Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Somos Su Papa

Pedro J. (Does anyone remember the Pedro R. anymore?) made his Washington debut. When he looked at the lineup card, he probably went light on the hair grease, knowing it would be an easy night.

Frank bunched all his best hitters 1-3. But after that, it was a vast wasteland. Carlos Baerga hit cleanup!

I don't have any way of verifying this, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Carlos has to be the worst cleanup hitter in major league history for a team that's in first place this late in the season.

With Matt Cepicky, Jamey Carroll, Esteban Loaiza and the others, it looked like there were going to be a lot of quick innings.

And, for a long time, there were.

But somehow, they won.

The Majority Whip goes to Esteban Loaiza. On a night he knew he'd need to be perfect, he was. He threw eight shutout innings. Frank let him start the ninth, which is the right decision with a three-run lead. After Cliff Floyd led off the inning with a single, Frank brought in the Chief. Loaiza lingered on the mound until Chad Cordero was all the way in, gestured to Cordero with the glove as if to say 'go get them', and strolled to the dugout to a thunderous standing ovation, tipping his cap along the way.

  • Cordero got the job done, giving up two runs creating an artificial one-run game.

    Cordero would've only allowed one run had Jose Guillen not made one of the biggest blunders of the year.

    David Wright was the tying run at the plate when he ripped a sinking liner into right. Guillen charged and picked it up on a hop.

    The runner on third had held, thinking the ball would be caught and didn't start home until Guillen had the ball. Guillen inexplicably threw home, airmailing the throw. Not only did it miss the cutoff men, it went over Brian Schneider's head, allowing Wright to move up to scoring position.

    The play is to throw to second. Concede the run, keep the tying run at first, and the double play in order.

    We've talked about this team not having much margin for error. That's the kind of play that they can't have happen. The team survived this time. Thankfully.

  • Jose Vidro made his return. He lined an RBI double down the right field line and hit a towering fly ball to dead center.

    He wasn't tested defensively, but did turn a nice double play in the seventh.

    On his double, Vidro showed that he's not quite healthy. Lumbering down to second, he looked like the Tin Man sans oil can.

  • Pedro looked absolutely dominant. His fastball was consistently in the 89 MPH range, and he fooled batter after batter with two different off-speed pitches: a slow 72 MPH changeup that dived down and to the right, and a Livan-style 68 MPH looping curveball that broke down and to the left.

    He consistently got ugly swing after ugly swing.

    Were it not for some horrid defense, he would've escaped the second inning scoreless. Vinny Castilla lobbed a high fly ball to deep left. Cliff Floyd sauntered back before realizing the ball would be over his head and kicking it into gear. By the time he got up to full speed and leaped, the ball was past him.

    Later in the same inning, second baseman Marlon Anderson, with the infield in, completely missed a sharp grounder from Schneider. It went into right for a single, scoring the runner from third. The runner wasn't going on contact, so had he been able to knock it down, the run doesn't score.

  • Carlos Baerga is sllllloooowwwww. With runners at the corners and two outs, he hit a slow grounder into the hole at short. Reyes didn't field it cleanly, but still had time to fling it to first. Baerga hustled (if that's the right word for it) down the line and dived into the bag. He was out before he was even airborn, and his 'dive' had all the effect of jumping on a dry Slip-N-Slide anyway.

    I still can't get over the idea of him hitting cleanup. But the Mets had Marlon Anderson hitting fifth. That's almost a wash.

  • Guillen got nailed by a pitch in the first -- despite Pedro showing excellent control. You could see Guillen seethe as he slowly ripped off his batting gloves. It didn't escalate, but you could almost hear Guillen chanting Ommmmm to calm himself.

  • Worst case scenario, we lose the next two, and the Mets will have only picked up two games on us. With Livan against Glavine tonight, we've got a good chance to earn a split, at a minimum. Were we to win the next two, the Mets are as good as done.

    Now if only Atlanta would lose a freakin' game....
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