Game 74: Loss
Blue Jays 7 Mets 4
It was an off-day for El Duque, and something we’ve learned quickly is that when Orlando Hernandez is off, he’s really off. Like, LimaTime off. However, we’ll deal with the off days, because he will mix in some great days to balance things. Moreover, we can deal with these bad days, because in the end El Duque’s true value to the team will come in the postseason. Like the special amps employed by Spinal Tap, El Duque’s dial goes to eleven; he just doesn’t turn it up that high till it really matters.
The game was over early, by the second inning. A shame, really, as Darren Oliver did a bang-up job in long relief and another remarkable hitting display by Jose Reyes was wasted. Just a couple days after hitting for the cycle, Reyes had another four hits. More importantly, he’s taking a LOT of pitches, and getting deep into counts. Jays’ ace Roy Halladay walks few people, yet he went to three balls against Reyes twice in the game before giving up a hit. Hopefully, Reyes is understanding that his patience and his current steaming hot streak are not a coincidence.
Is it me, or is David Wright swinging at a lot of first pitches lately? Not that I care, as he hit a homerun the other day on a first pitch. Seems like he might be doing the “keep ’em honest” trick that Mike Piazza employed so well in his good days.
The Mets did have once chance to make it a game, in the eighth, with the bases loaded and one out. Halladay was chased from the game, and a single would have made it a one-run game. However, after semi-intentionally walking Wright, reliever Justin Speier got Jose Valentin to pop up on a first-pitch fastball, and struck out Xavier Nady on four pitches.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad game, considering the Mets were facing one of the toughest pitchers in MLB. Chalk it up.
Trax vs. Josh Towers. Towers is 1-8 with an 8.76 ERA this year. Normally, you’d think that would be a good thing, except that it was less than a week ago that the Mets made Joe Mays look like Bob Feller.