Luis Castillo where have you been all our lives?
Last night's amazin' win was amazing enough to qualify for dropping the "g" from amazing. Amazin' Offense, and just as Amazin' Bullpen. Except the pen is BAD amazin'. As we remove the paper bags with eye holes from our heads and celebrate this weeks winning streak, we should not let the thrill of victory keep us from identifying the goats: Milledge (forgiven)
Sosa (forgiven), Heilman (unforgiven), Wagner (forgiven). And watching Maine struggle brings back memories of Leiter and Trachell from the past.
At this point, John Maine couldn't finish off an ice cream cone. While I'm sure Prof. Rick is clinking test tubes and boiling potions trying to solve this problem as I type, Maine needs to induce some ground balls and quick, because this formula (50 pitches an inning) does not work in the playoffs.
Anyone who tells you the Mets bullpen is not a concern headed down the stretch is a liar or Steve Phillips or both. Actually this relief must make Phillips giggle with seething schadenfreude. Heilman stinks up the joint every night. Mota has been disowned by almost all of the fanbase and probably some in his immediate family. Wagner is in the midst of a stellar season but seems to be getting all the yips out now; it is almost a certainty that he will grace the bases with the "John Franco Two" runners, just to make things interesting. Shoenwiess recent improving performance is hard to evaluate, since he has been down so long it looks like up. Sosa will most likely buckle at some point under the weight of Willie's use. Perhaps the pen can get all their struggling out of the way in August. Maybe the Mets upon expansion of their rosters will happen upon some farmhand wunderkind? Or perhaps the rotational fortifications will make the issue moot in the playoffs. I will wring my hands until then.
Bend ya knees, Rook!
In rap videos, the rappers don't really dance. They just stand there moving and swaying, while the scenery performs around them. That's why they hire dancing girls in bikinis I suppose. Being something of a rapper AND a right fielder, Lastings Milledge often takes roots to fly balls that even MC Hammer would chuckle at. LM demonstrated this clumsyness last night, setting up a Padres rally by butchering a ground ball with his feet. While he atoned for it with his bat in the ninth (a fact down-played with much of the attention going to all the other heroes) "the Rook" needs some work on his footwork.
Beltran is a quiet star. His production sneaks up on you. Last night, there was nothing he couldn't do. I think Metsfans would prefer him to be a loud star. To this end, I propose fitting Carlos with a tiny bell much the same as the one I remember Sammy Sosa used to wear in Wrigley field to signal his fellow outfielders.
On the other (pissy) hand, Moises Alou may need one of those "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up" alarms around his neck. You see, Moises likes to dive. This does not necessarily work in harmony with two other of his salient characteristics: he is frequently injured for extended periods of time and getting up is not so easy when you're in your 40s. But he likes to dive just the same.
Omar and the Vets:
Omar's move to reacquire Marlon Anderson has already paid off. Anderson is like an everyman getting it done under stressful conditions; the American Holywood ideal. His swings, launched from the bottom of his shoes, sometimes look ridiculous. But in the clutch, he just always seems to get it done. Having trafficked so frequently in elders, Omar appears to have acquired a taste for them. All of your catchers go down in the span of two days? Don't worry, Mike diFelice and his canon arm are here, straight from the post office wall. Stash can't walk? Don't worry, Damion Easley is here. Damion goes down? No problem, Anderson can pick up the slack. Omar makes finding diamonds in the rough and putting them on the diamond look easy. The rest of us see a Walmart greeter, Omar sees a baseball world-beater.
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