John Maine answered the call tonight, pitching seven shutout innings in a 7–1 victory over the Braves.
Maine struck out 8 and only allowed 3 hits. It was a clutch performance…Keith Hernandez even referred to it as “career defining” during the broadcast. I don’t know about that but at least the win was “season salvaging.” Maine halted the 5 game losing streak, knocked the Braves to 5.5 games back in the NL east and kept the Phils at 2 games back.
The whole team looked more motivated tonight. Delgado went 2–4, inlcuding a 3–run home run that gave the Mets an early lead. Reyes went 2–5. Even Scott Schoeneweis looked good, coming in to clsoe out the 9th against the heart of the Braves’ lineup.
Saturday, Pelfrey goes for his first win of 2007. Against Atlanta he is 0–1 lin one career start, with a 7.2 ERA. Chuck James, meanwhile, is 1–3 lifetime vs. the Mets with a 6.22 ERA. James is also coming of a DL stint due to a dead arm. Should be a fun Fox game of the week.
While I was a way for two weeks, the Mets won 9 of 12 games and built up a cushy 7–game lead over the fading Phils and Braves.
Since I have been back to the grind, the Mets have lost four in a row and, after last night’s 3–2 debacle, are now only three games up on the Phillies.
Naturally, I blame myself for the current state of affairs.
You can’t blame the starting pitching, which aside from Brian Lawrence (who is back in the minors anyway), has done its job. Glavine pitched a gem Tuesday and Perez was effective, if not overwhelming, Wednesday.
You can blame Reyes as the poster boy for the offense that shut down in one of the most hitter-friendly parks. He was kept off the base paths Monday and Tuesday, then hardly stayed on them last night. When was the last time Reyes was picked off TWICE in one game?
You can blame Mota, who apparently can only pitch one good inning (sometimes) in a row since he came off
the juice his suspension. Mota choked in the 10th Tuesday night. Yet Randolph is still commited to using Mota until he rights himself. That’ll probably happen sometime in November.
I don’t blame Marlon Anderson for how the game ended Wednesday. Yes he was alittle aggressive trying to take out Iguchi and break up the double play. He not only went out of the base path and grabbed at the second baseman with both hands, replays showed that after the throw, he also tickled Iguchi and made him chew Bubble Yum while drinking a Diet Coke. But at least Anderson was trying.
I’m a bit discombobulated this morning. I actually had a dream the Mets won the game last night and walked out on the field afterwards wearing Phillies helmets with little spikes on the top, like the old Prussian Army wore. I think I need another vacation.
Or the Mets could win today. We have El Duque going, who has been our hottest pitcher all year. Kyle Lohse is 0–2 lifetime against us. Lets take this and head to Atlanta with some breathing room.
Things don’t get easy down there pitching-wise. We have shaky John Maine Friday night and apparently the 0–7 Mike Pelfrey going Saturday. The Braves have re-worked the rotation so that we’ll face Tim Hudson, Chuck James and John Smoltz.
Another Met pitcher will also be called up to Atlanta. Pedro is throwing a bullpen session there for Randolph and co before Friday night’s game. Who would you rather see Saturday: a healthy Pelfrey or a rehabbing Pedro?
Here is another photo from the Mets Hall of Fame, courtesy of Eli. This is the trophy case housing the 1986 World Series trophy:
Can you identify the busts in this trophy case?
Here's Part 1 of the Mets Hall of fame tour.
While we were away, we received a cool collection of photos from Loge13 reader Eli. He sent us a few pictures of his favorite Shea Stadium locale: the Mets Hall of Fame.
Most fans have never gone up to the Hall of Fame. It is somewhat hidden and I'm sure Citi Field will find a more prominent spot for the priceless artifacts.
Eli writes: The Mets Hall of Fame is located between the Diamond Club and the Grill Room. You can't get into either restaurant without a pass, but the two World Series statues are there for viewing along with the busts of many of the great Mets players and administrators. In this shot you can see the 1969 trophy along with busts of Joan Payson, Gil Hodges and others.
Here is Part II of the Mets Hall Of Fame Tour.
This week’s NY Observer has a good recap of the Willets Point standoff. We’ve been updating folks on this interesting sidebar to the CitiField construction project. Highlights from the Observer:
The latest redevelopment scheme, a relatively little-noticed part of Mr. Bloomberg's NYC 2030 plan, is also stadium-related. Willets Point is adjacent to the Mets' $600 million new ballpark presently being erected, and the team has a deal with the city to pay exactly zero dollars of real estate taxes on the stadium each year, meaning New York must generate a subsidiary economy to recoup the infrastructure dollars and tax breaks it's invested.
Thus far eight private firms have submitted proposals for a $2 to $3 billion mixed-use development the city envisions as a privately built-and-owned upscale project including over 5,000 housing units (much of it below market prices), a half million square feet of office space, more than a million and a half square feet of shops and restaurants and a 700-room hotel to transform the area into what the EDC calls "a vibrant and attractive new urban community."
The administration argues that the area needs to be redeveloped at once in order to clean up years of oil spills and illegal dumping. But given that some 82 percent of the businesses in the Triangle rent rather than own, it's easy to envision the area transforming itself, with no government seizure of private property, in just a few years.
Instead, the Bloomberg administration is reverting to an M.O. of forcefully displacing politically unconnected private owners on behalf of wealthy and plugged-in new private owners, while purchasing the backing of much of the usual resistance from the left by compelling the new ownership to include affordable housing. This also allows the administration to tout the number of new subsidized units that have gone up on its watch, few of which are actually very affordable. Some 60 years into the city's endlessly subsidized eternal housing "crisis," the shell game continues apace.