Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Last 48 Hours In Mets Baseball: Santanarama, Ike Batting Cleanup, The Angel Pagan One Man Freak Show & R.A. Dickey

For the last 2 Mets Games I was in a place you could do a lot more damage than Oliver Perez in 3 1/3 innings and that place, Atlantic City. As much as I enjoy this cesspool I do not like the fact that watching a Mets game on television is pretty much outlawed there; it's a Phillies fanatic breeding grounds in AC. BOO to that! Do you know how many people I saw on the boardwalk wearing Phillies garb? A lot. Let's just say if I got paid a dime for every Chase Utley shirt I saw I'd have a hefty sum to run over to the black jack tables with. However, amongst all these Phillies fans I did meet one Mets fan at a candy store on the boardwalk. The two of us were admiring the lone Mets mug amongst all the Phillies memorabilia in this shop. We discussed the Amazins current struggles and like true fans we said $10 was way too much to spend on the mug.

Because I was unable to get any SNY coverage in AC I did the next best thing because I am that dedicated to the Metropolitans, I listened to them on The FAN with Howie Rose and Wayne Hagin. And by listened to them I mean my radio kept fading in and out and I had to move around my hotel room a hell of a lot to get reception. And I did this because I love the Mets.

Now let's look at some interesting and positive highlights from the last 2 games. Oh yes I did find some stuff to make us smile.

For Tuesday May 18th's game 2 against the Braves Manuel again played around with the lineup:


Originally Barajas was going to be in it but he came down with a stomach bug.

Besides D Wright's D-woeful play on the field and at the plate there were 3 things that were very enjoyable about this game:
#1 Ike Davis' 4th homer of the season in the top of the 5th was a BLAST. This homer basically told Manuel, "Bat me in the cleanup spot already," and Jerry said, "24 hours from now Mr. Davis your wish is my command."

#2 Francouer snapped out of his 0-21 slump with a solo homer in the top of the 5th to tie the game, 2-2. Odd fact, I have never been home for any of the games Frenchy has homered in. And Jeff is my favorite Met so this is highly suspicious and well it has to change.

#3 Santana pitched like a champ yet again against the Braves. It's not his fault he can't beat Atlanta. A great pitcher needs run support and the Mets can't give him that at this point.

Since I was watching "LOST" from 9-10pm, I would go to Howie and Wayne during the commercial breaks. I feared the worst when it was the bottom of the 9th, still a 2-2 ballgame, men were on 1st and 2nd and there were no outs and Mejia was pitching. The commercial break was over, I watched the last 10 minutes of "LOST," I checked my phone for a Mets score and I saw the inevitable, that they had lost 3-2. On the bright side this had been a great episode of "LOST."

For Wednesday May 19th's game 1 against the Nationals I listened to Howie and Wayne again and in my hotel room I put on ESPN for the Yanks, Rays game. If I can't see the Metropolitans live on a tv I'll gladly accept watching the Yanks get their asses handed to them on a silver platter by Tampa Bay. I mean what was another option, watching Justin Bieber perform on "American Idol?" UHHHH NO.

Before the Mets, Nats game started Howie Rose said the following, "We don't know what to expect from R.A. Dickey except that he throws a knuckle ball."

And Howie was right but after this game we did learn a lot about Tricky Dick.

Manuel switched the lineup once again:


Tatis started in place of Wright. Manuel made it very clear that even before David's horrible play Tuesday Wright was always scheduled for a day off. However, after reading today's NY POST David made it seem like he was in fact benched and he was not a happy camper about that; like I'm gonna turn green Incredible Hulk angry.

Now to the game!

This game will always be recorded as a loss on paper but for us die hard fans we will hold dear to this game and one Angel Pagan. Pagan in the top of the 4th got a 2 out inside the park homer. Yay Angel! With that swing of the bat the Mets had a 1-0 lead over the struggling Nats. In the bottom of the 5th after Dickey got the Mets in a lot of trouble, the bases were loaded with nobody out, Guzman hit a fly ball to Pagan. No one knew if this ball was caught by Angel or if he had just trapped it. And then I heard Wayne Hagin say something that made me very happy, "Mets turn a triple play. Ugliest triple play you might ever see."

A triple play assisted by Mr. Pagan. The last player to pull off such a feat, hitting an inside the park homer and assisting a triple play in the same game was Ted Kazanski back on September 25, 1955.

And we did learn that besides throwing a knuckle ball, R.A. Dickey is worth giving Ollie's spot in the rotation to for the foreseeable future. He may have gotten into a few jams but unlike Perez he didn't lose his cool and with the help of the Mets defense he got out of these jams like a champ. Overall, Dickey did pretty great in his start, giving up 2 runs, 5 hits, striking out 2, and walking 4 in 6 innings. Yet, besides this Dickey and Pagan greatness the Mets still lost to the Nats 5-3. The bullpen just could not do the job and Tatis' solo homer in the top of the 9th was just too little too late.

Well tonight is a new night and hopefully Ike batting cleanup again, Maine on the mound and an angry David Wright will add up to a split in this series with the Nationals. I believe this can happen. We just have to stay positive and ride this out. I'm a New Jersey Nets fan and I survived their 12-72 season so I can sure deal with these Mets struggles. I just hope other people stick around to root the Amazins on with me.

Howie and Wayne I'll be back to watching the SNY shenanigans in the booth tonight but thanks for showing me that radio is still a very valuable media outlet. You guys are rock stars.

P.S. Regardless of what Wilpon said the other night in Atlanta it seems that Manuel is in the deep end of the pool and he's barely staying afloat. We need this win tonight and probably 2 out of 3 against the yanks to keep Jerry's job safe. So let's get Manuel swimming like Michael Phelps. Let's win!

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