We seem to have finally turned the corner weather wise, which made going to the game yesterday afternoon something I looked forward to all weekend. Beautiful weather, field box seats, and the rubber game of Mets-Braves (extra points to any Bednarsh nephews that could tell me what a rubber game is.) Also, before the game I got a call from my cousin, who subsequently informed me that her 7 year old son is a Mets' fan (she doesn't know how or why, but he says that he is) and that I must take him to a game, which I was absolutely delighted to here, as the next generation of Mets' fans in my family are now in place.
Turns out though, the weather was pretty much the only good thing going on yesterday. Yesterday's game is the type of game my mom loves because she cares more about the back and forth drama of a baseball game than its outcome. As we have already discussed, however, my mom doesn't understand baseball. Or many other things, but that's a topic for a different day.
The Mets have always struggled against John Smoltz. I have no statistical evidence to back this up, it's just a sentiment I have from watching him pitch against us for close to 15 years now. We have had some good moments agaisnt him (Piazza game-tying HR in NLCS game 6, Beltran HR in April 2 years ago when the Mets opened the season 0-5) but overall, he scares me. Yesterday was no different. Through the 1st 4 innings, he looked unhittable, with all his pitches working. The Mets were down 3-1 and Glavine was out of the game, headed for the loss. But when the Mets exploded for 5 runs off Smoltz in the 6th, highlighted by a bases clearing Reyes triple (check out his projected stats on his Espn.com profile right now), this game didn't seem losable. Last year's team would not have lost this game. Ever. (As a side point, on the triple, Valentin missed the plate on the slide, was sent back to touch it by Alou, and only then did the ump call him safe. As all of this was happening, I was jumping up and down in my seat, yelling "He missed the plate. Go back." I'd like to think Alou heard me and alerted Valentin.)
Without getting too much analysis of Willie's use of the bullpen, he seemed totally clueless in the 7th yesterday. If you're gonna use Burgos there, let him pitch. Why are you pulling him after he gets the 1st 2 guys out and then allows one guy on due to a bad defensive play by Green? And if you're gonna go righty-lefty there, then really go righty-lefty. How is Schoenweiss still in the game to pitch to Renteria?
The last point I want to make is that David Wright looks totally lost. He's playing terrible defense and can't do anything at the plate. He's already struck out 18 times in 17 games and he seems to be going down looking more than I can ever remember. I'm not sure what the answer is, but maybe Willie should sit him down for a day or two to let him get a break and maybe clear his head. We need the David Wright we've come to expect to show up if we're gonna be able to get where we want to be this season.
So I dropped to 1-2 on the year (0-2 at Shea), but there was a silver lining. I got a 2007 Mets calendar, which is now hanging above my desk. Uri did not. So Uri, you've been calendared.