Game 94: Loss
Reds 7 Mets 4
Steve Trachsel proved not even a Vulcan can overcome a two-hour rain delay.
Why Mr. Willie put the pointy-eared Mr. Finicky out there after such a long layoff is anybody’s guess, especially when he had both Darren Oliver and John Maine fresh and ready to go. Maybe he was confused by Trax’s moniker “The Human Rain Delay”. Or maybe he was performing an experiment and measuring the amount of lactic acid built up in two hours by a pitcher who has thrown two innings.
Whatever was going through Randolph’s mind, it certainly didn’t resemble logic nor sense. Luckily, Trachsel didn’t injure himself. It could have been so easy to tell Trax that his day was over, and he’d throw again on Saturday; he’d only thrown about 30 pitches before the game was called, and would have had no problem bouncing back in a few days.
Meantime, the Mets batters, who came out like gangbusters in the first two innings, must have had their fire extinguished by the downpour. After the delay, not one batter looked like they were interested in anything other than getting the at-bat done as quickly as possible. It wasn’t until Carlos Delgado’s double in the 8th that a Mets hitter gave some semblance of intensity. Unfortunately, his gapper was not enough to inspire his teammates, who went down 1-2-3 without much of a whimper, despite the 4-4 score. As a team, the Mets were “out of it” — physically, mentally, and emotionally. One wonders what clubhouse activities were taking place during the rain delay. Team sauna? Zen meditation? Watching Lifetime movies? Reading Homer? Powerlifting? Dope smoking? It was clear that the offense wanted no part of the game once play resumed.
I suppose we can forgive our heroes this time. After all, a rain delay can’t be easy to deal with, especially now that greenies are forbidden. The shame is that the Mets had to waste great relief pitching for a lineup that was too tired and unmotivated to score runs.
One of the major mental lapses came from Jose Reyes, whose attempt to throw out Scott Hatteberg at third base in the 8th was the turning point of the game. With one out, Reyes should have gone to first, allowing Hatteberg to man third base with two outs. Granted, Jason Larue smashed a double in the next at-bat, but maybe Duaner Sanchez pitches him differently with first and second base open and the pitcher’s spot on deck. The bottom line is that it was a poor fundamental play by Reyes, because the sac fly and infield out to score a man from third are eliminated with two outs. No reason to give the other team extra opportunities to score.
Will someone please explain to me this phenomena known as Jason Larue? He’s a stubby, slow-footed catcher, batting eighth in the lineup and batting below the Mendoza line. However, it seems like every time he comes to the plate, the Mets pitch to him like he’s Barry Bonds. He’s had about ten at-bats so far, and in at least nine of them he’s run the count to 2-0. Throw a friggin’ strike! Even Mario Mendoza would get hits if he was always two or three balls ahead on the count.
Not sure what was more frustrating … the waste of good bullpen arms in a game the batters didn’t want to win, or the loss of two hours’ sleep staying up to watch the lousy game. All I can say is thank goodness I didn’t pay for a ticket, or else I’d demand my money back. I can’t get those two hours’ sleep, back though.
Rubber game has Tommy “Dozen Win” Glavine vs. Bronson “Suddenly Sandy (Koufax)” Arroyo. Hopefully the bats will be re-motivated tomorrow … I mean, today … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz