Game 40: Loss
Cardinals 6 Mets 3
Though the final score showed a three-run deficit, the game was never really that close. In fact, it was over by the end of the second inning (for many, it was over the moment Jose Lima took the mound).
It’s painfully clear that it is no longer Lima Time. What’s unclear, is why Omar is so damn stubborn about keeping his third-best starter, Aaron Heilman, in the bullpen. This was another game where the team’s “strength” (the bullpen, per Omar) was of no use, since the game was effectively over when the starting pitcher let the game get out of hand before the third inning took place.
Strangely, Mr. Willie’s first reliever in the fourth inning was Chad Bradford, a ROOGY who tends to be used later in most games, as a matchup guy. Why not Darren Oliver, whose only apparent use is as a long man for mop up situations as this? Why not Jorge Julio, who hasn’t pitched since Joanie loved Chachi ? Why not Aaron Heilman, as an opportunity to stretch him out and start conditioning him for starting duty?
Whatever. It’s getting really frustrating to watch a first-place team slip because they have no reliable starting pitchers after their #2 (Trax’s recent aberration notwithstanding).
Jose Valentin stayed hot, as he hit the ball hard three times, including a line drive homer. I wonder how long before he gets tested and suspended for taking whatever he was using two years ago. Maybe it’s just a B-12 shot …
One GREAT thing about Valentin in the starting lineup is that someone else is the first bat off the bench. It’s such a pleasure to know that “not Valentin” will be pinch hitting in the first such situation.
Through all these losses, Carlos Beltran has stayed hot, quietly hitting bombs. He hit another dinger today, and is on track to hit about 30 for the year.
Jeremi Gonzalez goes against Randy Johnson and the mighty Yankees tomorrow. Let’s hope the crappy Randy shows up, though I’m not sure of our chances in a slugfest vs. the Bronx Bombers.