I know that many of you are disappointed we couldn’t pull out a win last night against the Phillies. We were so close. Despite the loss it was a heck of a game and we have been treated to some great baseball in the last two games. The Phillies and Mets rivalry has blossomed to the point where it has all the flair and high drama of the Red Sox – Yankees rivalry.
Last night we saw two teams that played their hearts out for the second day in a row. Round one went to the Mets and round two to the Phillies. The Mets had plenty of opportunities to win as evidenced by the small village they left on base, but they could never come up with that one key hit when they needed it most. You know what? I’m not all that shook up over that either. Give the other team some credit, they didn’t become World Champions by accident.
Both teams battled hard, but unfortunately you can only have one winner.
I take away a few positives from that loss…
Mike Pelfrey pitched a hell of a game and showed plenty of fight. The way he stood up to Chase Utley and then stared him down at the end of the inning showed me a lot and his value to the team just went up a few more notches. One day (soon I hope), Pelfrey will be as valued to this rotation as Johan Santana. He is evolving into an ace.
Alex Cora was a great off season addition, and I give Omar props for getting this guy on our team. He has great baseball instincts and plays the game hard. He plays hurt and yet you would never know because he busts it out there and gives over 100%. He can hit, field and run and he just keeps coming at you. There’s no quit in him.
Omir Santos continues to impress me. I know all the geeks will tell you how bad he is and point to a bunch of stats that proves their point, but I’m old school. Santos or “Paul Lo Duca light” as I like to call him, has got an intensity about him that’s not often seen on the Mets. We need more guys like him, not less. If you were to prorate his stats over 500 at-bats he would have 15 homers and over 90 RBI’s. You can keep Castro who is batting .000 for the White Sox and is still searching for his first hit. As for me I’ll take Santos over his lazy ass anytime. In the last seven days Santos is batting .353 to improve on his .277 average.
A few more observations…
I’m concerned about Fernando Martinez riding the bench against lefthanded pitching. I hope Manuel gives him the start against Jaime Moyer tonight. We can’t just let him sit out for 4 games in a row. Sheffield has been in a terrible slump, and right now I’d rather take my chances with the kid. He has tremendous bat speed and he could have a nice performance against the slow junk he’d face from Moyer.
I wish the Mets would start using the take-out slide more often, and make Utley or Rollins spit out some teeth. What bothers me more than the loss, was watching how the Phillies manhandle us on the basepaths with little to no payback from the Mets. We need to fight fire with fire and match their physical toughness in the field. We gotta get dirty…
Jerry Manuel needs to step out of that dugout a little more than he has been. There have been way too many close plays and blown calls in this series that have gone unchallenged and uncontested by Manuel. He has to show some more fire and intensity too, and the best way for him to do that is by supporting his players more than he has, and giving the umpires a mouthful.
Another thing about Manuel… What in Gods name was he thinking when he sent Bobby Parnell out in the 11th inning to face three of the most dangerous lefthanded hitters in baseball? We had two lefties in the pen, and logic would have it that one of them should have been on the mound instead of Parnell. Parnell got toasted… and it wasn’t just the Utley homerun either. They basted him and he was lucky to get out of there alive.
All in all, it was another great game by the Mets and Phillies, and tonight is the all important rubber game.
I like our chances.