You know, it was fun for three games. But now I'm getting a little bit concerned. Fourteen, eight, and another fourteen ... and now sixteen? On no home runs? And the best Tiger pitcher was an outfielder? I knew the Mets had a chance to do some work against Rick Porcello and Phil Coke, but 30 runs?
There can be no other reasonable explanation for this other than somebody put acid in my Lucky Charms on Saturday morning. Because this cannot be really happening. This insanity has lasted for five days ... or, four days longer than the Christian Ehrhoff Islander era. It can't be real. Jason Bay is running around like a gazelle? Acid trip. Chris Capuano getting a win pitching so-so rather than pitching great and losing? Acid trip. Tim Byrdak comes in and gives up a home run after being called into a game with no warm-up? Well, Snoop Manuel would have done that last season if he had thought of it, but 2009 and 2010 was a different kind of drug trip. You know how I know it can't be real? After Tiger outfielder Don Kelly got Scott Hairston to fly out, Omar Minaya immediately signed Kelly to a three-year, $36 million contract. We all know that would never happen. Omar would never sign anybody to a ridiculous contract on a sample size smaller than one season. Never.
Terry Collins could put a turtle from JFK in the clean-up spot and score 16 runs. Oh wait, Ronny Paulino? He did put a turtle clean-up. Amazing. Now that Fernando Martinez is up for Willie Harris, maybe Fernando can bat clean-up and get four hits. Why not, everyone else is. And if that happens, against Justin Verlander no less, I know I'm on acid ... or maybe something stronger. And when I crash, I'm going to crash hard.
The colors eminating from the scoreboard lights every time the Mets score another run are pretty.
All right, so maybe it wasn't quite the iconic pose of Carlton Fisk. It's more hysterical than iconic. But for Mets fans, it'll be an image burned in our minds for a while as the importance of this moment cannot be ignored. August 1st, 2009 was the last time that this, a grand slam hit by somebody in a Mets uniform, happened. We're not talking about a super-rare or even kinda rare occurrence here, either ... like say, a no-hitter. Think about this for a second: Just about a quarter of the league has had a no-hitter pitched for them since the last time the Mets had a grand slam. Thankfully, Jason Bay ended the long drought and helped the Mets to a victory to open the series in Detroit.
Bay's grand slam of course started a new drought of grand slams that lasted a long time too ... six at-bats ...
After Jeff Francoeur hit .340 for the Rangers in their pennant push (not to mention Alex Cora bringing his intangible), the Rangers were probably tricked into thinking that the Mets are growing great players on trees. So they're reportedly looking to go to the well again:
"#rangers interested in beltran as well as k-rod (tho there will be rh pen help elsewhere). Could be big trade partner for mets"
I could see the Mets getting somebody decent back for Carlos Beltran if they can deal him to the Rangers by himself. But if the Rangers take Frankie too, they could say to the Mets (in essence): "Well hey, we're bailing you out of that horrendous option, that's reward enough. You don't need any of our good prospects."
But ... yes, they do. They do need prospects. Beltran could bring back a B-level prospect or two if a team is desperate enough, and/or the Mets are willing to pick up salary. But anyone willing to save the Mets from the Frankie option, whether they make him an eighth inning guy or whether they renegotiate the contract would be totally justified in giving the Mets, say, a dull knife in return. Combining that lost cause with a player that might bring back something might lessen the value of the haul in return. Dealing them separately would bring back more for Beltran in that deal.
The problem is that the Rangers are probably the most logical choice for Frankie. I think the Mets would deal him to the Yankees, but if the Yankees were to take that deal Mariano would probably pull a Riggleman and quit on the spot. So for those worrying about Frankie returning to the scene of Luis Castillo's greatest mishap and becoming a Yankee Legend like Lee Mazzilli (I didn't know 37 games was the cut-off ... I anxiously await John Olerud's introduction as "Yankee Legend"), you can stop worrying. But if the Rangers really want Beltran, it may have to be a package deal. This means that this would be a strict salary dump ... and if there's a trade return that can be more useless than Joaquin Arias, the combo of Beltran and Frankie might bring that dead wood to life.
And then back to dead again.
Man, you gotta feel for the Texas Rangers. They had this whole "claw" thing happening last year. Made it an international phenomenon on their way to the World Series. And what is the fruit of their labor? They get to see the Mets come in and claw all over the place. These guys must have been sitting in the dugout wondering, either "how the hell is this team knocking us around the park", or "did we patent that claw thing like Pat Riley patented 'three-peat'"?
If that was the case, then the Mets did enough hitting to bankrupt ownership as they followed up a 14-5 win on Saturday with an 8-5 win on Sunday. Dillon Gee, who had about as many family members watch him in Arlington as Dennis Quaid did in The Rookie, bounced back nicely from his last outing after a first inning which had me wondering whether he skipped regression and went right to cliff diving toward the mean. But Gee settled in as he usually does after shaky first innings (6.55 ERA in the first inning going into Sunday), and the bats and gloves (along with some well timed Ranger errors and perhaps some help from the umpires) took care of the rest.
And now it's on to Detroit where this team hopes to claw its way into our hearts. The Mets have reached .500 for the second time since starting 5-13, and they've done so by taking two out of three from the reigning A.L. champs. Not only that, the Mets will luck out in the Detroit series as the two doomsday scenarios will happen in the same game: batting against Justin "I Only Went Two Innings Against Those Bastards Last Season and I Want Revenge and Maybe Some Blood Too" Verlander, and sending Mike Pelfrey out to the mound on the road. If those were two different games, the Mets would be kinda screwed. But at least there's an outside chance that Jose Reyes and the rest of the lineup can keep the claws, er ... clawing against Rick Porcello (.365 average against in Porcello's last three) and Phil Coke (1-7). If so, I can take a 24-3 loss on Thursday.
Well this is another interesting development by ownership ... well, maybe only to me. But here's a tidbit from Adam Rubin ...
New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon was apparently so displeased with his team for not seeking retribution against the Oakland Athletics for hitting Justin Turner in the first inning Thursday, he took action.
It was the heat that beat Jon Niese today. Or maybe Niese's heart raced because he couldn't believe that the Mets, without Justin Turner (jammed thumb) and Jason Bay (singleitis stiff neck), gave him a 12-run lead. I know my heart was slightly a-flutter because of that. But the heat certainly did more to knock Niese out than the Rangers did, as the Mets paper cut Texas to death 14-5 on Saturday.
Of course we were all scared when the training staff visited Niese since we had no idea what was going on. And heaven forbid we enjoy a 12-run lead, right? Everything for Mets fans seems to have its price. But as alarming as every appearance by a trainer is these days, Niese is unalarmed himself by his racing heart and the speculation is that he isn't going to miss any time. As long as Mets doctors don't put Niese's heart in a boot or give it a cortisone shot when they check it out on Tuesday, then I'm not worrying as long as Niese isn't worrying.
Lost in the hitting highlights is Niese's performance who, along with Bobby Parnell, struck out Josh Hamilton four times. Hamilton had recently surmised that he hits better at night because his blue eyes make it hard to see during the day. Now Bay has significantly better numbers during the day as a Met but he believes it's the sunglasses that help him. Lucas Duda (whose eyes look suspiciously blue here) had four hits and four RBI today with his baby blues. So I guess Hamilton's line isn't golden but it's the "Blue-Eyed Sombrero". Hope that makes him feel better.
Maybe they'll leave Manny Acosta at the Speedy Gonzales' Truckin' Across America ride and not come back to pick him up.
Mike Pelfrey on the road plus a non-existent offense equals Manny Acosta participating in a baseball game. That's not six flags worth of fun. Just look at Acosta's face ... he's not having more than one flag worth of fun.
I think I would take Scott Kazmir in the final spot in the bullpen over Manny Acosta. Or John Maine. Or hell, even Dirk Nowitzki.
How bad was Friday's loss? Adrian Beltre, with an 8-1 lead in the eighth, was held at third on a base hit ... a play he would have easily scored on. It was baseball's version of taking a knee. Now that hurts.
Don't worry, because there's good news. Between the Marlins collapsing and playing home games in Seattle because of U2 concerts, and Jim Riggleman telling the Lerners to take this job and shove it, at this moment the New York Mets, who have been a league joke for years, are only the third most dysfunctional team in their own division. Whoo hoo! We're number three! We're number three!
Of course, this will change when old friend Davey Johnson channels 1986 and leads the Nationals to the wild card. And that's okay. We should always be thankful of what Johnson has done for this franchise. He is in the Mets Hall of Fame after all. So I propose we send him Manny Acosta as a housewarming gift.
But even after the Nationals zoom towards the top of the division, at least there will always be the Marlins. We're number two! We're number two!
Oh yeah sure. A precaution. Thaaaaaaat's why Chris Capuano was taken out of the game.
Why do you set things up for me too easily? You know what, I'm not even going to take this bait. Because if I do, and I make a dumb joke about "surgery on Thursday" or anything like that, then he really will be out for the season and I'll have to drink myself into oblivion. I don't need that kind of pressure.
Precaution, why do you tempt me so?
So Ike Davis' bone bruise might put him on the shelf for the rest of the season. A bone bruise. On a stupid pop-up. The least surprising part of the story is that the Mets might have made the injury worse by putting him in a boot.
This is what happens when the rest of the league has the Aflac duck, and we have the "major medical" pigeon. Pay the doctors, boy. (When do we hear that Reyes destroyed the interior shoulder capsule doing the "claw"?)
Dillon Gee has had a nice run. Look, we knew he wasn't going 17-0, and we knew that not every start was going to be stellar. We knew that he was going to get hit around, as he has before, and not be lucky enough to be bailed out by his teammates. It was bound to happen. And Tuesday night's loss to Oakland shouldn't tarnish the fact that Gee has been a nice surprise.
But it doesn't matter whether you're 7-0, 0-7, Doc Halladay, or Oliver Perez. The Oakland Athletics came into Tuesday with a .239 batting average (sixth from the bottom in baseball), an OBP of .306 (sixth from the bottom), and a slugging percentage of .347 (third from the bottom). Six walks in the first two and a third innings of work against this team is inexcusable. The Swingin' and Missin' A's? This is the team you can't find the plate against? And it wasn't just Gee, D.J. Carrasco couldn't find the plate either. Maybe their retinas were burned by the bright gold uniforms that the A's were sporting ... who knows. But my retinas were burned to a Coco Crisp watching the Mets tonight. To emphasize: Crisp was their three hole hitter ... and they scored seven runs. This can't happen. I know that losing to a team where Crisp is the three hole hitter can be just as demoralizing to a team as, say, getting smoked by a lineup where Daniel Murphy is the cleanup hitter, but make them hit the ball for goodness sake, no?
Not to mention this was a perfect opportunity to expose Hideki Matsui's defense in left field, since this was his first start in the outfield all season long. Instead, the Mets make him look like Rickey Henderson as nothing, nothing got by Matsui and his knees in the field. Jack McKeon has younger knees, and the Mets couldn't exploit it. Outstanding.
At least Jason Bay stopped being Juan Pierre for a day and started driving the ball with a home run and a triple which was six inches from being a home run. It was like the moment in Major League II when Rick Vaughn stopped being corporate Rick Vaughn and went back to being the Wild Thing. Bay's power stroke returning was that "oh my god" moment (yeah, I spell out "oh my god", deal with it ... I'm old.)
The high comedy of the day came when Jose Reyes said that he didn't want to talk about a new contract during the season. The comedic part was that not that he doesn't want to talk contract ... that's fine. But that it was because he didn't want any distractions on his mind. Get a load of Jose, trying to avoid distractions. Jose, do you know who you play for? You can't avoid distractions. It's like Final Destination 2-5. It's written in the stars, dude. Don't want to talk contract? Well then your minor league director will challenge players to a royal rumble while shirtless.
Avoid distractions. That's cute.