Mets 13 Cubs 7
OK, I’ll admit it: in the second inning, after El Duque gave up two walks, seven hits, and five runs, I was ready to to turn off the TV and do something else with my Sunday evening.
Then came the sixth. Hooo boy!
Two grand slams, 17 batters, about 75 pitches and eleven runs later, the Mets were ahead 13-5 and the Cubs were not only losing but completely demoralized.
It was a great game for just about everyone, save El Duque and Aaron Heilman, whose performances are getting more and more concerning. In particular, it was a great day for Cliff Floyd, who seems to have erupted in his hometown. With Carlos Delgado putting up Mientkiewicz-like numbers over the last month, some production from Uncle Cliffy is just what the Mets need. Hopefully this successful Chicago trip will parlay into a great second-half for Floyd.
The Mets bullpen — other than Heilman — was practically perfect in relief of Orlando Hernandez. Heilman, though, has pitched so poorly I wonder if the Mets will consider sending him to AAA to get back on track. Wishful thinking has me plotting to send him to Norfolk as a starter: stretch him out with 3, 4, 5, then 6-inning starts over the next month, then have him ready to join the rotation at the end of August. Presto! there’s your #3 playoff starter.
Of course that will never happen, but if Henry Owens hadn’t self-destructed on Saturday, one must wonder if there was a real possibility of Heilman being moved — to Norfolk or elsewhere. Heath Bell threw a strong inning in his first appearance back from AAA, and a string of good outings could put him in Heilman’s 7th-inning role. With the ChiSox desperate for relief pitching, and dangling Minaya favorite Javy Vasquez, it’s easy to envision a deal sending Heilman to Chicago. Personally, I’m hoping for the aforementioned AAA starter plan … and yes, I continue to dream …
Jose Reyes missed another game. No biggie, and I see no reason to rush him back with the Mets dominating the division. Let him get completely healed and hungry to play; we’ll need him in September and hopefully October.
Same goes for Pedro. I’d be fine with Pedro missing his next five starts and not returning till late August. Let him rest up and get ready for the playoffs; John Maine and Mike Pelfrey can pull up the slack, and don’t we have Brian Bannister coming back soon?