Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 1, 2006
BASEBALL: 1-0 in 13
I was out at Shea last night for yet another Mets classic, as Pedro baffled the Diamondbacks and the unlikely duo of Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez finally broke a 0-0 tie in the 13th. Some thoughts:
*Lastings Milledge looked every inch the talented but raw rookie: a great running catch in right, an amazing throw to cut down a runner at third, a muffed easy fly when he tried a one-handed catch, and a combination of quick hands and a from-the-heels swing that had him out in front of almost every pitch all night. The crowd very badly wanted Milledge to do something good - he got a number of ovations - but he was just too eager.
*On the whole, some incredible defense, particularly by the Mets outfield, with Beltran and Floyd also making a number of tremendous running catches.
*The Mets are now 5-3 in extra innings, a pace to play 25 extra inning games this season. The record is 31 by the 1943 Boston Red Sox, who must have spent a lot of innings wishing Ted Williams wasn't in the Marines.
*When Brandon Webb is in a groove, nothing at all happens. At least Pedro is entertaining, changing speeds like a master puppeteer and notching strikeouts. Webb just puts people down.
*The Mets managed to use only three pitchers; with the overworked Duaner Sanchez throwing three innings, he may not be available Friday even after a day off today, but otherwise the bullpen should be fresh. By contrast, Arizona was down to Jason Grimsley, who I had no idea was still pitching, in the 13th.
*By the way: when did Sanchez start his whole Eric Gagne look - was it only when he got to the Dodgers? He's got the full Gagne look - the build, the goatee, the goggles, the beat-up cap.
*Now that he's reduced to pinch running duties, the Mets should consider whether Kaz Matsui would consent to them selling his contract back to a Japanese team. I doubt you could get anyone to eat his whole salary, but there must be someone who'd pay to get him back in Japan where he was a star.