Cubs 11 Mets 4
The Bobby Parnell Experiment took another step backward.
Parnell allowed 8 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 4 2/3 innings, capped by a grand-slam homerun.
The offense scored four early runs against Ryan Dempster, then kind of fizzled.
Not much more to describe about this game, from the Mets’ point of view. Another long day of watching poor fundamentals, questionable decisions, walks of the opposing pitcher, etc., etc.
The bullpen was no better than Parnell. Ken Takahashi allowed a run in his one inning, and Lance Broadway gave up two in his inauspicious Mets debut.
The Mets had a chance to have a HUGE inning in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. Brian Schneider stroked a double to score two, but Fernando Tatis was tossed out at home after stopping at third, then re-starting toward home for reasons unknown. Then Jerry Manuel gave up an out (and the game) by allowing the already struggling Parnell to hit, and having him sacrifice for the second out. Angel Pagan grounded out weakly to get Dempster out of trouble.
Tatis became the 16th Met runner thrown out at home this season.
Was it just a coincidence that the cameras were focused on the back of Jake Fox’s jersey every chance they had?
Fox’s grand slam came on an 0-2 slider that hung up in the zone. It was like deja vu all over again — the pitch took almost the exact flight of Brian Stokes’ hanger to Alfonso Soriano on the previous afternoon.
Aaron Heilman made his first-ever appearance against the Mets. He wasn’t dominating, but did well enough. He also put on a few pounds (perhaps the home cooking?) and was wearing old-school stirrups. Something else was different, too — his arm angle, which was more over the top than we’d seen in the past. He’s still throwing three-quarter, but more of a high three-quarter than he usually did as a Met. If you remember, the more Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel (ab)used him, the more Heilman’s arm angle would drop — to the point where at times his delivery resembled that of Joe Smith.
Seeing Heilman and Parnell in the same game stoked a memory. Remember when Omar Minaya explained that Aaron Heilman wouldn’t be a starter because he didn’t have command of enough different pitches? Yeah …
Next Mets Game
The Mets can’t leave Chicago fast enough, but before they do there’s one more afternoon affair with the Cubs. Game time is 2:20 PM, with Nelson Figueroa facing Carlos Zambrano.