Elster's World

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Looking Back - Part 1

7 games into a very important homestand (3 against the surging Brewers, 4 against Lou's Cubbies and the always dreaded three game Yankee set) and the Mets are 5-2.

But it's been an interesting ride. They took 2 of 3 from the Brewers, essentially serving notice to the Brew Crew that they aren't quite in the Mets league as of yet.

They dropped the first game against the Cubs, took the next two (including a game won on a bases loaded walk to Delgado and a strange rain-delayed Jorge Sosa gem last night).

Which all set the stage for today's dramatic win.

Going in, this was a pretty important game. A victory would mean that even a 1-2 crapping of the bed against the Yankees insures a 6-4 record - which while not great is certainly palatable. However a loss would have meant a 5-5 homestand - which would have been a travesty. Sadly, the Mets had Jason Vargas, an untested rookie on the hill (very limited MLB experience).

So what does Willie do? Does he stack the lineup and hope the Mets pour it on and give Vargas a nice big cushion? Nope - he brings out his little league world series all-stars line up complete with Newhan at second, Gotay at short, the suddenly Methuselah-ic Franco at third, Castro behind the plate, Chavez in center and Gomez in left. If I'm Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green I'm wondering what I did to piss off my manager last night.

Predictably, Vargas sets down the first 10 batters he faced and is looking like Tom Glavine out there. He is 5.1 innings through - having given up one run on 2 hits - when the wheels came completely off. Two, 2-run home runs did him in. Down 5-1, Willie keeps Vargas in to finish the sixth and pitch the seventh (conceding the game perhaps?). Then Randolph pitched Burgos, only up in the majors because the guy who replaced him was just suspended 50 games for failing a drug test (conceding the game perhaps?) who manages to not create more damage.

Of course, the Mets rally in the ninth - and Willie has a murderers row of pinch hitters to use because he didn't play anyone (Beltran walked to load the bases, Wright singled in a run) before Delgado (having just an atrocious game until that point) rocketed a 2 run, game winning single to right (his second walk off winner this series). Just a strange series all the way.

So Willie looks like a genius but he could have severely botched this homestand because he was saving his bullpen for the Yankees. Go figure.

Looking forward - Why is it that even when the Yankees are not playing well and the Mets are 12 games about .500, Mets fans experience dread before this series? How many world series rings are necessary until Mets fans can feel confident about these things? hopefully the one the Mets win this season.

We will look back, part 2, after the Yankee series concluded Sunday night.

7 Comments:

  • Willie is an absolute idiot. He literally gave the game away leaving Vargas in during the 6th and playing his Mickey Mouse lineup. The Mets winnnig reminded me of 'Major League.'

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 6:07 PM  

  • Agreed - I just watched the replay on SNY - and Gary was like "Willie's faith in his bench is rewarded". Huh? His management almost cost the mets a very important game. I don't get it at all - Why throw away a winnable game against a reeling team going into the huge subway series??

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:45 PM  

  • Only when Lou finally take out Dempster to have a lefty pitch to Green did Willie decide to take the game seriously.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 7:44 AM  

  • Asinine. And for some reason, the papers are all in agreement that somehow throwing away the potential swing game of a 10 game homestand is an ok idea.

    So what if the Yankees and braves are coming up next? If I'm Willie and i want to show how cool I am, I'd have started the b team in the first game of the Yankee series and said sarcastically in the pre-game interview "Look, we have lots of repect for the Yankees, we know they can be a great team. But they are struggling alittle bit right now and we felt it would be a good opportunity to rest our players". And then watch oliver Perez go 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Not THAt would have been cool.

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:56 AM  

  • Imagine the whining if the Mets had lost this one.

    By Anonymous Bob Miller, at 11:48 AM  

  • And deservedly so - you don't throw away winable games. Randolph - and I like Randolph, I think he's a pretty good manager - has a propensity to putting out these insane lineups (usually after taking 2 of three from some weak opponent).

    What's worse is that he always does it with a rookie pitcher on the hill or an Oliver Perez type - the old "you have to ear a good lineup behind you rook" type philosophy which made totaly sense in 1945 but doesn't play anymore. Young pitchers (sadly) need to be coddled and have their confidence brought up - they don't need to be given the ball and a AAA line up and told to go out there and not get bombed to badly.

    Though, in retrospect, let's give some props to Vargas for shaking off his hellacious 6th and pitching a strong seventh.

    By Blogger Elster, at 12:00 PM  

  • How about not bothering to use the bullpen after Vargas gave up the first 2 run homer in the 6th.

    Of course Elster and I actually agree so he addes this off-topic nonsense about Willie being a "pretty good manager."

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 5:16 PM  

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