Archive: July 4th, 2006

Game 83: Win

Mets 7 Pirates 6

Whew! The Mets very nearly blew this game, very nearly lost the series to the Pitts.

In fact, the game was all but lost had it not been for Endy Chavez, currently the only Mets player outside of Jose Reyes with a heartbeat lately.

Chavez was not even supposed to be in the game, but a concussion knocked out Cliff Floyd. With the Mets down 6-4 in the bottom of the 8th with D-Wright on first and Carlos Delgado on second, Chavez hit a ball far enough to score Delgado, which meant it was far enough to put himself on 2B and D-Wright on 3B. Chavez then scored the winning run on a single by Xavier Nady, using a remarkable slide to get under the tag of catcher Ronny Paulino.

Billy Wagner did what he was supposed to in the ninth, earning career save #300.

Notes

Nady FINALLY got a big hit. About friggin’ time!

Tom Glavine was awful. Let’s just forget this outing, please.

Aaron Heilman pitched two innings and gave up another run. His ERA now stands in the mid-fours. He is un-valuable enough to be thrown into the rotation? The Mets could really use a starting pitcher …

Jose Reyes collected another three hits and two stolen bases. He’s a man on fire again.

While no one was looking, the Mets optioned Heath Bell to Norfolk and brought up (gasp!) Jose Lima. Dear God…

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Game 82: Loss

Pirates 11 Mets 1

Um … just what the heck is going on?

After taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Mets have had a meltdown. OK, I can understand being intimidated by the Bosox and Fenway and getting swept. I can sort of (but not really) understand losing two of three from the Crankees. But after dealing with the AL Beasts, you’d think the lowly Pirates (yes, they’re still in the league) would be a cakewalk.

Indeed, it seemed it would go that way. For the first four innings, last-minute replacement John Maine struck out six and walked none, shutting out the Pirates.

Then came the fifth.

According to the US Navy: “… terrible explosion on board Maine shattered the stillness in Havana Harbor. Later investigations revealed that more than five tons of powder charges for the vessel’s six and ten-inch guns ignited, virtually obliterating the forward third of the ship. The remaining wreckage rapidly settled to the bottom of the harbor. Most of Maine’s crew were sleeping or resting in the enlisted quarters in the forward part of the ship when the explosion occurred.”

Oops, that was the USS Maine, circa 1898. It was a second-class battleship sitting outside Cuba during the Spanish-American War whose gundpowder magazines exploded, thereby destroying itself (imploding). However, the report otherwise fits pretty succinctly.

John Maine imploded in the fifth, much like the USS Maine of 1898. After getting the first two outs of the fifth, all of a sudden he was walking people left and right, including the opposing pitcher. Somehow, he managed to escape the inning (and the game) giving up only three runs. The Mets, however, much like the USS Maine’s crew, continued to sleep or rest in the enlisted quarters for the remainder of the game.

Things got ugly in the seventh, when the usually lights-out Chad Bradford allowed five runs to cross the plate. His LOOGY buddy, Pedro Feliciano, must have felt bad for Chad, and gave up three runs himself, including back-to-back homers by some guys named Paulino and McLouth (or was it McMillan and Wife?).

Notes

For a while there, it looked like John Maine might be the answer for the #5 spot in the rotation. Maybe not.

Alay Soler was optioned to Norfolk to make room for Maine. Maine is likely to stay on for another start on Saturday, while Soler simmers in the minors.

Cliff Floyd had two hits, a walk, and a stolen base.

Jose Reyes looks hot again, as he stroked three hits, stole a base, and scored the Mets’ lone run.

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