Last night’s 2-1 loss at the hands of the Yankees left such a sour taste in my mouth. Not so much for the loss, but more for what that game could have been and could have meant to the team and to the fans.
With the team still mired in the cellar of the standings, what the Mets needed most was a feel good win… an inspirational victory that could kick start their collective confidence and make a serious run for the pennant. They had that in the palm of their hands last night, but blew their shot at glory again and again and again.
What a terrible waste of an incredible performance by Hisanori Takahashi who was making his first ever start for the Mets after injuries and ineffectiveness by Jon Niese and Oliver Perez forced him into service. The 35-year-old lefty was brilliant and had all the dominance and charisma of a staff ace as he stumped the Yankees throughout his six innings, scattering five hits and walking one while striking out six. Every time the game was on the line with runners on base, Takahashi didn’t have a meltdown like we’ve seen so many times from John Maine and Ollie Perez in the past… instead he was at his crafty best snuffing the opposition out with his deadly changeup or catching them off guard with his deceptive 91 mph fastball.
It was a lesson in pitching for the rest of the staff, and it’s a shame that all the Mets could reward him with was a no-decision. He deserved much better, but at least we learned just how special Takahashi really is and you can bet the house that he may have cemented a spot in this broken down and listless rotation that desperately need a performance like the one Takahashi delivered against the mighty Yankees.
The offense was a huge disappointment and before the game, David Wright, Johan Santana and Jason Bay called for a players only meeting just as our own Michael Branda (jessep) suggested. I’d give some credit to the opposing pitcher, Javier Vasquez, but one look at his dismal season makes that hard for me to do. The fans deserved better.
The Yankees are now 4-0 at Citi Field and shame on the Mets offense for allowing that to happen last night. Only 24 hours earlier they exploded for 15 hits and 10 runs against the vastly improved Nationals, but all they could muster against Vasquez was one hit? In fact until that bloop single in the fifth inning they were getting no hit and the performance had the many Yankee fans in attendance roaring for more.
Watching David Wright flail at Mariano Rivera’s first pitch in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on second was very tough to take. After snapping his record long streak of 15 games with one or more strikeouts on Thursday, Wright started a new one with two more strikeouts to pad his already league leading total. Ugh…
Alex Cora muffed an easy throw to second base which allowed Yankees rookie, Kevin Russo to become the hero of the day, with his two run double and the first RBIs of his career. Cora was playing in place of Castillo who was still nursing his aching ankle. Cora was also batting second again which has really got me wondering if Jerry Manuel has any clue about writing out a good lineup.
Jose Reyes continues to hurt the team with another 0-4 game that featured three popups and a weak grounder to the mound. He is now batting .214 and I think it’s time to bat him eighth until he comes out of this funk. Angel Pagan should bat leadoff for the time being because he is the only player who battles during every at-bat and makes solid contact more often than not.
Jeff Francoeur has sunk to new lows in his Mets career and serious thought must now be given to making him a platoon player. While Frenchy crushes lefthanders to the tune of a .313 BA and .353 OBP, he is dreadful against right handers and is batting a woeful .198 against them. He can still come in late in games as a defensive replacement to get his glove and powerful arm out there for defense, but there’s no way even I can condone Manuel’s insistence of trotting him out there for every game, and this is coming from one of his biggest fans.
Obviously, if we had anyone better than Gary Matthews Jr. on the bench, it might make Jerry Manuel’s decision a little easier to swallow. I get so burned up whenever I see GMJ come into the game as a pinch hitter. He is so useless and such a drag on this team that words alone can’t describe it. He’s a cancer that needs to be cut out. There I said it. Warning to the next Mets GM: Never trade for a player when a team is willing to eat $20 million dollars just to get rid of him.
Can we please give Chris Carter some reps in right field while Omar Minaya performs some semblance of his job title and gets us a decent lefthanded outfielder to go with that top of the rotation starter he promised us in the offseason?
I know, I know, I’m being too negative, but I can’t help it… Losses are bad enough, but they suck even more when it’s against the Bronx Bombers for this avowed Yankees hater.