Mets Game 109: Win Over Cubs
Mets 6 Cubs 2
Ryan Dempster solidified his position as my favorite Cub.
Dempster characteristically had a meltdown, set off by a few calls that didn’t go his way, and the Mets took advantage by pounding him for four runs in their last at-bat, sending nine batters to the plate.
It all began with a walk to David Wright, during which Dempster disagreed with a couple calls by the home plate umpire. As Yogi Berra says, it was deja vu all over again, with Dempster barking at the umpire and completely losing his focus on the mound. Carlos Delgado followed by driving a double into the rightfield corner, scoring Wright, and on the relay home Delgado took third. Dempster managed to retire the next two batters, but the gates opened up again, as Shawn Green slashed a double of his own down the third base stripe to score Delgado, Ruben Gotay followed with a single to score Green, Moises Alou moved Gotay to third on a pinch-hit single, and Jose Reyes hit another single to drive in the fourth run of the inning — the third with two outs.
Orlando Hernandez brought his “A” game to the mound in this afternoon contest, matching Carlos Zambrano pitch for pitch through five innings. Zambrano dominated in that he did not allow much contact, but patience was practiced perfectly by the Mets hitters in their garnering seven walks against the Cubs ace. Zambrano left after allowing a solo homerun to Ramon Castro — although the official reason for his removal was “heat-related cramping”. Apparently he wasn’t drinking his Vitamin Water between innings (the potassium-filled “Revive” with the great fruit punch flavor would have been ideal).
Castro’s blast stood as the sole run until there were two outs in the bottom of the sixth, when Derrek Lee jumped all over a fastball by El Duque and deposited it into the bleachers to tie the game one-all.
The Mets answered in the top of the seventh when David Newhan walked, stole second, and was driven home on a single by Marlon “Play Me on a Hunch” Anderson. However, the Cubs charged right back with a run of their own, chasing El Duque to the showers and tying the game at two.
Interesting that if you watched the MLB.com coverage of the game — carried by the Cubs local broadcast — the hometown announcers commented that they thought at least two of the pitches called balls to Wright in the ninth looked like strikes. Yet, when you watched the replay on SNY, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling agreed with the umpire’s calls.
The Mets and Cubs do it again at Wrigley Field in a 3:55 PM start because, you guessed it — it’s being carried by FOX. That means we’ll have the wonderful pregame covered by stoneheads and the game itself broadcasted by Tim McCarver — with the added bonus of getting “look ins” to every Barry Bonds at-bat … yippee! I might rather watch the game on the choppy, slow-mo image on MLB.com and listen to Ron Santo again (ouch). Anyway it’ll be John Maine vs. Ted Lilly. Should be a good one.