Mets Game 64: Loss to Dodgers
Dodgers 9 Mets 1
The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
For a while, it looked as though Jorge “The Stopper” Sosa would indeed put an end to the Mets’ slump. He was pitching masterfully through four innings, shutting out the Dodgers and breezing along with a 1-0 lead provided by a David Wright RBI single in the first that scored Shawn Green.
Then, the Mets’ Number One Nemesis struck: sloppy, lazy, unfocused baseball.
The virus had hit just about every other man on the roster, so it was bound to infect Jorge Sosa sooner or later.
First, Sosa gave up a leadoff homerun to Wilson Betemit, who is suddenly hitting like Barry Bonds on steroids. OK, fine, it happens. Tie game. Big deal. But the next batter, Matt Kemp, hit a bouncer toward the hole between first and second, and Sosa lollygagged his way toward the first base bag, allowing Kemp to reach safely. A few batters later, Rafael Furcal tripled to score Kemp, and Juan Pierre followed with a single to make the score 3-1.
Naturally, the Mets went down meekly in the top of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Sosa continued to struggle, giving up three singles that extended the lead to 5-1 before Willie Randolph mercifully removed him. Pedro Feliciano came on to give up a double to make the score 6-1 before getting Brad Penny to line out for the final out of the inning. All three runs scored after there were two out in the inning.
The Mets nearly emitted something that resembled a heartbeat in the top of the seventh. David Wright and Carlos Delgado began the inning with two quick strikeouts, but Paul LoDuca lined a single to right, and Jose Valentin doubled to the same side, but a bit deeper, to put men on second and third for Ricky Ledee. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late, as Ledee bounced out to second base to end the Mets’ only threat of the game.
The Dodgers, however, were not done. Furcal tripled again to open bottom of the seventh, and scored when Jose Reyes dropped an easy double-play ball hit back to the pitcher. The Mets had a second chance at a double play one batter later, but Carlos Delgado could not handle a short-hopped relay from Jose Valentin. Luckily, the Dodgers could not take advantage.
In the eighth, the previously meek-hitting Dodgers were STILL not done, as James Loney hit a two-run homer off Billy Wagner to further pad the lead to 9-1.
It appears that the ball is moving too fast for the Mets’ fielders. In addition to Reyes’ miscue, Carlos Beltran and Shawn Green both misplayed balls that skipped through the outfield grass, and then there was Sosa’s slow feet covering first (and fielding a Russell Martin bunt). Either the ball is wound too tight, or maybe the Mets need that ban on greenies lifted.
Oh, and what has been “happening” to the Mets in the last few games is not bad luck, bad bounces, nor any extra-terrestrial or paranormal phenomenon. It’s a negative, depressed mindset — brought on by nine losses in ten games — which leads to lack of focus, which creates bad baseball. Bad baseball is losing baseball, so there you go.
Rafael Furcal hit two triples into the rightfield corner. Poor guy must have really worn himself out running around the bases so much.
Wilson Betemit continued his chase on Hank Aaron’s homerun record, smashing his second in as many games.
Furcal, Betemit, Kemp, and Tony Abreu all had two hits apiece.
In the top of the third, Brad Penny caught Shawn Green stealing signs and told him so. Big Brad made sure to put that scrawny beanpole in his place. In the bottom of the inning, when Brad came to bat, he told that runt LoDuca to hush his hole as well. The yellow-bellied, spineless fools from Flushing must be crazy to think they’d get away with messing around on the Dodgers’ watch.
Oh, were you looking for Mets notes? D-Wright and Reyes each had two hits, Jose Valentin hit two doubles, and everyone else stunk in every way possible — at bat AND in the field.
Not one Met drew a walk in this game, for the second time in the series. Can you say “pressing” ?
The Mets will drink like fish on Thursday, drowning their sorrows on their off-day in preparation to face one of the hottest teams in baseball, the New York Yankees (perhaps you’ve heard of them?). Lucky, lucky. Oliver Perez will face Roger Clemens in a 7:05 PM start in the Bronx.