Promotional consideration provided tonight by a couple of Trader Joe's mini frozen pizzas and New York City tap water, finest in the world (El Guapo hasn't been grocery shopping in a while).
Stay tuned, or, more likely, read all this at once at work tomorrow. First post after the top of the first.
Pre-game update: The game hasn't even started yet and my computer's fan is already running like an MF. It's 90 degrees out there and close to that in here. This live blog might be over before it starts.
Top 1: It's taken me a long time to figure out exactly what to call the thing on Spiezio's chin. I finally figured it out, and it's just about right, so let's just dispense with it here: it's a merkin. A merkin. Spiezio doubles to left.
I'm all set to make fun of the fact that the Cards' cleanup hitter is Juan Encarnacion, who at 31 is at least five years younger than I thought he was, and he doubles in a run. Odaliz Perez strikes out someone I've never heard of before last night's game (Ryan Ludwick) to end the inning. 0-1, Cards.
Bottom 1: Todd Wellemeyer! Meet the Mets, Meet the Mets...! Reyes singles,
Top 2: I glance at the Internet, look up, and there's already two outs as Perez strikes out catcher Kelly Stinnett, who came out of retirement to be Gary Bennett's backup.
Keith is always better when you unfairly take him out of context: "I only have two balls. I can't go to three."
Bottom 2: A word about last night: Gomez's "styling" might not be acceptable or whatever, granted, but did we really need to give all that airtime over to chastising him for it? A mention maybe, but to the extent they went on about it, including in post-game? Really? Can we please give this "right way" stuff a rest for a while?
3: Awkward pause as the crew waits for Willie Randolph to join them for a between-inning interview. He talks about the June slump and injuries. He's still talking as the game resumes, and you get the feeling he'd rather not be. Reyes flies out on the first pitch as the interview ends. Gary Cohen informs us that Willie, sometime during the Dodgers series, picked up a chair and threw it, breaking a door. I feel that much better about Willie knowing that, and I already liked Willie.
Top 4: 1-2-3 for Oliver, including back to back strikeouts, his fourth and fifth of the game. Pitch count a little high for four innings of work (70), but otherwise he's rolling.
Bottom 4: The Cards
Top 5: Brendan grounds out 6-4, which is Perez's first ground ball out of the night. The man's a fly ball pitcher, kids. Keith reminisces about Sid Fernandez's starts, when the Mets could play an offense-only infield (HoJo at short, for example) as long as Mookie and Dykstra were both in the outfield. Sid once had a start where no assists were recorded behind him.
Bottom 5: Mets down 1-2-3.
Let me take a second in an uneventful inning to recommend Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports by SLAM columnist Dave Zirin. He writes brisk, to-the-point prose and is refreshingly unapologetic about his (progressive) politics. A great read so far. I'm about halfway through, just starting a section on the NBA's troubled relationship with hip-hop, which for the league is alternately a cash-cow and a scapegoat. Worthwhile reading for sports fans.
Top 6: Kevin Burkhardt tells us about the GourMets Family Cookbook, which I will absolutely be ordering a copy of, you better believe. DO YOU SMELL WHAT WILLIE IS COOKING?!?!
With runners on first and second and Aaron Miles up, beautiful throw by Reyes to end the threat. We're still tied up at one.
Bottom 6: Wright walks as Beltran steals third with two outs. This brings Delgado up, who doesn't have an RBI in that situation, it seems, all season long. It's very hard to watch Delgado go through this. This is just the kind of moment he's supposed to be around for. And he grounds harmlessly to second. I haven't been this depressed since they shot Bodie.
Top 7: Memo to Budweiser, RE: scoreboard ad: It's no longer flippin' cold. Thank you.
The Merkin strikes again! The Merrrrrrkinnnnnnn! That's Heilman's first inherited runner allowed this year. God-fucking-dammit. Valentin had it with time and bobbled it, and now Pujols is up. He grounds out to Reyes in a fielder's choice. 1-2, Cardinals.
Bottom 7: Respect. Hell of a running catch by Brendan to rob Valentin trying to redeem himself. Mets down 1-2-3. CPU fan struggling again.
Top 8: Heilman stays on with Feliciano and Diamond Joe Smith at the ready in the bullpen. Miles hits a grounder past Valentin. It would be a very tough play for any second baseman, but boy is it tough to watch Jose stumble around there with that brace on his 38-year-old knee. Especially after seeing him so surprisingly good at the position last season. (I don't know if he was statistically good or bad last year, but he at least looked pretty good.) Yet another ground ball straight up the middle scores Encarnacion, and Heilman is pulled to a smattering of boos. All right, which one of you told Brendan I made fun of his name? Because that was him right there.
Feliciano ends the inning with one pitch, a comebacker from Skip Schumaker. 1-3 Cards.
Bottom 8: Pedro watch: He threw to hitters today.
Pinch-hitter Ruben Gotay: 3 home runs and 11 RBI in 53 at bats; a .362 on-base percentage. And he plays second base. Hmmm. Russ Springer strikes him out after a long at-bat. After Reyes strikes out, LoDuca drives one deep to left over the Endyzone, making it 2-3 and chasing Springer. Jason Isringhausen comes in and induces Beltran to ground out. Generation K everyone! Feel the excitement!
Top 9: It's getting crazy out there. Taguchi almost gets doubled off running too far on a routine fly ball out by Spiezio, but Beltran's throw to first sails wide pulling Delgado way off the bag. Mota K's Pujols (you suck, Pujols). Encarnacion grounds out, and it's time for some more late-game magic from the Mets. Shawn Green will come up third.
Bottom 9: Can he do it again? Can he do it?! Kind of! Green works out a walk after battling from 0-2 and lining a long foul ball to left. And Valentin doubles in Green! The Cards kick the ball around and Valentin makes it to third. Green was running on the play; he doesn't score otherwise. Good stuff all around. That's Izzy's third blown save of the season.
Ledee walks, pinch-hitting for Carlos Gomez, and takes second on defensive indifference. It's down to Julio Franco and his .196 batting average. And it's a 4-3 groundout to end the inning.
Extras again! I'll be back after it ends with the wrap-up.
Schowenweis post-mortem: Well, get ready for another angry anti-Schoeneweis screed from Mets2Moon, I guess. Not that I can really blame him. Maybe we'll just re-post the first one. Brendan continues his assault with a leadoff home run in the 11th. He's a one-man wrecking crew. Ron has already called him scrappy and compared him to David Eckstein in yet another depressing episode. Kennedy immediately singles and steals second. By the way, Brendan had six home runs in four minor league seasons. After the intentional walk to Pujols, Scotty leaves to a shower of well-deserved boos.
The immortal Randy "Linoleum" Flores will come in to face Shawn Green, who again represents the tying run. Shawn, have I told you lately that I love you and that I never meant all those thoughtless things I said about you in spring training? What things, you say? Ummm, never mind. Let's just focus ont the moment.
Green pops up. Valentin flies to right. Mets2Moon looks up "hired killer" in the Yellow Pages. I go to bed. Good night, kids.