Mets Game 56: Loss to Giants
Giants 10 Mets 2
Oliver Perez received a standing ovation from the AT&T Park crowd in San Francisco when he exited the game. Unfortunately, he managed only one out and left a 6-0 deficit behind him as he walked into the dugout in the first inning.
While I have been very pleased with the spirit, energy, and play of our Mets recently, and I have newfound confidence in their ability to come back before “calling it in” … falling behind by six runs in the first inning is an awfully tough mountain to climb.
Let’s just scratch this one off and move on to Tuesday.
Is Carlos Delgado injured? I’m serious. Is it possible he has an artificial leg? I’m only half-serious. He ripped a ball to the wall in right leading off the second, which Randy Winn didn’t even react to because he thought it was going over the fence. A good five seconds later, Winn entered the TV camera’s line of vision, and Delgado was barely halfway to second base. I didn’t expect him to get a triple, but a morning-jog pace is a little ridiculous there. Later in the inning, Jose Reyes smoked a ball down the leftfield line for a double, and you could have timed Delgado from second to home with a sun dial. I was seriously concerned that Delgado might not reach home plate before passing out — he was going even slower than the morning jog pace; it was more like, “Sunday stroll”. With two outs, and crazy Reyes zipping around the bases, a runner HAS TO HUSTLE and make sure his foot touches home plate as soon as possible, in case Jose (or any runner) overslides a bag or gets caught trying to take an extra base. If Delgado is not nursing an injury, then maybe his pants are too heavy.
Speaking of slow-poke, he’s right back to his first-pitch swinging. He did it in the third with men on first and second, which is acceptable if he thought he could put the ball over the fence (he popped up to shortstop). However, he did it again leading off the eighth, against Billy Sadler — a pitcher he’d never faced before — with the score 10-2. Again, he popped up to shortstop. Please, someone tell me, what exactly was Delgado’s plan in that at-bat? To pad his stats with a solo homer? Did someone tell him a ball in McCovey Cove was worth two grand slams? Is he that selfish, or just plain dumb? It may seem a small, meaningless detail in a game long lost, but it is these little things that when left alone can fester and infiltrate an entire team. Willie, please sit this guy before he starts re-spreading the poison!
In the very next inning, Jose Reyes followed Delgado’s “lead”, hacking at the first pitch offered by Sadler and sending it into the leftfielder’s glove. Again, I know the game was lost a long time before the ninth, but that doesn’t mean you stop playing correctly. Playing smart, fundamental baseball is not something you turn on and off — it is a habit, and something you do all the time, regardless of the score.
Claudio Vargas did an outstanding job after taking the ball with one out in the first. He pitched four and two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, no walks, and striking out four.
On the other hand, Carlos Muniz pitched not so outstanding, constantly falling behind hitters and allowing four runs in his one and two-thirds. It has to be difficult going from AAA, one-inning closer to MLB mop-up guy.
The Mets will regroup and try again at 10:10 pm EST. Pedro Martinez makes his long-awaited return to the mound against Barry “Big Bust” Zito.