Despite the fact that Oliver Perez had left for San Francisco before the rest of his team, allowing him to get a little more sleep before taking the field on Monday Night against the woeful Giants, it was Oliver Perez who was the first, last and only reason the Mets managed to come undone. I got home a little late, but when I turned the game on, there was Claudio Vargas on the mound pitching to Randy Winn. Had I missed something? Was Perez scratched?
Then I looked at the score. Oh. Perez wasn't scratched. He was just TERRIBLE!
I suppose the rest of the Mets could somehow be blamed, on some level, for not cashing in on a few opportunities the Giants gave them over the course of the game, but, in reality, it's just not very often that teams, even good teams, come back from 0-6 deficits after 1 inning. Perez dug them the hole in by far and away his poorest outing as a Met, and the shortest outing of his career, and the Mets just couldn't climb out of it. Sunday Night hangover or not.
A word about the Sunday Night game. Over at Faith and Fear, Greg wrote a long post reviling Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN, Joe Morgan and the fact that Sunday's game had been moved to accommodate it. Many readers commented in agreement. I do agree with Greg, to a point. There's a reason I call the Sunday Night game "The Biggest Game In The Galaxy," and it's not out of kindness. These national broadcasts have an overblown, overhyped feel to them that's a little un-necessary, and I've also felt that the announcers (Miller is good, but other announcers, say, Joe Buck or anyone on FOX) purposely dumb themselves down to make the game and a lot of what happens during the game more accessible to the casual fan. Morgan was booed heavily at Shea on Sunday night, and deservedly so. I'd like to think, however, that it has less to do with the fact that he's incredibly crotchety and more because he really hates the Mets after his years with the Reds and the fallout from the NLCS in 1973.
Then, there's the game itself. I'm on the side of the fence that actually liked being able to go to a game on a Sunday night. It's easier for me to say this now, as someone who generally goes to games either by myself or with friends, and never with small children. I'd say that easily 95% of the games I attend during any given season are night games, and almost all of them weekday night games. I only go to certain day games, Opening Day for one, and the last game of the season should it be a day game, and I almost never, ever go to games on the weekend (this is mainly due to the rigors of my daily schedule). And I also understand how switching Sunday's game to a night game inconvenienced a lot of people, and kids who had planned to run the bases after the game, etc, etc, etc. But I benefited from the time change. I had really wanted to go to one of the games against LA. In fact, outside of Game 1 of the NLDS in '06, I hadn't been to a Mets-Dodgers game since 1999, my longest such streak without seeing one NL team. But because of my own schedule, I probably wasn't going to get to one this year, either. Until they switched Sunday's game to a night game. Then, I was able to go, buy my ticket at Shea and enjoy Johan mow the Dodgers down.
It's quite possible that I was the only one who actually saw the good side in switching Sunday's game to a night game. I also didn't have to sit home and listen to Miller and Morgan and the flashy graphics on TV (in eye-popping ESPN-HD). I suppose, looking at the larger picture, the spectacle isn't worth the headache it causes. But I'm not wholly against Sunday Night Baseball. I have tickets for the Sunday game against the Yankees, and I was kind of put out that that game wasn't moved to a night game. The final game the Mets play before the All-Star Break is a Sunday Night game vs. Colorado, and I'd like to attend that game as well...
...So long as Oliver Perez isn't starting.