Monday, July 30, 2007

Ugly vs. Ugly

This was not the kind of weekend I'd hoped for.

With the miserable, rebuilding Nationals in town, the Mets pretty much played down to their level in four mostly forgettable games over three days, struggling to earn themselves a split against a team that, by all rights, they should have pummeled.

Although, as was the case in June, I am engulfed in work-related Theatrics (For those who don't know, M2M does trod the boards from time to time), and some late nights have reduced these games to a rumor level for me. But I know enough of what's going on (thanks to late night WFAN) and I'm not pleased with the recent results.

I was talking with a colleague the other day who I had not seen in some time, and he basically summed it all up rather quickly:

"The Mets are just there. They're not doing anything. They're just hanging around. They're just there."

They really are. The results of the weekend prove it. After looking bad in losing to Pittsburgh on Thursday, the Mets came out completely flat on Friday. Not even the return of Moises Alou could energize them as they were basically shut down by ex-farmhand (and the Great Hope of 2002) Mike Bacsik in a 6-2 loss.

Saturday, the Mets won the first game of the Abhorred Day-Night DH 3-1, basically behind the masterful efforts of El Duque and really in spite of another pitiful offensive performance, as they took another ragtag pitcher, Tim Redding, and made him look good for a while. The Nightcap saw Mike Pelfrey again muddle through another inconsistent outing before being bailed out by Delgado in the 6th, only to see Pedro Feliciano melt down in the 8th and some questionable moves by Willie came back to bite them in the ass in the end.

A word on the Anderson/Castro/Glavine fiasco: Although as with the rest of the games, I didn't see it progress, I can only imagine that Willie was trying to play some odd percentage game and gamble that Anderson would have come through against Ray King in the 7th, as opposed to having Castro pinch hit straight off since he was coming into the game for LoDuca anyway, which, as it turned out would have been the proper move, hindsight being 20/20. Instead, he hit Anderson there, lost him after one AB, and rather than having Castro bat again in the 9th, he was forced to Pinch-Hit Glavine since he was out of players. Again, this is a sensible move, but only if Milledge had reached to lead off the inning. And when he didn't, Willie had basically dug his own grave for the game. The strategy is evident and valid, and of course we know Willie will think outside the box. But this happened to be an instance where his plan backfired on all avenues and left everyone wondering what the hell he was exactly thinking about.

Leave it to John Maine to solve all the problems in Sunday's rain-shortened affair. Backed by nice days from Reyes, Wright and Castro, Maine threw an impressively effortless 62 pitches over his 5 shutout innings. Thank Heavens for that, since a poor effort would have meant a completely inexcusable 1-3 series as opposed to the barely acceptable series split the Mets were able to come away with.

Now, the creampuffs are done with. And a road trip that isn't going to be forgiving, beginning on Tuesday in Milwaukee against Mr. Twitches and Lil' Cecil, and continuing on to Chicago, always a fun place to visit (and let's remember what the Mets did when they sojourned to the Windy City last season).

Moves have been made to solidify the bench, with Beltran perhaps DL-bound, and LoDuca ailing. But they're not the kind of moves that are going to excite anyone. Gone is Jon Adkins after all of one outing with the Mets (and my guess is he won't be remembered fondly, if at all). Back for his third stint with the Mets in three seasons, the always annoying, prickly and hideous Mike DiFelice. Back for his Third stint with the Mets this season, the always annoying, wimpy and hideous David Newhan. Real impact moves to help out the team during a tough stretch. Can't wait to see them in action.

Oh boy. Here we go again...

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