Now that the Mets scored as many runs on Tuesday night as they did during the last seventeen road trips combined, it seems that Howard Johnson became a genius again. And just in time, too. He obviously locked Jeff Francoeur in a room and convinced him that he either had to swing level or he was going to be traded to Brevard County for a blade of grass.
Or maybe he just offered him more spare ribs in the post game spread.
Whatever it is, it worked. And Howard Johnson staves off a pink slip for another day. Maybe Hojo left his brain in his locker at Citi Field during the road trip.
But speaking of brains, Jason Bay was scratched Tuesday night because he was diagnosed with a mild concussion. My sources tell me that when Bay got off the plane from L.A. on Sunday night, he remarked to Omar Minaya how much he enjoyed the conversation he had on the plane with Ryan Church.
That's when the brass decided that they had better keep Francoeur in the lineup for a while ... and good thing too. Not only because of Frenchy's three run dinger, and not only because he was nice enough to throw baseballs to the Pepsi Porch in exchange for the simple act of chanting his name (affirmation is valuable, folks),but because ironically, Bay's hallucinations might have kept Frenchy out of a deal for two guys that got hurt on Tuesday. The circle of life strikes again. And it sticks us with Oliver Perez.
But the real star of the night was Jon Niese, who was so good that the Cardinals were barely hitting the ball out of the infield all night. Heck, even Albert Pujols went 0-for-5, thanks in part to Snoop Manuel leading Pujols off with Dennis Leary to mess up his swing (oh, those knuckleballers.) See, even when Snoop isn't in the dugout, he's always thinking.
That's what frightens me.
Carlos Beltran was another star, as he obviously has been studying Adam Wainwright obsessively since 2006. In the four seasons since, Beltran is batting 1.000 against Wainwright. Of course, Tuesday was the first time he's faced him since then (2-for-2 with a walk), but four seasons is a lot of pent up anger and it was bound to boil over. My question though is this: It was Beltran's first AB's at home since coming back. Why would the reception resemble the reception that say, Doug Flynn would get in a September 1981 game ... and why would we need the "Get Loud" message up on the board to get people excited? And why was there no visceral reaction either way to the Mets hitting the field to start the game at the top of the first? Used to be a time where we would go back and forth in our minds between booing and cheering after a 2-9 road trip. Now, we've added a third option: "Polite Nothingness". And there were plenty of people in their seats not in the Shake Shack line so I don't buy that excuse.
And why does Frankie continually pitch in games with a six run lead? Because you know ultimately he'll have to pitch in a real save situation on Wednesday and he's going to walk everybody. (More than half his walks on zero days rest.)
Oh, one more question: Why the **** do I see Spiderman playing the saxophone outside the stadium after the game? Seriously, what if I was rip roaring drunk on Hoegarden ... or smoking weed? Or what if I had banged my head against the exit sign and thought I was sitting next to Ryan Church in the Pepsi Porch? That would have been a more screwed up trip than the Mets on the west coast.