Padres 7 Mets 5
Sometimes it’s simply not your night.
Jake Peavy gave up only two runs in six innings, and struck out 11, but he wasn’t entirely dominating. The Mets reached him for two runs on five walks and two hits, and nearly busted the game open in the third, loading the bases with one out. However, Peavy whiffed hot-hitting Carlos Beltran and got Carlos Delgado to pop a harmless fly to left to end the inning. I’m still not sure how he snuck a fastball over the middle of the plate past Beltran for strike one — it was exactly the type of pitch ‘los has been putting over fences. Getting out of that mess was the turning point in the game, giving both the Padres and Peavy confidence, momentum, and a positive mindset to take through the next six innings.
Brian Lawrence did not pitch nearly as poorly as the stat line suggests. He was victimized by an evil official scorer, bad bounces, a few defensive lapses, and at least one bad umpire call (the one that sticks out is Moises Alou nailing Milton Bradley at home by a foot, but the play called safe — that should have been out number two in the fifth).
The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicates — the Padres had a two-run lead from the fifth inning, and extended it to a five-run lead in the seventh inning. Only a comedy of errors and bloopers gave the Mets an unlikely three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth — which ended when automatic out Carlos Delgado struck out swinging, to no one’s surprise.
On a positive note, Jose Reyes stole three bases, reaching 67 for the season and breaking the club record of 66 previously held by Roger Cedeno.
David Wright walked four times.
Jeff Conine drove in Marlon Anderson (who led off the ninth with a double) with a single up the middle in his first at-bat as a Met. He was pinch-hitting for the pitcher.
Carlos Delgado looks absolutely awful, both in the field and at bat. Currently, no one has any confidence in his ability to hit the baseball — he’s waving weakly under balls that are a foot inside or bouncing in the dirt. Worse, his atrocious fielding has reached an all-time low. Not sure if it’s due to his knee, or not being in games for a week, but he looks both lost and frightened in the field. There was one ball that went through his legs (in the fifth), and Luis Castillo might have still thrown the batter out — but Delgado couldn’t make it to the bag in time (and where was Brian Lawrence, by the way?). When Delgado finally did make it to first, he was nearly upended by Adrian Gonzalez, and fell flat on his face. It’s like watching an eleven-year-old outfielder play his first little league game in the infield. Hopefully, he’ll continue to slump until the last week of September, and then burst out with a season’s worth of pent-up frustration just in time for the postseason.
Gary Cohen took the words right out of my keyboard in the top of the fifth, when, with the Padres up 4-0 to support Jake Peavy, and Brian Lawrence in trouble, Jorge Sosa was warming up in the bullpen instead of Aaron “Phantom” Sele. As Cohen quipped, if that’s not a situation for Sele, what is? The Mets may as well give Sele his unconditional release, and bring up Joe Smith, Carlos Muniz, or some other arm if Willie is never going to give him the ball in suitable situations. The Mets stopped wasting roster spots with the release of Julio Franco. (Sele did finally make it into the game — but not until the eighth.)
How much did Doug Brocail pay Todd Helton for that goatee?
The Padres’ road uniform color is really awful. They call it “sand”, but the players look like they all returned from a golden shower, rather than the beach.
Guillermo Mota’s confidence is shot — and I’m not sure how that can be fixed. His stuff still has the potential to dominate, but he’s a head case. If Sele remains forgotten, maybe he should be released and Mota put into the mopup role with the hopes that he can somehow get his confidence back. When his head is right, he’s phenomenal — and that is enough justification for trying to help him get back “there”.
With Lastings Milledge starting against Chris Young and again against Jake Peavy, it’s pretty clear that Willie has handed LMillz the rightfielder job. On the one hand — and despite my strange love for Shawn Green — I like the move. On the other, I’m a bit miffed and annoyed at Randolph. First, because late last week he stated that Milledge and Green would share time, when in fact Milledge was being given the job. Second, why does Milledge win a job over Green, while Gotay doesn’t win a job over Damion Easley? I realize the Mets now have Luis Castillo, and that Castillo has turned out to be a fantastic addition. However, pre-Castillo, Gotay was given the runaround over and over, despite sparking the team, outplaying all other second base candidates, and hitting .340. You can’t say it’s because Milledge had experience from last year, because Gotay had 130 MLB games under his belt prior to this season. It’s simply another example of one player having organizational support, while the other has no one in his corner. Amazing that a guy can be such an extreme overachiever, keep his mouth shut, do everything “right”, but because no one predicted his success or otherwise “fell in love” with him, he sits. Again, I wholeheartedly agree with Milledge winning a starting spot. My frustration is with the double standard held against Gotay. In other words, it’s all about the hype, and not necessarily about the production.
By the way, Milledge went 0-for-4, striking out four times. Interestingly, Shawn Green has a career .306 average against Jake Peavy.
The finale has Tom Glavine going against Justin Germano, in another 7:10 PM start.