Game 145: Win
With just 17 games left to play, the Mets are back to their old late-inning, come-from-behind tricks that established their dominance in the first few months of the season.
Mr. Willie did what he could to allow the Marlins to win — going as far as choosing Ricky Ledee as a pinch-hitter over Endy Chavez and Shawn Green, and even threatening to bring Heath Bell into a tie ballgame — but in the end the Mets could not help but win, what with the multitude of mental and physical lapses put forth by the Marlins in the final innings.
Tom Glavine had another so-so, somewhat disturbing performance, looking very good at times but ultimately giving up another lead. He’s been giving up leads all season — even before the blood clot thing — and although he’s a lock to be a playoff starter I’m not so sure he deserves it.
Once again, though, the Mets bullpen held the opposing batters at bay, shutting out the Marlins through five innings. As they did on Tuesday, the Crisco Crew threw lots of strikes: 46 for 69, or 67%. It’s getting to the point where you expect the relievers to put up goose eggs, and anything else would be a surprise.
Paul LoDuca, Jose Reyes, and David Wright led the way on offense, and Lastings Milledge went 2-3 before the game became a contest. The biggest hit of the night, though, came from Carlos Delgado — in a pinch-hitting role. With two out in the top of the ninth and D-Wright on second base, Delgado went with an outside pitch, attempting to poke it through the massive hole created by the Miami shift. Miguel “I Hate Heath” Cabrera belly-flopped toward the grounder, tipped it just enough to trickle by Hanley Ramirez, and Wright scampered home with the tying run. The Mets were in position to finish off Florida right then and there, as there were runners on first and third, righthander Joe Borowski on the mound, and a load of lefty bats waiting on the bench. If you were the manager, would you have sent up a.) Endy Chavez; b.) Shawn Green; or c.) Michael Tucker? If you answered “none of the above”, you’re correct! Ricky Ledee was inserted into the game to put an end to the rally, and he succeeded easily by popping up weakly to centerfield. If nothing else, it’s safe to say that Mr. Luh-DEE has removed himself from playoff consideration.
As it was, Ledee’s lackluster performance meant nothing, as the young Marlins fell apart in the 11th with an assortment of mental and physical malaprops. First, Matt Herges hit Shawn Green with a pitch, then Dan Uggla blew an easy double-play grounder (hit by Ledee), and soon after, Herges crossed up catcher Miguel Olivo, resulting in a wild pitch and allowing the go-ahead run to score. As if that weren’t bad enough, Chubbsy-Ubbsy Cabrera’s belly got in the way of a foul popup, extending Jose Reyes’ at-bat and the inning. Reyes responded by bouncing a ball to the shortstop hole, and Hanley Ramirez tried to get lead runner Ledee by throwing to third, but Crybaby Cabrera’s girth and slothlike speed disallowed such a putout; hence, the ball flew unattended into the third base dugout, scoring Ledee. Paul LoDuca capped off the inning by belting a line drive to center, scoring Reyes with the seventh run.
Billy Wagner came in to finish off Florida, adding to his Cy Young argument.
Strange that Mr. Willie did not remove LoDuca after his final hit. The guy has been playing just about every day and we certainly don’t want to wear him out now. But, then, with the day off tomorrow I suppose it wasn’t such a big deal. However, I hope to see a lot of Kelly Stinnett and Mike DeFelice in the coming weeks. LoDuca needs to be fresh, rested, and hungry come playoff time.
Guillermo Mota is awesome. He had a no-out, man on third situation and got out of it with ease. That specific situation — and his ability to dominate his way out of it — is exactly why he will be a key factor in the postseason. Duaner who ?
Aaron Heilman is also awesome. Just thought I’d throw that in there.
Just think, Chad Bradford didn’t even get into this game … neither did Pedro Feliciano. Talk about depth!
Day off on Thursday as the Mets travel to Pittsburgh. Rumor has it, we’ll see Pedro on the mound on Friday night. If the Phillies lose on Thursday, it could be the clincher.