When it comes to "Mets Baseball," Murphy's law best applies...
What can go wrong, will go wrong.
And I place "Mets Baseball" in quotes because it's its own entity, something different from the baseball that's played elsewhere in the major leagues. "Mets Baseball" is disaster. It's the talent necessary to make some serious noise, combined with the boneheadedness necessary to screw it all up.
Ryan Church added to the "games this team never should have lost" pile last night, when he missed third base while attempting to score on a clutch triple from Angel Pagan. That's right, with the score tied at two in the 11th inning, on the road, with two outs and two strikes, Pagan -- in his first start of the season -- came through with his fourth hit of the evening, the one that should have given the Mets a dramatic lead.
Instead, Joe Torre appealed third base and Church was correctly ruled out by the corner umpire. Jerry Manuel said after the game that Church missing third base was "unbelievable."
And for once, Manuel was right about something.
How the hell do you miss third base with the game on the line? How dumb can a professional player be? I don't care if Church was remorseful (which he was), that simply cannot happen. Pagan shows the guts and fortitude required to come through in the clutch, and Church pisses it all away with idiocy.
Of course the Mets proceeded to commit two errors in the bottom of the 11th, making Brian Stokes the bad-luck loser of the ballgame. Stokes pitched his heart out for two innings, only to have Pagan and Carlos Beltran get crossed up on a routine fly ball, and Jeremy Reed throw the game away on a gimme groundball to first.
Nice work, fellas. On the bright side, New York is still four games over the .500 mark (21-17) after a slow start to the season. On the dark and dreary side, Carlos Delgado and Alex Cora are on the DL, and Jose Reyes continues to suffer through a nagging-but-significant injury.
With Delgado out of the picture, the Mets are in desperate need of Reyes' explosiveness. He should return soon (possibly tonight), but when he does return, which Reyes will he be? Dumb and immensely talented, or dumb, banged up, and not as dangerous?
Hmm...I'll hope for the first one.
John Maine gets the ball tonight against Chad Billingsley. Certainly a difficult match-up for the boys from Flushing.
We'll see if this team is ready to respond quickly, or if last night's gut-wrenching loss has taken a mental toll.
(The Red Sox are the new Yankees. How did they make the transition? "JFro," aka John Frascella, is the author of "Theo-logy: How a Boy Wonder Led the Red Sox to the Promised Land."
It's the first full-length book centered on Boston Red Sox's popular
general manager Theo Epstein. Preview or purchase it online at Amazon.com, Barnes
and Noble or Borders. It's currently stocked in Barnes and Noble stores
throughout the U.S. Also, check out John on Twitter.)