Game 156: Loss
Nationals 7 Mets 3
Tom Glavine can really look frightening sometimes. While Glavine often glides through innings effortlessly, it’s those innings he doesn’t that make the playoff-conscious concerned. For example, the third inning, when Tommy appeared to be doing an impersonation of Steve Trachsel.
The problem is that Tom Glavine is glaringly susceptible to righthanded batters who are focused on going to right field. Jose Vidro is a prime example: a professional, veteran hitter who knows that the best way to beat Glavine is to go the other way (by the way, wouldn’t Vidro be a nice player to have around in ’07?). While Tommy will bust a guy inside every once in a while, a smart batter can let those go by and wait for the floater on the outside corner. If the Mets face a lineup in the postseason that has the benefit of either a good veteran like Vidro or good scouting report, and if enough guys in that lineup are willing to lose their ego and go the other way, Glavine will be in big trouble. But then I guess that’s where you have to have a quick hook and John Maine ready. But would Willie be willing to pull a respected veteran such as Glavine in, say, the third inning of a playoff game? Hopefully we’ll never find out the answer.
Jose Reyes remains hot, and is making a bid to finish with a .300 average while breaking the Mets’ single-season stolen base record (currently 66, held by Roger Cedeno). One wonders if Omar took Jose aside and said something to the effect, “hey, kid … we HAVE to erase the memory of Cedeno completely … so just run like a wild man this last week and break that damn record!”.
Guillermo Mota was human again, giving up a two-inherited-run single on the first pitch he threw, then throwing a wild pitch. That’s OK … better to push out the poisons now. Let’s consider this last week a detox for everyone.
Shawn Green is looking good at the plate. In addition to his solo homer, he hit a second blast that was just a few feet short of a second homerun. He’s waiting well on pitches, letting the bad ones go by, and looking to go the other way. Perhaps the New Year will be sweet for him.
The other big lefty bat, Cliff Floyd, banged an impressive opposite-field double in the 8th. He’s doing the same correct things (waiting, seeing, going the opposite way). These two guys are getting their bats going at the exact right time.
David Wright legged out an infield hit in the 8th, and all I could think was “oh crap, don’t pull a hammy”. At this point of the year, I’d be happy to see Chris Woodward and Anderson Hernandez replacing Wright and Reyes in the late innings of games we’re down by four or five.
So, Pedro looks shaky, Glavine looks shaky, Trachsel is still awful, and El Duque looks to be the only saving grace among the playoff starters. On Tuesday we’ll open up the bottle again with Oliver Perez and see if lightning bursts out. If it does, do we make him the #4 ?
I think there’s a better shot of Willie Randolph platooning with Jose Valentin at second base (hey, that might not be such a bad idea …).