Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 29, 2007
BASEBALL: Episode 161: A New Hope

Well, the Mets today played pretty close to the theoretical best game they could possibly play under the worst possible circumstances: they set a season high for hits and tied their season high for runs scored while allowing 0 runs on 1 hit. John Maine came within 4 outs of the first no-hitter in franchise history and set a career high in strikeouts, while throwing 115 pitches to allow everyone in the pen besides the rawest rookies (Muniz and Collazo) to take the day off without even warming up. Lastings Milledge had his first career multi-homer game. Carlos Gomez made a spectacular diving catch in center field, dodging a collsion with an onrushing Ruben Gotay, to preserve a 13-run lead. Even Sandy Alomar Sr. got into the act, taking a punch to the head that was intended for Jose Reyes, while agitated Mets generally avoided taking the bait of consecutive bench-clearing incidents to avoid engaging in conduct that could lead to a suspension. Only a few instances of baserunning vapor lock by Reyes and Milledge marred the afternoon.

Meanwhile in Philly, Chico was the man for the Nationals and the Phillies played some horrible defense (for all the guff the Mets took for blowing a lead they held for more than 130 days, the Phillies' lead lasted just one day before they gave it back), Tony Gwynn jr. robbed his padre's Padres of their chance to put the Wild Card away, and suddenly tomorrow will dawn with two teams tied in the NL East, and possibly three teams tied a game behind the Wild Card leader. On the bright side, the Mets last night finally maneuvered themselves into a situation where they had to play some championship baseball to win a championship, and now they send Tom Glavine, veteran of more big games than you or I could count, against Dontrelle Willis tomorrow with the season in the balance, while Glavine's senior, Jamie Moyer, faces Jason Bergmann, and Jake Peavy faces Jeff Suppan. The Mets will presumably hold back only Maine and Pedro (the likely 1-game playoff starter, on 3 days rest for his surgically repaired shoulder); "staff" will be available.

For one night, Tug McGraw can cease spinning in his grave. Time to Believe.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:01 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I am back in off the ledge, but I will note I had to watch games in Lake Carmel to secure a met W and Phil L. Do I drive the 90 min Sunday, or leave it to the Gods? Wild stuff, Maine had it going today.

Posted by: abe at September 29, 2007 9:33 PM

BTW, can we bring back Armando for a day? Based on the way FLA has handled themselves in this series and the one down South it is time for a headhunting. Put Cabera to sleep. Donrelle was sniping last game, expect the same tomorrow. Win and hospitalize, spoilers have a great place in sports. This bullshit the fish are pulling needs an Offerman style smackdown. Scummy, and Omar better add a headhunter to next years rotation, because the phils and fish will be looking to kill. hate Clemens, and his shot at Piazza was awful, but he gets it. Even as a 5 inning pitcher he has policed the game for the yanks this year.

Posted by: abe at September 29, 2007 9:50 PM

The collapse was dreadful, but after months of equally lousy baseball,the Phils did go for it.

Chicago; Milwaukee; Denver; San Diego; Phoenix; Philadelphia, New York.

Seven spots in four time zones, the last three days. Now th elast day, and all but the Central is up for grabs. Haven't heard from Costas on this.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 30, 2007 9:30 AM

But who would the Tugger be rooting for, Mets or Phillies?

Posted by: Simon Oliver Lockwood at September 30, 2007 10:45 AM

The New York lawyer with the social conscience of Marie Antoinette has to watch Glavine give up 7 in the first inning. I guess it’s going to be a pretty good day…..

Posted by: attorney steve at September 30, 2007 2:58 PM

Don't tune into Russo and Francesa tomorrow, Crank.

Posted by: seamus at September 30, 2007 5:07 PM

Russo was on right after the game. As far as I'm concerned, he's right - back up the truck, and get rid of everybody except Wright, Reyes, and Beltran. Everybody. Including the manager.

Posted by: A.S. at September 30, 2007 6:54 PM

A.S.

Russo may be a little overboard on this one. Just for fun and to be argumentative, I looked up and compared the rosters of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 and 1952. I will assume all posters here are aware of the complete collapse of the Dodgers in 1951 (13.5 games ahead on 8/13/51, lost to the Giants in a three game playoff in October). Anyway, they went with virtually the same roster including manager Charlie Dressen in 1952 and won the NL pennant. This is not to say that a long look at all team members is not in order, but complete housecleaning after a near miss seems to be an over-reaction to me.

A situation we have here with the Giants is that there are several contracts that extend into next year at least, and no way will they be able to trade these geezers for anyone worth having with the kind of money they have coming to them. I'd tell you New Yorkers to relax and enjoy football, but the Jets and Giants probably aren't too much fun right now either.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at September 30, 2007 7:43 PM

A pitcher! A pitcher! My team for a pitcher!

Maine and Perez are young, have off days when you need them, but are fearless and have delivered when they were needed also. But, uh, they were counting on a 76 year old El Duque. Omar, the season is done, no more SI articles, get some pitching.

They had a photo and articles about yesterday posted for motivation? One day to go, lose and go home, win and play, you need more motivation?

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 30, 2007 8:04 PM

The Mets choking is disappointing. Hillary being President will cause me to consider suicide.

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at September 30, 2007 9:54 PM

Maine, Perez, and (cross fringers) a healthy Pedro is a nice front-end to have next year, but they are going to need to acquire another arm somehow. Santana is an impossibility, I think, so it's going to have to be a middle-of-the-rotation arm - someone who can go more than six innings. I'm just not sure who's available.

Russo's a nut. Willie doesn't deserve to be sacked for this debacle. But I won't be tuning into Mike and the Mad Dog until after the Yanks have been swept out of the first round.

Posted by: paul zummo at October 1, 2007 9:43 AM

Russo is a nut, but the jury is out on Willie. He lost the clubhouse in the second half, and it showed up on the field. That's grounds for dismissal in most ballparks. Omar has been complimentary, but is clearly handing this potato to the Wilpons.

Posted by: abe at October 1, 2007 11:21 AM

cubs suck

Posted by: joe at October 5, 2007 6:42 PM
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