis's was a bleacher gork, but Moyer's not whining about the close fences. Gotta own that one, Petey.
* * *
It wasn't worth harping on in my post, since the Mets undid themselves, but home plate umpire Mike Everett was notably rancid last night in that whole "balls and strikes" thing. With a strike zone whose dimensions and consistency were akin to the Shmoo, he altered the outcome of several key at-bats (for either team) along the way. See, when 2-0 becomes 2-1 instead of 3-0 on a ball that's armpits or anklebones (and either was fair game at various intervals), you change the game. More of those kinds of games, Mike, and the gents who brought you "Umps can't see to the fences, better call TiVo" might expand their horizons.
* * *
On the day Willie Randolph was sacked, the Mets were 6.5 games out of first place and tied for third behind the division-leading Phillies. They were 34-36, and had scored four (4) more runs than they had allowed. Today, even though we're a little down in the mouth about the Mets after last night's landslide, the Mets are but a half a game out, are 13 games over .500, and have plated 70 more runs than permitted. (The Phils were +93 then and are +93 now.)
Rob wrote to say, "I don’t think any team in the league has had as many groin-punt losses as the Mets this season." Thanks for saying so, Rob, you may be right. But we residents of Mets Township still have to be pleased with what July and August has brought us, and we're conceding nothing yet. (Except that we have the weakest relief corps in the history of postseason contention.)
* * *
We all know Carlos Beltran is decidedly un-clutch (I'm sorry, Bill James, but it's true). On occasion I think this trait is seeping its way up the order into David Wright. Dee-Dub's still our hero, though, and one lousy game of not coming through isn't enough to unseat our faith in him in big spots. But, uh, Dave . . . we need you tonight. In excess.
* * *
Caught some of the ARod-pummeling by the Yanks fans last night. He was loudly booed when he made a routine play at 3B in the late innings, much to my amusement. Fun to be a fly on the wall (thanks to Extra Innings) as the Bombers send Yankee Stadium out in style this season. Heh, heh.
* * *
It's too bad Nick and I have tagged in and out this season instead of engaging in the type of back and forth that'd have you on the edge of your seat. I could try to draw him out by saying something smarmy and unclever like "The Phightins and their phollowers are a phlock of phlaming phruitcakes," but I won't. (I'm not pH-balanced like that.) Instead, I'll take the high road (not that high road, Teejay, you degenerate), and I'll go into what I actually enjoy about the Philadelphia Phillies franchise and its fan base:
Yeah, that's high comedy.
(And I don't mean Cheech and Chong, Teejay, you burnout.)