Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 4, 2006
BASEBALL: Amazin' Already
What a Mets game today:
1. The 9-4-2-2 Double Play
Obviously, the headline play - if you somehow missed it - was Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew both being thrown out at home on the same play. I'm not sure which is worse - Kent getting thrown out at the plate coming in from second on a ball that bounced off the right field fence, or Drew trying to score when he had to see that the guy ahead of him wasn't even home safely yet. Dodger third base coach Rich Donnelly, the least popular man in LA right now, says the two were so close together he couldn't switch his signs fast enough:
Kent froze between second base and third, waiting to see if the ball would drop. Drew, with a better angle at first base, could see the ball slicing and knew it would fall safely.
Of course, Drew and Kent are both pretty universally unpopular everywhere anyway... credit to Green for a great thrown and Valentin for the relay, and credit to John Maine, for screaming at Paul Lo Duca to get up and tag Drew (he had no idea there was another runner on the way), but after he tagged Drew, Lo Duca then came up in throwing position, looking to see where Russell Martin had got himself to. Maybe he thought Martin was next.
2. The Three Man Rotation
Willie Randolph can't seriously be contemplating a 3-man rotation for the NLDS, can he? It makes some sense, and it's the most logical reason why he would have pulled John Maine in a jam in the fifth inning, pitching on his regular rest and having thrown only 80 pitches and resulting in burning two relievers to get through the fifth. The Mets have a deep, healthy, relatively fresh pen and only three even semi-reputable starting pitchers, and they have Friday off; if Glavine also doesn't go deep tomorrow, he and Maine could be available to start Games 4 & 5 on three days' rest (if Glavine does go 7 or 8 innings, it's less likely that there would be a Game 5).
3. Mota Is The Guy You Pinch Hit With, Not For?
The other really bizarre thing in this game was when, having burned relievers like there was no tomorrow but still with Oliver, Ring, Perez, Heilman, Hernandez and Wagner to go, Randolph let Guillermo Mota hit with 2 outs and the bases loaded up 4-1 in the sixth. I say you go for the jugular there and pinch hit; you pulled the starter early, why get antsy now about using too many pitchers?
I really didn't need to see Steve Phillips in there. Mercifully I watched the game from crowded bars with no audible sound.
Great to see Floyd, in particular, contribute. What a massive homer that was.
Does Marlon Anderson get a pitch in the ear for his takeout slide at Reyes' legs? We know Mota's not above that.