Angels 6 Mets 1
It is simply implausible that the Mets lost this game to the Angels.
After all, they have championship talent on their roster, which had been impinged for the last 170 games by the follies of Willie Randolph. Now that Willie “Roadblock” Randolph has been removed, this team should be beating the bejesus out of everyone. The Flushing Juggernauts should be stampeding through the rest of the inferior teams that make up MLB, no?
Apparently, not. In fact, not even when the Mets have the best pitcher in baseball on the mound.
Within four pitches, there was controversy, as Jose Reyes strained a leg muscle and then threw a temper tantrum when new manager Jerry Manuel removed him from the game. Reyes slammed his helmet to the ground in disgust and headed for the clubhouse, with Manuel following him after the top of the inning ended. I imagine Jerry gave Jose some stern words and good spanking for that infantile display. No doubt Reyes will bat .375 for the rest of the year, and we’ll look back at this incident as the turning point in Jose’s season.
Or perhaps not. But I have to come up with some kind of story, don’t I? Going into the game I was completely apathetic in regard to the outcome, and as a result the final score meant zip to my numbness. Hopefully this feeling will blow over soon; I’d have to have to start knitting or engaging in papercraft activities to fill my evenings.
I watched Luis Castillo pull up halfway down the first base line and jog the rest of the way after hitting a grounder to second base to end the eighth inning. He remained in the game. I notice these “little” things, because as a former player and coach, I know they separate winners from losers. New manager, same tough talk, same half-assed effort from the players. Go ahead and let me know that Castillo has to be easy on his bad knees. What in the world was the off-season surgery for, then? The way I see it, there’s only one speed to play this game — full speed — and if you can’t physically handle that, you shouldn’t be playing.
Santana was awful, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings.
On the other hand, Aaron Heilman pitched another perfect inning — this time coming in to start the frame and with the bases empty.
The Mets collected only six hits, with the only run scoring on a double play grounder by David Wright in the initial inning. They managed one walk, and were retired on 130 pitches. I guess Jerry Manuel didn’t have any magic bat speed dust for these championship-caliber hitters.
In all fairness to Manuel, the players likely were in no condition — mentally nor emotionally — to play a baseball game after this firing fiasco. Good luck to you, Jerry — you have your hands full.
The rubber match will be played again at 10:05 pm EST (what do these Left Coast folks have against afternoon games?), with Oliver Perez pitching against Jon Garland.