Padres 5 Mets 1
The Mets had several opportunities to push David Wells, but couldn’t move him. All that weight makes him fairly immovable, I guess. Unfortunately, every time they got a bit of a rally going, the Mets had the dumb luck of having the middle of their order up at the plate. It’s hard to score runs when you’re constantly putting runners in scoring position for Carlos Beltran and not someone further down in the lineup.
Their inability to put anything together against a fat old man who was struggling was not only embarrassing, but a waste of a fine effort by Jorge Sosa, who pitched six strong innings in his first start since returning from the DL. Sosa, in fact, hit Wells the hardest, driving a double into the left-center gap in the third inning. Sosa also walked against Wells, and thereby had a perfect game at the plate. Pretty sad when your pitcher has the best at-bats against a grossly overweight 44-year-old. Any of the starting eight — except maybe Carlos Delgado — would have reached base easily by merely dropping a bunt back to the rotund one. In fact, had Boomer been forced to bend over, he likely would have thrown out his back and left the game.
Sosa pitched six innings and allowed two runs on five hits and two walks. He deserved better.
The bullpen wasn’t so great — Joe Smith allowed two hits, one of which eventually scored, and Aaron Heilman allowed his seventh homerun of the year, a prodigious blast to dead centerfield off the bat of Mike Cameron (huh, Heilman ineffective again on back-to-back days … who’da thunk it?). But it’s avoiding the obvious to blame the game on the bullpen. Bottom line is, the Mets had many, many chances to move runners around and failed miserably. Every game, this squad is looking less and less like champions, and more and more like also-rans. Omar Minaya is right to be concerned — and critical — of this woefully underachieving offense.
David Wright was picked off first by David Wells in the sixth inning. Unfortunately, no one noticed that Wells clearly balked — he strode a good three-quarters of his normal stride toward home plate, rather than stepping toward first as per the rule book. It didn’t matter, though, since Wright was going on first move — a bush league decision on his part. It’s OK to go first move once in a while, but it rarely makes sense before the pitcher has thrown a pitch, nor thrown to first base.
Ruben Gotay was thrown out by a mile on a 3-1 pitch to Jose Reyes in the seventh. Did someone give Jose the take sign? Normally I’m all about taking pitches and getting into deep counts, but a 3-1 count, tight ballgame, and your best triples hitter at the plate in a triples park — why isn’t he swinging there? Gotay didn’t seem to get a great jump, making one wonder if Reyes missed the hit-and-run sign. It would certainly explain things — there isn’t any other logical explanation.
After not being in good position to throw, and allowing the runners to advance on a fly ball in the third, Lastings Milledge got the TPS Reports treatment upon returning to the dugout — receiving verbal corrections from both Sandy Alomar and Jerry Manuel. Lastings’ response? “I got the memo … ”
Buff Brothers No Longer Puffed
Fascinating, isn’t it, how the Giles brothers no longer hit for any power? And how they don’t look quite as “puffy” anymore? I swear Marcus’ neck shrunk by at least two sizes. The power outage MUST have something to do with Petco, and the shrinkage may be due to the crappy food on the West Coast. Couldn’t possibly be anything else. I mean, has anything been implemented, or changed, in MLB, since 2005?
Ring My Bell
Nice to see Heath Bell pitching well for the Padres — we certainly wouldn’t be able to use an effective middle/setup reliever right now. Who did we get for him and Royce Ring? Oh, that’s right, two AAAA guys to fill out the Zephyrs’ roster.
Valid Points and Observations by My Wife During the Game
My wife Amy had a flurry of intriguing observations while watching the game and simultaneously playing solitaire with a deck of New York Mets Playing Cards (I, on the other hand, can barely walk and chew gum at the same time). Among them:
- Khalil Greene looks like Paris Hilton.
- Ron Darling was in the broadcast booth, but Keith Hernandez was not. My wife further noted that Darling and Hernandez are rarely in the booth together — making one wonder, are they the same person? Kind of like Michael and Latoya Jackson …
- Jose Valentin must have punched a wall because of a girl. Because, if it were a man who ticked him off, he would have punched the man.
Speaking of Valentin, just what in tarnation was he doing in the lineup? Especially since (a) his hand injury most severely affects his righthanded hitting; (b) Damion Easley’s career batting average against David Wells is a lofty .311 in 61 ABs; and (c) Valentin was hitting .125 career vs. Wells?
Well, there went the Mets only chance to win the series, and they had a sweaty pig ready to be placed on the spit. They lose Tuesday night in a match to Jake Peavy that begins at 10:05 PM EST. El Duque goes to the mound for the Mets, not that it matters. If the Mets can’t muster anything against the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man, the only way they’ll beat Peavy is if he tries to throw lefty.
I’m sorry, do I sound negative? I get that way when I sit up until nearly one in the morning to watch these Left Coast games, only to be disappointed by sloppy play and unfocused at-bats.