Astros 4 Mets 0
The Mets were swept by the Astros for the first time in 15 years, and were shut out to boot.
Oliver Perez pitched adequately — not great, but not awful — but his performance was negligible since the Mets bats ran cold against Randy “Koufax” Wolf
Wolf improved his record against the Mets to 11-5 lifetime, as he threw up zeroes through five innings, striking out seven. Strangely, he allowed 9 baserunners in those five frames — nearly two per inning, but as has been the case all year, the Mets were unable to push the runners home. And you wonder why I was crying about the Mets not picking up a veteran run producer in the days and hours before the trade deadline.
John Maine was placed on the DL (thankfully, in my opinion) and replaced with reliever Eddie Kunz, who made his Major League debut in the seventh and threw a scoreless, though messy, inning.
As if the bullpen weren’t bad enough, Billy Wagner has “tightness in his elbow” and was unavailable for the contest. My many years of being around pitchers tells me that he could be on the verge of an elbow issue — likely some form of tendinitis, such as epicondylitis (a.k.a., tennis elbow). It’s not a major injury, but when you’re a reliever who throws full speed several times a week, it can develop into a chronic issue. Cortisone shot and rest is the usual treatment.
Nick Evans started in left and made two outstanding throws to nail runners trying to stretch singles into doubles. However, he also committed a key miscue and continues to be overmatched at the plate.
Carlos Delgado was 3-for-4 and inching close to .270. I will soon be eating several helpings of humble pie and will be down on my knees begging him for forgiveness for my scathing criticism of a month ago.
Jose Reyes stroked two hits for the fourth consecutive game, and for the seventh time in the last eight games. However, the Mets are 3-5 in those contests, so the theory that “as Jose goes, so go the Mets”, doesn’t exactly hold water.
Carlos Beltran also had two hits, and seems comfortable in the two-hole. He certainly isn’t comfy in clutch RBI situations. But hey, just because he’s making $18.6M this year, doesn’t mean he can’t be a table setter. Ichiro makes that kind of money, right?
Robinson Cancel bunted for a hit in the third, then lost his mind and was caught stealing third for the third out with David Wright at the plate. Apparently he caught “Temporary Delgado Disease”, an illness in which a bulky man suddenly thinks he’s faster and smarter than Rickey Henderson. I really want to believe he missed a sign, but apparently that wasn’t the case. I felt awful for Robby, who otherwise has been an inspiration for his hustle and tenacity.
The Mets receive a WELLLLLLLLLLLLLL deserved day off on Monday as they trek back to Shea for a 7-game homestand that begins with three games hosting the San Diego Padres. Mike Pelfrey (6’7″) pitches the opener against Chris Young (6’10”) in what promises to be one of the tallest pitcher vs. pitcher contests of the season (has Young faced Randy Johnson?). Judging the Mets’ inability to drive runners in, and the complete collapse of the bullpen, Big Pelf will need to pitch a 9-inning shutout and hit the game-winning homer to take this game.
At least they have all day to plan for it.