Mets Game 41: Win Over Yankees

Mets 11 Yankees 2

The Mets scored, then they scored, and then they scored some more, in spanking the last-place Yankees (gawd I loved typing that).

Yes I hate interleague play and this Mets-Yankees thing is getting old, but I do enjoy watching the Yanks get spanked by the orange and blue. That 2000 World Series still stings.

The Mets jumped on ace Chien-Ming Wang for four runs in the fourth, but it should have been six. Carlos Delgado hit the cheapest homerun of his career to make it six-nothing Mets, but the third base umpire changed his mind and called the fair ball foul. Eventually, Delgado singled in a run to make the score four-zip, but there is a BIG difference between a 4-0 lead and 6-0 lead; the latter demoralizes a team, the former lets them think they still have a chance.

The score means a lot in baseball, which as Yogi Berra once eloquently stated, is at least 70% half-mental. Baseball is all about momentum, and when you can score six runs in one inning against the other team’s ace, your opponent tends to bury its head in its hands and go through the motions the rest of the game.

And as it turned out, Delgado’s lost tater didn’t matter, because the Mets exploded for another six runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Lost in all the offensive excitement was the dominating performance by Oliver Perez. O’Pea allowed only three hits and two runs in 7 2/3 innings in shutting down the A-Rodless Yanks. He was totally focused on the mound, brimming with confidence, and showing similar body language to his 2006 postseason appearances. Now if only he can turn that “on” more often, he’d be on the top level of NL lefthanders.

Notes

Willie Randolph should have gotten himself thrown out of the game when Delgado’s homerun was overturned — it would have been an ideal time to erase his image as too-calm guy who doesn’t fight for his players. He was steamed, for sure, but not steamed enough to get tossed. Just once he should lose his mind, get ejected, and quiet the critics — the Bronx was the perfect place. Instead, bench coach Jerry Manuel was thrown out of the game. Believe me when I tell you I don’t think a manager has to get thrown out of games to be effective — but right now, Randolph’s future is tied directly to public perception. So, if he needs to get tossed to appease the fans, the pundits, the talkradio morons, and thereby save his job … well, pull an Earl Weaver, will ya?

Ryan Church hit an absolute bomb in the sixth, depositing a ball into the “batter’s eye” (a.k.a., the “fake” bleachers in centerfield). The blast was reminiscent of Reggie Jackson’s fifth homer of the 1977 World Series (and third straight of Game Six) hit off Charlie Hough. I bring up Reggie Jax because he turned 62 on Sunday.

Yankee Stadium was loud as heck after Reyes deposited the ball into the right field bleachers. Nice.

Next Game

The makeup game won’t happen on Monday because a) MLB won’t make enough money on the two NYC teams with a spur-of-the-moment Monday night game; and b) the Mets have a double-dip on Tuesday in Atlanta. So, Monday remains an off day, and on Tuesday we’ll see John Maine face Tom “Undevastated” Glavine at 1:05 pm, and Claudio Vargas vs. Jorge Campillo in the nightcap at 7:05 pm.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. fafhrd316 May 18, 2008 at 11:37 pm
    I thoroughly agree about Willie botching the whole Delgado-homer situation. Willie needs to learn how to manage from an emotional, leadership position, and he just thinks too much about the nuts and bolts of the role than that. That was a perfect situation for him to A) show the team he cares, B) show the fans that he’s got fire in him and C) embarass the umpires enough to give the Mets more calls later in the game.

    When he ran out of the dugout to protest the reversed call, I immediately said “get yourself thrown out here, it’s worth it.” I wouldn’t have just gotten myself thrown out- I’d have made a complete scene out on the field, throwing stuff onto the field, and even stealing 3rd base. In fact, I’d probably go DOWN to the foul pole, drop the base there, and tell the umpires to take a hike. And then formally protest the game.

    The end result would have been a clubhouse that would have Willie’s back, and he would probably have walked off free from any suspension, because the Umpires blew the call (and have now blown 3 home run calls on the season for the Mets).

    Willie is damn lucky the Mets won- his actions could have cost them the game. And Minaya and Wilpon must be sitting there, thinking and wondering “What would Bobby V do here? Or Backman?”

  2. joe May 18, 2008 at 11:53 pm
    It’s funny, fafhrd … I was screaming at the TV, like I was watching a dummy on a game show, saying “go Willie! get tossed! go nuts Willie!” and thinking the exact thing as you. I SO wanted Willie to go ape on the umps, throw things, etc. …. I know he’s not like that, but that’s what everyone wants to see, and if there was a time to do it, it was then.

    Willie doesn’t have to change who he is, he merely has to act out of character just once or twice — that’s all it will take to quiet the critics. On national TV, at Yankee Stadium, on a call where he was in the right … gosh, that was the golden opportunity and he would never have to leave the dugout again.

  3. JIMMYJ723 May 19, 2008 at 1:10 am
    I really don’t mind that Willie doesn’t argue much. I think making a big scene and get thrown out of a game is overrated. Obviously, if that worked, Bobby Cox wouldn’t need to go out there and get thrown out time after time. He would be getting the benefit of every call by now.

    However, in this situation, Willie definitely should have gone out there to argue that call. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I’ve heard of teams playing games, “under protest.” This was a perfect situation to do that. If those 2 runs had been the difference in the game, the “Fire Willie Bandwagon,” would have doubled in size.

    I can’t wait for the Mets to light up Tom Glavine on Tuesday. I’m really, really, hoping for an extended winning streak, but I’m not holding my breath.

  4. sincekindergarten May 19, 2008 at 4:13 am
    It was an old-fashioned ass-kicking last night. One that the Mets can build on, and hopefully a harbinger of what they’re going to do this week to Atlanta and the Rox.

    I originally thought that both Willie and Jerry Manuel had been tossed. Gusee not. I’d be willing to bet that the Wilpons will be for using instant replay of HR calls in the owners’ meetings. That’s the second one this year the Mets have been screwed on, no?

  5. RockStar78 May 19, 2008 at 7:21 am
    Joe, I know you had suggested John Maine plunking the first batter of last week’s game as the possible turning point of the season, but now I got one for ya: how about Billy Wagner’s outburst?
  6. isuzudude May 19, 2008 at 7:27 am
    Only Met fans would criticize their manager after a 9-run victory. Craziness. It would have been entertaining to see Willie get run from the game in that spot, I agree. But beneficial? Why do we assume that the umps would give the Mets every beneficial call from there on out if Willie got ejected? How do we not know that the umps take out their frustrations for being shown up by Willie by giving the Yanks every beneficial call? Unbelievable! Willie simply can do no right in some people’s eyes. For all we know, Willie didn’t see the “foul ball” in question (since from the visitor’s dugout at Yankee Stadium the left field corner is out of view) so he could have been under the impression that the umps reversal was correct. I mean, if anyone had a clear view it should have been the Mets’ 1st base coach, but he never said a word in protest. But clearly, it’s Willie’s fault that the umps overturned the correct call and consequently didn’t get the umpires to overturn their botched overturn with his magical powers of persuasion.

    What we should be arguing for right about now is INSTANT REPLAY IN BASEBALL. This is at least the second time the Mets have had the umpires rob them of a home run (the other I recall happened in Florida when Beltran hit one off a railing beyond the wall). If MLB continues to drag their feet on instant replay, the message they send to fans is that they’re more concerned about protecting the umpires’ ego than getting calls correct. Wait until a play of this magnitude takes place in the 9th inning in a close game during the World Series and we’ll see how many people start lobbying for instant replay. It is long overdue in baseball.

  7. fafhrd316 May 19, 2008 at 9:39 am
    Izusu, if Willie didn’t need to get thrown out, why did Manuel get thrown out? And also, hindsight’s 20/20. In the 4th inning, the Mets still only had a 3-0 lead at that point, not a 6-0 lead. And even though the Mets ended the inning with a 4-0 lead, Ollie gave half that right back the next half inning with Matsui’s 2 run homer. There’s a huge difference between a 6-0 lead and a 3 or 4 run lead. And it’s also another example of the umpires bowing at the altar of the Yankees, which alone is worth the frustration.

    Willie Randolph is the manager of the Mets- the buck stops with him. And with the recent problems he’s been having, everything he does (or does not do) WILL be magnified. He had a perfect moment to show to the team, the fans, and the media that he does care, and that he can play with emotion. Instead, he crawled back into the dugout, and waited for the Mets to save his bacon.

    There’s a reason the Mets didn’t make the playoffs and Lou Pinella’s Cubs did, last year. This is one of them.

  8. isuzudude May 19, 2008 at 10:44 am
    So beating the tar out of the Yankees after the shit hit the fan with the Nationals means nothing, but failing to get yourself thrown out of the game in the 4th inning on a bad call means everything. I can see Willie getting himself ejected if Delgado or Alomar had argued directly after the play and he came in to save his player/coach, but otherwise an ejection there was not necessary. After all, whatever he did or said after the blown call worked because the Mets still went on to score 8 more runs. But of course, he gets no credit for that, even though “the buck stops with him.” It’s as if all logic points to Willie being wrong all the time. Ridiculous.

    I think there’s also a reason why Lou Piniella is on to his 5th managing job. His antics get old real fast. And I’m sure that the reason the Cubs made the playoffs last year had nothing to do with the talent they place on the field, it’s all because Piniella is good at blowing his lid every so often. And by the way, the Cubs won 85 games last year, the Mets won 88. So that fact the Cubs made the playoffs last year instead of the Mets is because they played in a weaker division. If the Cubs were in the NL East, they would have finished behind the Mets in the standings.

  9. Micalpalyn May 19, 2008 at 11:43 am
    Isuzu, jimmy, Faf:

    my point of view is somewhat mid-stream. Right now it shows. But I just wanted to interject that there is arguement for both sides.

    Isuzu: I also like your point on Pinella. Interesting that different managers get different gigs for different reasons.

    To get tossed or not to get tossed: again glass half full-half empty. Who knows what Willie says in the dug out? also willie HAS gotten tossed before…..and its hardly a fascimile of an Ozzie Guillen tirade.

    I was angry after the 5-3 loss and angrier after the 1-0 loss. But i saw alot of blood and guts in all the games: I mean the greatest catch I have seen of late saved that 1-0 game for the Nats and robbed Del again. Also Pel gave up 1 run into the 8th? – how can you not be happy? The fill in 5th starter was also great in that 5-3 loss. I’d offer to you all that the BIGGEST cloud is Aaron right now. Church is STILL at .308, Wright is himself, and Beltran and Del ARE hitting the ball well enuff—-just not always into the holes. BUT as I saw on Metsgeek the pitching woes are waaay overblown as the Mets are getting NL avg performances in length of start. And the BP is not near as bad as we thought it would be. Smith, Sho and Wags have been great.

    I have been a HUGE critic of Willie. But given the game prep, line up, and strategy calls I still say this is Willie ‘s best performance.

    BUT IF WILLIE ‘argued’ the call i think there is some statement made. But then again Willie is not that type, he picks his battles more selectively…his comments on the umpire, and umpiring in general (per Metsblog) were interesting….ces’t la vie.

  10. fafhrd316 May 19, 2008 at 1:57 pm
    >>>>>So beating the tar out of the Yankees after the shit hit the fan with the Nationals means nothing, but failing to get yourself thrown out of the game in the 4th inning on a bad call means everything. >>>>>I can see Willie getting himself ejected if Delgado or Alomar had argued directly after the play and he came in to save his player/coach, but otherwise an ejection there was not necessary.>>> After all, whatever he did or said after the blown call worked because the Mets still went on to score 8 more runs. But of course, he gets no credit for that, even though “the buck stops with him.” It’s as if all logic points to Willie being wrong all the time. Ridiculous.>>>>I think there’s also a reason why Lou Piniella is on to his 5th managing job. His antics get old real fast. And I’m sure that the reason the Cubs made the playoffs last year had nothing to do with the talent they place on the field, it’s all because Piniella is good at blowing his lid every so often. And by the way, the Cubs won 85 games last year, the Mets won 88. So that fact the Cubs made the playoffs last year instead of the Mets is because they played in a weaker division. If the Cubs were in the NL East, they would have finished behind the Mets in the standings.
  11. joe May 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm
    Rockstar — good call on the Wags as turning point. Or are we both just grasping for anything that appears to be a turning point, because we want so badly for the Mets to turn the corner already?

    As for the Willie arguing / not arguing: IMHO, the public perception of Willie is more important right now than it has ever been. It might have helped his image a bit to get heated on national TV vs. the Yanks and get tossed.

    I know he picks his battles, etc., but has he EVER been ejected? Maybe it means nothing, but maybe it does. I’ve been looking at all the WS champions throughout history and it’s hard to find one with a manager who’s never been tossed. Gil Hodges maybe?

  12. Micalpalyn May 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm
  13. isuzudude May 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm
    They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Thanks, fafhrd!
  14. sincekindergarten May 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm
    Hey, Mic–who’s this “Aaron Sele” guy? 😉