After looking so helpless in their first three games against the Phillies, the Mets have quickly righted the ship, much to the pleasure of short-tempered, impatient, paranoid Mets fans such as myself.
Before the game, it appeared the Mets would have a tough ballgame ahead of them. Dave Williams — who was traded away by the pitching-thin Pirates and released by the arm-needy Reds — was summoned from Norfolk to replace Pedro’s turn in the rotation versus Jeff Francis, who is arguably the Rockies’ top starter right now. For five innings, however, Williams nearly matched Francis, blanking Colorado batters save a solo homer by Yorvit Torrealba. In fact, it looked as though the lefty would continue to stymie the Rockies, getting two quick outs after a leadoff single. However, he gave up a single to Matt Holliday and then mysteriously left the game. My theory is that Mr. Willie implanted a timed device inside of his calf that would go off at precisely the 95-pitch mark (the device was similar to the one implanted in Snake Plisskin in Escape From New York). The device enabled Randolph to nap in the dugout and not need to be awakened by the more archaic alarm clock that normally goes off a few tosses before the 100-pitch limit. Williams, however — perhaps it was the adrenalin of being back in the Bigs — pitched all the way to 99 before yielding to the pain of the device, and handed the game to Roberto Hernandez with two runners on. Bert promptly gave up an opposite-field homer to Garret Atkins to give the Rockies a four-zip lead.
Luckily, the home run broke the dam for both sides, as Jeff Francis became more human in his third go-around against the Mets lineup. Four hits, four walks, two errors, and a passed ball later, the Mets had a 6-4 lead and Francis was out of the game.
Roberto Hernandez pitched so poorly that the official scorer awarded the win to Aaron Heilman, who pitched two scoreless innings and looked good doing it.
Carlos Delgado remained hot, going two for four. But no one was as hot as Lastings Milledge, who went 3-3 with two runs scored, two RBI, and an insurance solo homer in the eighth.
Dr. Duque or Mr. Hernandez vs. Jason Jennings on Sunday. Come one, come all, to see which pitcher suits up for the Mets: the beguiling, dominating Duque who appears to succeed with a slow curve and witchcraft, or the listless, vulnerable Hernandez whose smoke and mirrors act is quickly revealed and is in turn battered like a BP pitcher.
About the Author
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.