Mets Game 18: Loss to Cubs
Cubs 8 Mets 1
Ho hum … the New York Mets lost another one, swept by the Cubs in Chicago behind the pitching of Ted “Koufax” Lilly, who held the orange and blue to one run on four hits and four walks in six innings.
Nelson Figueroa took the loss, though he didn’t pitch poorly. He wasn’t great — 5 walks, 7 hits, and 3 runs in 5 innings of work is hardly awe-inspiring — but he provided about what you’d expect of a fill-in fifth starter. Oh, did you expect him to continue pitching like ED Figueroa (circa 1978)?
It was a fairly close game until the eight inning (huh, that sounds familiar), when Jorge Sosa loaded the bases with Cubs with no outs, looked like he might get out of it by getting two infield outs (huh, again, familiar) before giving up a grand slam to … um … Ronny “Hercules” Cedeno (it’s like deja vu all over again) to put the game way out of reach.
Is it me, or did it seem like the Mets went in the tank around the fourth inning? For one inning — the sixth — they looked slightly interested by building a weak, nearly fruitless “rally”, but otherwise the Mets looked sleepy. Maybe they’ll use the scheduling as an excuse (the late night in Philly, no day off on Monday, day game today, blah blah blah). Someone please put some undetectable greenies into the clubhouse coffee … please. It suddenly feels like 1979, with people like Dwight Bernard and Wayne Twitchell pouring gas on fires and then hoping that “sluggers” such as Doug Flynn and Richie Hebner could find a way to come back.
For all the fans foaming at the mouth and ready to crucify Aaron Heilman yesterday, may I introduce you to Joe Smith, Pedro Feliciano, and Jorge Sosa who also are not perfect. Smith allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base and gave up a run before Willie Randolph took the ball from him and gave it to Pedro Lite. Feliciano proceeded to throw a wild pitch and nearly a second on his first two offerings, then had to intentionally walk the only batter he faced. Based on their performances and the nearsighted numnuts who get paid to “analyze” the Mets on TV and radio, I’m going to guess that Heilman, Smith, Feliciano, and Sosa should all be sent to a fiery acid pool and replaced with — hmm … Brian Stokes? Anyone can look at a boxscore and point out the “bad guys” based a poor stat line — the Mets problems, unfortunately, are much more complex than that.
Sosa nearly did get out of that eighth inning without damage, and in fact had struck out Kosuke “Foul Tip” Fukudome on a beautiful pitch on the outside corner. However, the home plate umpire’s arm was paralyzed from the shock that Fukudome had not slapped the pitch into foul territory, and by the time he recovered, everyone assumed it was ball three. But I’m sure all the critics will glaze over that detail — just as they glazed over several details in Heilman’s outing — and come up with something “intelligent” like, “Sosa can’t make the big pitch”.
Hackensack, NJ native and former Cub Doug Glanville led the crowd to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch. His singing was … well … let’s just say it’s a good thing he quit the choir to concentrate on baseball as a kid.
The Mets travel down to Washington, DC to face the Nationals for another two-game series. I imagine they’ll be well-rested and out of excuses by game time tomorrow night at 7:10 PM. Mets ace Johan Santana faces Nats non-ace Tim Redding. Santana was signed to a $137.5M to be a “stopper”, to stop losing streaks. Let’s see if he can deliver against one of the worst teams in MLB.