While I try to decide what I’d rather do than listen to the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball announcing team (repeatedly stab myself in the neck with a flathead screwdriver? Take a bubble bath with Rosie O’Donnell? Quit drinking?)—were they calling a baseball game or pyschoanalyzing Carlos Beltran (or is it Bel-TRAN?)—let’s looks at the things we liked over the four-game series and the things we didn’t like.
Things To Like: With the exception of last night, the offense exploded. You have to like that. They scored seven, eight and nine runs in the first three games. And the late-inning dramatics were a sight for sore eyes. Who do they think they are? The Phillies?
David Wright was unstoppable, going 10 for 15 in the four games, with four walks, nine RBI’s, and five stolen bases. And Beltran was seven for 16, with three ribbies and six runs scored.
The aggressiveness on the base paths was another thing to like, and it was a smart aggressiveness, not a Jose-Reyes-getting-thrown-out-at-third aggressiveness. The team swiped a total of 13 bases (all in the first three games). Is there some kind of message in there for Reyes?
The offense actually scored runs while Johan Santana was on the mound, and they needed almost all of them as Santana looked human for the first time this season.
John Maine pitched a nice game in the series opener, and after looking like he wouldn’t last the first inning, Livan Hernandez survived five innings and kept the game within reach, allowing the Mets to come from behind and win.
J.J. Putz picked up his first save as a Met, and hopefully he’ll use that outing to turn himself around. But the newfound late-game toughness was the brightest spot of the four-game series.
Things Not to Like: Three balks by Mike Pelfrey? What the heck was going on with him last night? He actually pitched a pretty good game when he wasn’t falling off the mound or making a fool of himself. Did he somehow have a feed of Steve Phillips‘ analysis in his ear and it made him dizzy and discombobulated?
And why did Jerry Manuel pinch-hit Angel Pagan for Daniel Murphy? Sure, Murphy’s in a slump, but he hits lefties and I’d rather see him up at the plate than Pagan in any situation. The team still can’t defend behind Santana. It’s getting a little ridiculous.
The injuries are starting to pile up. Things don’t look good for Carlos Delgado, but it’s not really a surprise, is it? He’s old and has had hip issues before. And now Alex Cora is hurt. There’s that sliding thing again.
When is Reyes coming back? All they have left is Fernando Tatis at short. Who’s next? Does Gary Sheffield have to go back to the infield?
Hopefully last night’s snoozy outing was an abberation—it sure would have been nice to have a four-game sweep—and they’ll keep up their winning ways in LA and Boston.
It was a good start to the road trip, nonetheless. And scoring all those late-inning runs would be a nice habit to get into. But best of all, it’s back to Gary, Keith and Ron the rest of the week.