Friday, June 6, 2008

Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

Last night's, or perhaps it was this morning's game resulted in a familiar outcome: A frustrating loss for the Mets.

After doing what has, more or less, been their specialty over the course of the past several seasons; that is, getting shut down by some weirdo pitcher you've probably never heard of unless you play Fantasy Baseball, or if you do and you haven't, you can expect him to be picked up for far more than he's worth this weekend through Free Agency, and then losing the game in a rather galling fashion. Whoever the hell Josh Banks happens to be, he certainly benefited from throwing against the inconsistent Mets, who managed to scratch out 1 run on 5 hits, and were rather fortunate that the game was tied going to the bottom of the 9th.

It's just as galling that, in addition to getting shut down, the Mets lost to a Padres team that appears to be even more inept then they are at scoring runs and situational hitting. The Padres, in all honesty, should have pummeled Pelfrey. Pelf was pretty fortunate to have gone through his 6 innings of work allowing only 1 run. The 15 men the Padres left on base was indicative enough of their offensive struggles; it seems, apparently, that the only way they were going to win the game is if the Mets just turned around and handed it to them. Which, eventually, the Mets did.

I'm not going to go down one of my old "SCHOENEWEIS MUST DIE" rants like I would last year. He's pitched so well of late that I can just say that last night's loss was on him, for the most part, combined with the failure of the offense to show up. San Diego wasn't going to manage to get the winning run home by hitting it there, so Schoeneweis made it real easy on them by walking the first two men he faced, getting an out, intentionally walking the next guy and then sending the winning run home on a Walkoff HBP. How the hell do you HBP the winning run home? Apparently, this is the kind of thing that happens to the Mets once every 16 years or so.

So, just like in San Francisco, the Mets open up by losing to a team they really should be beating. They're different kinds of losses, but then, every loss at this point seems to bother everyone. Nothing you can do when Perez is horrible, but the Mets probably should have found a way to win this one. Not to be a doomsayer, but Philadelphia just finished off an 8-2 homestand (against some paltry competition in Colorado, Cincinnati and Florida, but I digress), and currently stand at 10 games over .500, 4.5 up on the Mets. Atlanta and Florida will fade, sooner or later. The Phillies appear not to. This is a team to watch out for, because right now, they're playing like winners, and they're certainly not afraid of the Mets (and they don't like them either). If the Mets aren't careful, the Phillies could run and hide, and by time we see them in July, they'll have a 10-15 game lead.

This is why it's even more crucial for Johan Santana to come out tonight and throw the kind of game he threw last Sunday against LA. It's one thing to be 4.5 games out. It's another thing entirely to be relegated to watching the scoreboard for the Wildcard in July.

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