Game 43: Win

Mets 4 Yankees 3

“Enter Sandman” is a fitting song for Billy Wagner. I change the words: “… watch with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight … ”

That was exactly what I was doing: covering my face, watching with one eye open, and yes I was gripping the sofa pillow tight as I watched, and sweat, and twitched …

Billy was pissed tonight, and focused. He was throwing near triple-digit strikes at the bottom of the knees, his signature pitch at his signature location. He had Bernie Williams struck out looking, but the ump gave him the pitch because the ump blew the pitch before it (a slider in). This was the first night I’ve seen him throwing 99, but I think the ESPN radar gun was at least 2-3 MPH faster than most other guns (for example, it clocked Heilman at 96 once and Sanchez at 97 once; I’m not sure those guys throw that hard).

The third run should never have happened. For the second time in a row, a Mets pitcher walked Miguel Cairo. You have to be kidding me; Cairo is not a good hitter, not even an adequate hitter. If he is leading off an inning, and you have a lead, you need to throw the ball over the middle of the plate, belt-high, and challenge him to hit it. It’s not like he’s going to hit a homerun, and if he does, so be it, because they’re still one run down. However, you can’t walk Cairo, especially because by doing that you’re getting closer to the dangerous part of the Yankee order (Jeter, Giambi, A-Rod). When you get an invalid such as Cairo at the plate, in a lineup full of HOFers, you must take advantage and throw perfect strikes.

Another move that made me nuts, but worked out OK: Mr. Willie leaving in Heilman after he walked the bases loaded. We were extremely lucky that Reyes was able to get to that ground ball to end the inning, because Heilman was completely out of gas. Yes, he was still throwing 95-96 MPH (according to ESPN’s fast gun), but he lost command of the changeup, which makes him very vulnerable. After his second walk, Mr. Willie needed to go to his LOOGY – ROOGY combo. It was crazy enough to assume that Heilman would be able to do anything after throwing three innings just two days before.

Speaking of, Duaner Sanchez was also looking pretty tired. The numnut ESPN announcers were blaming the wind on the lack of command, but Sanchez was missing down. I’m sorry, but the wind generally doesn’t blow the ball down, it blows it side to side. Sanchez, like Heilman, was tired tonight. As I mentioned in the last post, Sanchez should have finished the game on Saturday, when he was pitching well, and then Mr. Willie could have had a strong Billy Wagner to close out a two-inning save today. But what do I know? Mr. Willie is the manager, and it’s clear he will MANAGE to burn out all bullpen arms by the All-Star break. But hey, they’ll have four days to recover, right?

I hope Yankee fans realize how lucky they were; the Yankees could have very easily, and should have, been swept. Of course, if that happened, all we’d hear about is how they don’t have Sheffield, don’t have Matsui, don’t have Posada, don’t have Chacon, Randy is in a funk, blah blah blah. My retort is simple: with a $200M+ budget, there are no excuses.

Carlos Delgado is a monster. You could just feel that bomb coming. The David Wright bomb, at the time, just seemed like icing on the cake; it turned out to be the winning run.

Good to see Cliffy hitting the ball hard today; hopefully the shoulder injury is not serious.

Reyes and Matsui were sparkling in the field, and though neither will win a Gold Glove this year, they are really looking great, together and individually.

Delgado can pick it. I don’t know what he’s done differently this year, but all I remember is him having a glove made of stone. This year his glove is like a shovel, picking everything coming his way.

Heilman looked fantastic, again, until the near-meltdown. He has GREAT stuff, and I still say it’s a waste to have him relieving. He has to start, at some point, especially with the ridiculousness of the rotation currently.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t colter bean one of the legumes in the 19-bean soup bag?

Day off tomorrow, and Alay Soler will unoffcially be making his debut on Wednesday or Thursday. Mr. Willie has confirmed that the Mets will give away one game this week by starting BP specialist Jeremi Gonzalez, but has not yet announced whether it will be given to the Phillies or the Marlins. It is assumed it will be the Phillies, because Omar and Willie are obstinate in their decision to pitch Pedro on five days’ rest when given the opportunity instead of the usual four.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.