Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Welcome Back, Pedro!
As I'm writing now, the Mets are ahead in their game against the Giants. John Maine has pitched very well so far and the team has hit. After the debacle that was Ollie Perez's Monday night start, most fans should be really pleased with the way the series has turned out. Perez lasted a third of an inning, gave up six runs on five hits, while walking two. Needless to say, he picked up the loss. Claudio Vargas came in and did a great job to hold the Giants in a promising long-relief appearance.
After that game ended in a 10-4 loss, Pedro Martinez's comeback start meant even more. Pedro's injuries in the past few seasons have made him a wild card in the rotation. How would the team's biggest cheerleader fare in his return? Gary, Ron and Keith were all worried about the cold weather's effect on his old bones and muscles. He started out a little shaky, but really made outs when it was needed. The Mets kept up with the Giants' early run and then broke the game open with an 8 run 5th. I could not stay up to watch the entire West Coast night game, but apparently, Pedro got better as the night went on, which is a great sign. He's old and rickety, but he's still getting the job done. With the possibility of iffy performances from Perez and Mike Pelfrey, it is exciting to have a healthy Martinez back in the mix.
As SUS's resident tennis fan, let me talk a little about the French Open, which is ending on Sunday.
On the Women's side, Maria Sharapova (seeded 1), squandered a great opportunity for her to win the only Grand Slam that she has not won before when she was upset by Dinara Safina in the Quarters. Justine Henin, the top player in the game, recently announced her retirement- a shock to everyone in the sport. Venus and Serena Williams both lost early on (on the same day). In such an open women's field, no one really knows what to expect on the clay at Roland Garros. With two Russians and two Serbs left to play each other in the Semi-Finals, my guess is that Serbian Ana Ivanovic will be playing Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the finals, with Ivanovic winning her first slam.
On the Men's side, there are usually only two names to follow: Federer (1) and Nadal (2). This year, US Open winner (Serbian) Novak Djokovic is making a run for the title as well. In the Semis on Friday, Federer will play the Frenchman Gael Monfils, while three-time defending champ Nadal will play Djokovic. I'm gonna have to go along with the seeds and pick Federer and Nadal in the Finals, with Rafa winning for the 4th straight year.
The Mets appealed the time change of the game that aired on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball (remember when it was sponsored by Gumout?) because the team had to travel to San Francisco after the game. Originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, the team wanted to change it back in order to be able to catch an earlier flight out west. The appeal was denied. As part of the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement, the MLBPA agreed that they would not have any say in whether their games would be switched to ESPN on Sunday nights. In the old agreement, they did have a say. This had nothing to do with Ollie's bad pitching though, he and Pedro traveled early Sunday.
Braves pitcher John Smoltz is out for the rest of the season for shoulder surgery. I'm saddened.
I hope the Penguins win tonight. Game 7s rock.