Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Johan Does it Again...
In the beginning of the season, a fan watches a ballgame in order to relax, so they can stop thinking about the real world, to remind them that summer is on its way. If your team is in contention by the time September rolls around, all of that relaxation is gone. If your team is the Mets, it almost stops being fun. Don't get me wrong, I still love baseball and I still love the Mets, but man, I would be breathing a lot easier and my nails would be a lot longer if they didn't make it so hard on themselves. So, with last night's win, the Mets remain 1 game up in the Wild Card lead and moved to 1.5 games in back of the Phillies in the NL East race. With 5 measly games remaining, this is absolutely going to come down to the wire.
I just wish Johan could pitch every game. The man has been so reliable that he has not lost in the second half at all. Last night he went 8 innings, had 10 strikeouts, 125 pitches (a career high) and a key broken bat ground ball that let the Mets back in the game. With the team down 2-0, Nick Evans was at first base and Santana had his bizarre hit. The hit broke the bat and sent both ball and bat towards the second baseman. The ball and broken bat then collided, making any play impossible. A key walk to Luis Castillo (stop booing him) followed to load the bases. David Wright then came up with a clutch two run hit that tied the game. Later on, in the 6th inning, the Mets scored 4 more times to take the lead for good. Three of those runs came on Jose Reyes' 200th hit of the season, a triple. Reyes is now the 2nd Met ever (Lance Johnson) to have 200 or more hits in one season. Not too shabby. Feliciano and Ayala combined to finish of a scoreless ninth. If only games like this were the rule instead of the exception to the rule. Tonight, Ollie Perez will go against (shudder) Carlos Zambrano as the Mets try to take one more from the Cubs in order to secure the Wild Card.
In other news, it has been reported that Omar Minaya will get a 4 year contract extension as the GM when the season's over. If this is true, it confuses me. The season is not yet over. The Mets are not yet in the playoffs. If they don't make the playoffs, the blame will fall on the bullpen, but shouldn't some of the blame fall on the man who built the bullpen?? I'm not giving up or anything, but it just seems that this contract extension is a little premature.
Speaking of the bullpen, there are some interesting and disheartening stats out about those boys. If games ended in the 6th inning, the Mets would be ahead by 10.5 games in the NL East. If games ended in the 8th inning, the Mets would still have a 5.5 game lead in the NL East. Damn that 9th inning.
Sunday is the last game of the regular season and therefore the last regular season game at Shea. The tribute they will have after the game will be nothing compared to the one at Yankee Stadium, which is appropriate. However, it will include Mike Piazza, Tom Seaver, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Robin Ventura, Edgardo Alfonzo, and many others. Dwight Gooden is even rumored to be on the list. I am very very excited about this, but I hope that a) their post-season status is already decided or b) that the Mets will be able to clinch a berth that day, because I feel like this celebration will be completely ruined if the Mets are eliminated on the last day of the season ala 2007. Fingers crossed.