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Monday, April 30, 2007

Acta's Edge


Game 1: Washington 4, NY Mets 3 AP Recap
Game 2: NY Mets 6, Washington 2 AP Recap
Game 3: NY Mets 1, Washington 0 AP Recap

Has anybody seen our offense? What a miserable showing from our bats this weekend down at RFK. This wasn't like getting shut down by Tim Hudson or John Smoltz, this was Matt Chico, Jerome Williams, and Jason Bergmann. Really, with how anemic our offense was I suppose we should be happy winning 2 of 3. Time will tell if any of these kids in the Gnats rotation are actually any good, but as of now, they are not good enough to hold our offense to 3 runs in 18.1 innings. In fact, we're 3-2 vs. the Gnats this season and have been struggling more than that against them this season. All five games have been decided by 4 runs or fewer, whereas only 8 of 15 games against other teams have been decided by such a small margin. I suggest that these tight games and the relative effectiveness of the Gnats starters has to do with their manager Manny Acta. Let's call it Acta's Edge. As I'm sure you know, dear reader, Manny was our 3rd base coach last season, and as such, has unparalleled insight into our personnel. Therefore, the Gnats have better and more nuanced scouting reports than any other team. This partially explains our issues with the Gnats. The good news is that Acta's Edge should dissipate as the season continues and we don't see the Gnats again until late July. Also fortunate is that the Gnats are arguably the least talented team in the league and stink like Mo Vaughn's game socks.

Game 1 featured a strong start from Dr. Ollie. Despite allowing the Gnats first 3 1st inning runs of the season on a 3 run blast by Austin Kearns. Ollie settled in nicely, consistently going after hitters and throwing strikes. 81 of 120 pitches were strikes, he only allowed 1 additional run on 8 hits in 7 IP, striking out 9 and, like his previous start, walking 0. If he throws like that he's going to win more than he loses. Unfortunately for him, and for us, he was victimized by our our anemic offense and lack of run support, even though this was our best offensive output of the series. Miraculously, this was the only game we lost.

Game 2 was yet another quality start by Glavine. 6 innings, 1 run, 3 hits. Just like all his starts this season. However, Glavine was denied win #294 by our anemic offense. In fact, the run Glavine did allow, despite being written up as an ER was nothing of the sort. Felipe Lopez was clearly out at first on what would have been an inning ending double play, but was called safe. Willie came out to argue, deservedly so, and got tossed. The inning continued and Lopez came around to score. Meanwhile the Mets made Jerome Williams look like a pitcher who could win 300 games going hitless until Beltran lined a single in the 6th. For the 2nd time in less than a week the Mets were down to their final out when the bench came through to send the game to extras. Green and Easley (in for the injured Valentin) each singled in the top of the 9th with 2 outs. Franco delivered the 3rd consecutive hit off closer Chad Cordero, and Endy Chavez, pinch running for Green, came around to score on a beautiful slide to evade the tag on a bang-bang play at the plate. Again, Endy's Mets legacy continues to grow. The Mets went on to win by 4 in 12 innings on RBI hits from Beltran and Wright. Not a pretty game, but it was an exciting one, and we'll take the W.

Game 3 featured yet another fantastic outing by John Maine. 7 innings of shutout ball allowing only 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8. We really needed a strong outing from him after a 12 innings affair that used almost every arm in the pen, and we got it. Again, the Gnats starter, Bergmann, was almost as good, allowing only 2 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings. Fortunately for us, one of the two hits was a towering solo shot by Beltran. That HR was incredibly impressive, the pitch was fastball up but on the outside corner, and Beltran pulled it way out of the biggest park in the majors. That was the only run of the game. In the end, we had just enough to take this series.

Now for some bad news, El Duque, who was scheduled to start tonight against the Fish, has been placed on the DL due to right shoulder bursitis. The start tonight goes to Chan Ho Park, who will be making his Mets debut. With the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs this season, Park was 3-1 with a 7.29 ERA. He's allowed 26 hits in 21 innings, including 6 long ball in just 4 starts. Uh-oh. Hopefully, the bats get going tonight Park will likely need the run support against what is statistically the 2nd best hitting team in the NL (I know I have a hard time believing that too). More bad news, Jose Valentin is apparently headed to the DL as well with an ACL injury. While no official announcement has yet been made you can expect to see a lot more of Damion Easley in the coming weeks. Rumor has it that Ruben Gotay is on his way to Shea to be our new utility infielder.

OK, I have more to say, but game time is only 2 hours away and I suppose I should post this just in case anyone out there wants to read it. The Mets snuck back into first place by half a game when the Braves lost to the Rockies last night on the strength of an extremely rare unassisted triple play and walk off HR in the 11th. I'd like to not relinquish 1st, so let's hope the offense awakens tonight against a strong young lefty in Scott Olsen who is apparently coming off his best start of the season. The Braves have the Phillies tonight and unfortunately both teams can't lose, so we're just going to have to keep winning.

Let's Go Mets!!!

***UPDATE*** It's official Valentin went to the DL backdated to yesterday, and Gotay is with the team. And while I'm updating, I can't believe I didn't shout out to Julio Franco! The man is responsible for both wins in this series with his unbelievably clutch game tying hit in game 2 and that incredible play on what I can only describe as a reverse wheel play in game 3 (Anybody seen that play before? Is that some Willie genius)?. How long until Mets fans start clamoring for Franco to be getting the starting job over Delgado... just kidding... but way to be old-timer.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stat-Fest!!! #2


Off days are nice for the team. It gives everyone a little much needed rest. It also frees up about 3 hours of my life. The inevitable result of which is the 2nd edition of Stat-Fest!

  • The Mets are batting .295 as a team easily leading the majors. Even more impressive is that our numbers include pitchers, the next 3 teams are AL teams. In 2nd, is that other New York team hitting .281. The next NL team is the Fish at .273.
  • 4 starters are hitting over .300, Alou (.377), Reyes (.356), Green (.351), and Beltran (.337). Endy (.412) and El Duque (.308) are also over .300 in limited PAs.
  • The Mets also lead the league in Slugging % (.470), On-Base % (.368), and, obviously, OPS (.838).
  • The Mets lead the majors in Stolen Bases (21), lead by Reyes (12), Beltran (4), and Wright (3).
  • The Mets lead the majors in Team ERA (2.88) and Bullpen ERA (2.27). The pitching staff has allowed the fewest Earned Runs (58) and fewest Hits /9 innings in the majors (7.31).
  • The Mets have the best record / winning % in the NL and are tied with the Red Sox for the best mark in the majors (13-7 / .650).
  • The Mets have committed the 3rd fewest errors (9) and have the 3rd best fielding % (.988) in the majors.
  • Jose Reyes leads the majors in SBs (12) and Triples (5), and leads the NL in Runs Scored (23). Which put him on pace for 97 SBs, 40 Triples, and an astonishing 186 Runs Scored.
  • Green, Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, and Wright have played in all 20 games for the Mets this season.
  • Green leads the Mets in BA against Righties (.414).
  • Beltran leads the Mets in BA against Lefties (.500). Reyes and Lo Duca are tied for 2nd (.429). In fact, as a team the Mets are batting .352 against lefties this season in 182 ABs to lead the majors. One of greatest weaknesses last season has turned into a strength.
  • 2 Mets starters have an OPS over 1. Reyes (1.049) and Beltran (1.027). Easley (1.190), Castro (1.089), and Endy (1.059) are over 1 in limited PAs.
  • The Mets BA is .047 higher on the road than at Shea (.320 vs. .273). Their OPS is .122 higher (.902 vs. .780). The Mets 6-5 at home, while they are 7-2 on the road.
  • Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano have not allowed an earned run yet this season. Smith has set the record for most consecutive scoreless appearances to begin his career with the Mets. In addition to Smith and Feliciano, Burgos, Schoenweis, Sele, and Wagner have not allowed an ER on the road.
  • Believe it or not, despite leading the Mets in losses (2), Aaron Heilman has the lowest WHIP on the team (.90). He has only walked 1 batter this season.
  • El Duque leads the Mets in Ks (25) and IPs (32.0). As many bases have been stolen against El Duque (5) as the rest of the pitching staff combined.
  • Dr. Ollie leads the team in K/9 (9.37).
  • Our 2 most effective relievers, Smith and Feliciano are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of pitches / IP. Smith is the most efficient on the team (13.45) while Feliciano is the least efficient (22.20).


Let's Go Mets!!!

Rocky Series


Game 2: NY Mets 2, Colorado 1 AP Recap
Game 3: Colorado 11, NY Mets 5 AP Recap

Game 2 of the series against the Rockies proved to be one of the most exciting games of the year. It was the Mets first extra inning affair of the season. It was also the lowest scoring game of the year. Don't get me wrong, I love it when we put up 10-spots, but there's just a different kind of nervous agitation (which leads to more exhilarant exuberation) involved in pitcher's duels, which this game certainly was. El Duque was masterful, throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, for strikes. He left for a pinch hitter after throwing 7 strong, scoreless innings allowing only 4 hits with 5 Ks. I nearly lost it when he got Helton with a 52 MPH Eephus pitch. When El Duque is on, he is as fun to watch as any pitcher out there, and not just because of the ridiculous leg kick, but also because he really will throw any pitch on any count. I suppose I should give some props to the Rockies' sinker baller Aaron Cook, he was sharp throughout inducing DPs when needed, and stranding Valentin after his 3rd inning lead off triple. He also went 7 scoreless innings. Heilman pitched a 1-2-3 8th, and Willie must be reading this blog, because he actually brought in Wagner to pitch the 9th in a tie game at home. Wags pitched in a pressure situation, which I'm defining as a game within 3 runs, for the first time since (no joke) Friday the 13th, or 11 days for those counting. To me he looked nervous. He had serious control issues, walking the first batter he faced, and later bouncing a pitch 5 feet in front of home plate. Maybe he should pop in a bigger dip for these pressure situations. He squeaked through the 9th and, when we failed to score in the bottom half, stayed on for the tenth. He didn't throw a first pitch strike to any of the 8 batters he faced. Wags allowed the 1st run of the game in the 10th on a triple by shortstop phenom Troy Tulowitzki and I had a headline written for this post (I'm saving it for when he does blow one). But that was not to be... Down to their final strike, Damion Easley, the unlikeliest of unlikely heroes, hit one out to the bleachers. That's 2 HRs for Easley this season with only 2 hits this season, but more important it extended the game for some more magic. It was unbelievable. As Mike said via iChat when it happened, "fwof;hacvu09 iotioa34tio u4ui; oa34iuo t4i uo4ti uota343t. FUCKJJFW JKFEWJEFWF J:EWJFEWFJEWFEW" I replied the only way I could, "OUIRGWOIBWIOFYG* ($YF@(*GBE BCEILWYG)*E& GCBEKLJVB!" Schoenweis came in for the 11th and looked sharp, walking none. He split the 12th with my boy Joe Smith, who was typically effective and earned his first major league win when this happened:

A walk-off drag bunt by Endy Chavez! His Mets legacy continues to grow! What a game! That's the kind of game that makes me feel bad for AL fans, they never get to see anything like that. I was so excited I was easily talked into going out to a bar afterwards, and combined with the day game the next day, this post was delinquent. I'm sure you, dear reader, can understand.

Unfortunately, I must also briefly describe game 3 of the series, which from the get go looked as if the Mets had gone out drinking after the exhilarating finish of game 2 as well. It was also Carlos Beltran's 30th birthday. Whatever the reason, the Mets came out and laid an egg, not scoring any of their 5 runs until allowing 11 by the Rockies. The Rockies started 5 players hitting under .200, the Mets started 5 players hitting over .300, we had just crushed their spirits the night before, maybe we thought we would just walk over them. Regrettably, the main story here for Mets fans is young Mike Pelfrey. Coming into the game, Pelfrey led the league in % of full counts amongst starters. This is a very bad thing for a contact pitcher. He's not striking anyone out, but he's walking people and throwing a lot of pitches. He relies on weak contact caused by the late movement on his pitches. He had no late movement on his pitches in this game. His fastball, more accurately a fatball, was flat as a pancake which the Rockies poured syrup on and ate for brunch. They say hitting is contagious, well the Rockies had a hitting outbreak and proceeded to clobber everything and everyone until the game was far out of reach. I think Pelfrey's got a lot of potential, he's going to take his lumps, but I think as long as were still winning, and don't have a clear cut better option for his spot in the rotation, he can take his lumps at this level. It will expedite his development, assuming it doesn't destroy his confidence. If we hit behind Pelfrey the way we hit behind Maine, Pelfrey's got a W or two this season. What really worries me about this start is that it was his first start on regular rest, and his fastball was flat. You can't survive in the majors with a flat fastball, no matter how hard you throw. Especially with only a couple pitches in your arsenal. Maybe he's not strong enough yet, not seasoned enough yet. He's really been rushed up to the bigs. He's got an extra day, thanks to today's off day, before his next start, but the following start will be on normal rest. That will be the real test, if he comes back throwing BP in that start... well, there are a lot of really good restaurants in New Orleans.

The good news is that the evil, despicable, vile Braves blew a 3 run 9th inning lead against the Fish last night, so despite the rout by the Rockies we remain in first place. Hopefully you are enjoying the off day, and the post from new contributor Mike U. Back to work tomorrow with Dr. Ollie vs. the Gnats. We'll see who shows up for that one. Hopefully yesterday's debacle will inspire our team.

Let's Go Mets!!!

The Offday: Episode 1

I must admit - I accepted the invitation to write here knowing full-well I would not have nearly the amount of time I wished I had to scribe my thoughts on the Mets. And while I don't miss a game, either via my seats in 704B, SNY, WFAN, MLB Gameday Audio, or my Slingbox - finding the time to author is a tad bit tricker.

However, I have realized there will some days where I have an extra 3+ hours available to me -- the off-day. And so I commit to you, the 2 or 3 readers of Home Run Apple, to share with you my thoughts on the days where we have nothing else to talk about, in relation to the Mets, except the past.

Thoughts on 4/26/2007:

  • I have yet to see the "moxy" that I saw from last year's team. Tuesday's extra-inning win against the Rockies was a flash, but it still feels like some small bit of that character is missing. Is Floyd a greater loss than we thought?
  • Moving the turnstiles to board the 7-train is a welcome improvement at Shea. It's not perfect, but it's better.
  • Gotta give Pelfrey one more start. C'mon kid, we know you got the stuff. We saw it in the spring.
  • Every time I see Kevin Berkhart on SNY, he looks happier than a kid in a candy store. Think this dude found his dream job? Sure beats giving the 20/20 on WFAN, doesn't it Kevin? I'd guess WFAN isn't the happiest place to be these days, anyhow.
  • I'm curious of everyone's opinions of the SNY in-game interview (recent guests include HoJo, Rick Down, and Tom Nieto). I'm not a fan. I'm not sure Gary is either.
  • I refuse to worry, at this point, about Wright not hitting. If he's still not hitting by the next installment of The Offday, maybe I'll worry a little more.
  • I kinda wonder, when Willie needs a pinch hitter, if he just closes his eyes and points to someone. Whatever works, dude...
  • Dear In-Game Entertainment Team: You realize no one is singing along to Sweet Caroline in the 8th, right? That's because it's embarrassing, and everyone knows it belongs to Fenway Park. For years I fight to rid us of the Wave, I come so close, and now I must go on a new crusade? No rest for the weary...
  • It worries me that I'm most comfortable with Smith and Burgos coming out of the bullpen. I'm glad to see them perform well, but c'mon Arron - stop moping around and get some 1-2-3 innings under your belt.
  • How come everyone can score runs off Bob Wickman except the Mets?
  • I lobbied hard against Green in the spring. Sorry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Maine Attraction

NY Mets 6, Colorado 1 AP Recap

They say it's better to be lucky than good. However, it's best to be lucky and good. John Maine is just that. He's good alright, last night pitching 7.2 innings and allowing just one run to lower his season ERA to 1.71. But he's also been lucky in that the 6 runs the Mets put up behind him last night was the least run support he's gotten all season. They had been averaging 10 runs in Maine's previous 3 starts, and they would be undefeated in his appearances if Maine had given up 3 times as many runs in any of his starts. Atta Boy John. Keep it up.

Jose Valentin's 4 RBI night should be commented on. He just owns Buchholz. In his career facing him, he's got 2 HRs and 7 RBIs in just 3 career ABs against him. Bizarrely, the last time the Mets faced Buchholz he was with the Astros, and John Maine started against him. Maine shut the Astros bats down (complete game shutout), and the Mets cruised to victory behind HRs from Valentin and Delgado.

Speaking of Delgado, he's finally off the schnide with his 2-run shot in the 7th. It was one of his trademark lasers of the facing of the mezzanine by the Mets bullpen. Very nice to see him striking the ball the way we all know he can. I think he's starting to come around. David Wright, on the other hand, continues to struggle mightily. He now has a 4 game hitless streak following his franchise record 26 game hitting streak. Even worse, he's looked terrible in that span. Honestly, he didn't look great during his hitting streak either. He did line one out to right last night, which was the first ball he's hit hard in about a week, so maybe he's starting to come around. And, I'm just not going to talk about Burgos' near meltdown, I'm in too good a mood right now. The pain in my eye has begun to dissipate.

Jose Reyes had the rare 0 for, but still managed to steal 2 bases bringing his league leading total to 12. He's shooting for 80 this year, and I think he should certainly be able to do it if he keeps his OBP up (currently at .438). It will be nice to erase the name Roger Cedeno from the Mets record books.

Our outfield continues to rake. Green is currently our least productive outfielder hitting a measly .333. Beltran is at .351 (he took home NL player of the week honors last week), while Alou flirts with .400 at .397.

And in other good news, the Fish beat the Braves last night which, coupled with our win, puts us back in first place. And, we've got an opportunity to make some hay this week with 2 more against the Rockies, followed by 3 at RFK, followed by 3 at Shea vs. the Fish, before a long west coast trip. The Mets send El Duque to the mound to face Aaron Cook, who, despite a deceptively low 4.00 ERA, in winless in his last 9 starts. El Duque had his best start of the season last time out with 10 Ks after getting some early run support. So how about some early runs and a blowout tonight. After all, you can't sweep a three game series without winning the first two.

Let's Go Mets!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

giving mets fans a bad name

this guy is an idiot.

I Hate The Braves



Game 1: Atlanta 7, NY Mets 3 AP Recap
Game 2: NY Mets 7, Atlanta 2 AP Recap
Game 3: Atlanta 9, NY Mets 6 AP Recap

As I've gotten older I've gotten considerably more mellow. I was an angsty teen. I used to hate all kinds of things (soft music, child proof caps, lima beans, dentists, etc.) but these days I don't really hate on things the same way I used to. But I still hate the Braves. I think I hate them more right now than I ever have. It's an all-consuming hatred that fills my stomach and throat with the fire of a thousand suns. I hate Bobby Cox. I hate Chipper and Andruw Jones. I hate Jeff Francoeur. I even hate Chris Woodward now. The hatred is so intense that it spills over into non-baseball things. I hate Ted Turner. I hate the entire city of Atlanta. If it weren't for peaches and the Allman Brothers I would probably hate the entire state of Georgia. I hate the last line of the national anthem. OK, maybe not that last one, but you get the point, I hate the Braves. Needless to say, I am not pleased by how this weekend's series with the Braves went. Although I have to admit I do feel a little bit better having ranted about my hatred of all things Braves related. You just have to let it out sometimes. I've been seriously depressed since this series ended.

We came into game 1 on Friday half a game up on the evil, despicable, vile Braves in the NL east. The game was completely dominated by the pitching of Tim Hudson. He was extremely sharp, as he has been every start this season, and pitched 8 innings of shutout ball. Pelfrey wasn't awful, but he would have had to have been perfect to give us a chance to win this one. David Wright's hitting streak came to an end, shortly after being jinxed on this very blog by this very blogger. Lo Duca appeared to be struggling with his injured hand, looking terrible at the plate and behind it. Reyes had his first error of the season, leading to 3 unearned runs against Feliciano to put the game away. Basically it was a crapfest throughout, the only bright spot happened in garbage time, when the Mets put up 3 against Rafael Soriano. The home run apple made it's season debut on Green's 2-run shot. It's hard to believe that it took almost 6 entire games for the best hitting team in the majors to hit one out of their home ballpark. It also took the Mets 6 series before they dropped game 1. Both happened. Sometimes we're going to get shut down by a great pitcher. While it sucked to watch, you can't be that upset by this one.

Game 2 was a completely different story. Ollie made a triumphant comeback after a 9 day layoff since Walkfest 2007. He was incredible, giving up 2 runs in 6.2 innings on 9 hits and 0 walks. He was a strike throwing machine. 72 of 98 pitches were strikes, including 33 of his first 39, and he never even got to a 3 ball count. Incredible. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Ollie is not really this pitcher either. I suspect we're going to have to put up with this Dr. Ollie and Mr. Perez routine all season, but he's 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA (granted that ERA deserves to be much higher, but its not). I'll take it. Ramon Castro got the start over Lo Duca, presumably because of the day game after night game thing, but maybe also because Paulie's a little dinged up, and continued his torrid start, hitting a 2 run shot and drawing a walk in 4 plate appearances. Castro is batting a hefty .353 so far this season. The bats came back to life in this one as well putting up 7 runs on 11 hits. Beltran went 4 for 5 finishing a HR short of a cycle. Reyes went 3 for 5 finishing a triple short of a cycle.

Game 3 was easily the most tightly contested, most exciting, and ultimately, most frustrating game of the series, if not the season. 17 games into the season, the Mets have only played 7 games decided by 3 runs or fewer, and we have come out on the losing end in 4 of those 7. This promised to be a low scoring affair with 2 future hall of famers taking the hill, but it didn't turn out that way. The Mets got yet another quality start out of Glavine who gave up 3 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings while becoming the 2nd Mets starter in as many nights to pitch at least 6 innings without walking a batter. He left the game with a chance to win #294. Smoltz looked unhittable early, throwing 4 scoreless innings before starting to get touched up in the 5th when he started hanging sliders. (Quick side note: Gary, Keith, and Ron do a tremendous job broadcasting these games. I wouldn't have noticed that was what happened to Smoltz had Keith not pointed it out to me. I've been watching on MLB.TV so sometimes a get the other teams crew. There is not a crew that comes close to providing the level of insight to the intricacies of the game that our guys do. Big ups to Gary, Ron, and Keith.) Smoltz who held the Mets to 2 of 18 his first 2 trips through the lineup, got touched up for 7 for 10 afterward and left the game on the hook, giving up 6 in 5.2 innings. So at this point, Reyes just cleared the bases with a triple, we've got a 6-3 lead after 6, Glavine won the battle of the starters, I'm thinking this one's in the bag. Take that Braves! You can't bring that crap in our house! We'll just hand this over to our outstanding bullpen and send the Braves out of town as the losers they truly are. No problem... right? Wrong. Now, I am a Willie guy, and I'm grateful for the role he has played in turning this team around, but I was flummoxed by his bullpen management in this one. First, he sent out Burgos, who actually pitched well and should have had a 1-2-3 inning had Green not gotten spooked by the wall and miffed what should have been an easy out. That was ruled a hit, but surely should have been ruled an error, and Burgos' run should have been unearned. Anyway Willie, I thought Burgos wasn't used in close games, especially in close games when the wind is blowing out to right center, I mean, he's a fly ball pitcher. Oh, it's a different look than Glavine? Okay, but so is Smith and he's actually been our most effective bullpen arm and has pitched less in this series. Whatever, no great loss, we'll just bring in Pedro and get out of this mini-mess. Schoenweis? But, he's walked more batters than he's pitched innings. See Willie, he just walked Johnson, who had a HR already in the game but was given the golden sombrero by Ollie yesterday. And here comes the tying run in the form of Edgar Renteria and, oh shit... Actually, that pitch that Renteria took out of the park to tie the game was a good one. It was a breaking ball down and away, certainly a ball if Edgar doesn't hit it. It looked like a pop-up off the bat, and it looked like Beltran thought he was going to catch until it carried over the wall. Bad break. But good teams take advantage of extra outs and extra men on base and now the game is tied. Crap. Good thing we still have my boy Joey S. in the pen to handle the 8th... Heilman??? Wait a minute, I thought he'd been demoted to mop-up duty, and didn't I hear something about him struggling with elbow tendinitis, and he pitched a full inning last night, and he's been moping around like a 5 year old without his favorite toy every time the camera's catch him. OK, I guess this was his job last season, and I remember beating the Braves a few times last season. Valentin commits the rare error, Heilman plunks a guy and now Heilman's facing Kelly Fucking Johnson who hits the 2nd 3 run HR in as many innings, we're down 3 and I have a searing pain behind my left eyeball. Thanks a lot Willie. You know, Johnson really struggles with hard throwing lefties, as evidenced by the fact that Dr. Ollie struck him out 4 times yesterday. I seem to recall we have a guy like that in our pen. Oh yeah, he's our closer! And this is a tie game at home late in the ball game, that seems like a time when a closer might traditionally be used, or does Wags only work in blowouts now? Aaargh! What the hell Willie! This was a huge game against our biggest rivals for first place in our division! This was no time to be fiddling and experimenting with the bullpen! Put our best arms on the mound! Don't feed me that crap about how it's a long season and every game counts the same and blah blah blah. Every game does not count the same. Games against the Braves count at least twice as much, literally because they are the next best team in the division and every loss against them is a win for them, figuratively even more so as they are our arch-nemesis and we need to make a statement by tanning their hides. It would be great for morale. For me personally, these games probably count 5 times as much just because I hate the Braves so much. I don't just want to beat them, I want to demoralize them. I want them to finish 20 games back. I want them looking up at the Gnats and the Fish and the Phils. I want them mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in July. I want Braves fans, all 2,000 or so of them, to be as goddamn frustrated as I am right now.

Anyway... where was I? Oh right. We lost the game, and the series. We fall to a miserable 11-6, with 4 of our 6 losses coming against the evil, despicable, vile Braves, who move back into first place having won both series against us this season. In fact, the Braves have come from behind to win 3 of those 4, 2 Ls going next to Heilman's name in the paper. We had 2 errors in this one, although it should have been 3, and our bullpen got thrashed. It's like some kind of bizarro Mets when we play the Braves. It's eerily and horribly reminiscent of the bad old days where we'd play the Braves, they'd be in our heads and we beat ourselves. I think I may have mentioned this already, but I hate the Braves.

Hopefully we can get back on track tonight against the Rockies. John Maine, who has been great thus far this year, goes against Tyler Buchholz, who is making his first start of the season after allowing 4 ER in 6.1 innings of relief work. Maybe if we can clobber the Rockies this pain behind my eyeball will begin to dissipate and I'll be able to snap out of my funk.

Let's Go Mets!!!
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