The Mets didn't need Chan Ho Park to be a hero tonight; they just needed him to hold his own and keep them in the game. And that he most certainly did not do. To be fair, that nasty third inning saw him victimized by bad luck (the ball bouncing out of Damion Easley's glove) and bad fielding (Beltran giving way to Reyes on what was clearly Beltran's ball all the way). All five of those third-inning runs were earned, technically, but let's call them semi-earned.
On the other hand, CHP made that bed for himself, giving up a single to Scott Olsen then walking Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla. After that, he was able to bear down and make his pitches, but the breaks didn't go his way. At any rate, he did his part to clean up the mess he made in that inning. Then in the fourth the wheels came off the wagon, something about that long third breaking Park's concentration or rhythm or whatever.
It will be interesting to see if CHP stays up to get the two remaining starts that El Duque is slated to miss. Not sure that the other options—Jorge Sosa, Philip Humber, and Jason Vargas—are any more attractive. This was a big start for Park, who chose not to do something that nobody could have blamed him for when he found out he was to be sent to AAA coming out of spring training: refuse the assignment and find a big league job elsewhere. This is a guy who could be a top-of-the-rotation starter for a team like Tampa Bay or Washington, but he elected to take the assignment.
Here's a few notes from the game:
- This was shaping up to be One of Those Games: the "shit happens" blowouts that you just try to shake off, telling yourself they happen to every team, even the good ones. But the Mets showed a lot of resilience, hanging around, just not ever breaking down the door. Alfredo Amezaga's robbing of LoDuca's liner in the sixth was a real dagger.
- I had the game on TV, and was disappointed to note that those reprehensible anti-smoking ads are back. Thanks, guys.
- I never really actually doubted Shawn Green. I was just kidding....
- Omar pronounces it "Dway-nar Sanchez" and has the strange tic of saying "you know'm sayin'?" after every other sentence. It's great. I'll have to work on an Omar impression once I perfect my Jonny Miller (Car-los Bel-tran).
- Besides perfecting the Miller impression, there is exactly one more good reason to watch national games on ESPN: they're using Erin Andrews as a sideline reporter!
- LoDuca had a rough night all around: the Amezaga grab; getting chased down to first by Miguel Olivo; taking a foul tip squarely in the facemask; and mostly that narrowly missed home run in the eighth (at least he worked out the RBI single there).
- David Wright kept up his reaching-base streak, but still looks absolutely desparate to get going. Seeing his fierce reactions to his outs, I was right about to suggest a Zen Buddhist sort of approach. But you know what? Wright is too deep into that workaholic, perfectionist mode for that. He would take to Zen like a sinner to holy water: looking for salvation but just getting burned. David's just going to have to kick and scrap and fight his way through it. He's going to make it look hard, and it is hard.