9/3/06- Willie’s fault.

Its easy to get greedy. With the best record in baseball and no real NL competition, I just expect the Mets to win every day (I feel the "best record" honor does have an implied asterisk though, since the Tigers, Yankees, White Sox, Red Sox, et al DO have competition, namely each other, and still post excellent respective records). So that brings us to today’s affair, an attempt to post the first 3 game sweep in Houston in 22 years. El Duque and 3 relievers limit the ‘Stros to 1 hit, and despite a 9th inning Delgado homer its a one run, 2-1 loss. What’s my problem, is it the 9 walks allowed, 6 by The Duke? Not at all, that comes with the territory as I see it. Hernandez at times lives on the edge, a junkballer who nevertheless still throws a heater in the low 90s (!), he gives up walks, compensates for them with Ks, and I can’t argue with anything he did today. I enjoy watching him pitch, the times he’s knocked around early notwithstanding. I am pinning this one on Willie. It goes pack to the 7th, after Reyes breaks up Oswalt’s perfect game with an infield single to lead off the frame. Ideal! Given the very high percentage of Jose scoring when leading off an inning by getting on base, and the Mets’ fine pitching on the afternoon, things were looking solid at this point. But then the moment of truth. Batting second, Endy Chavez sacrafice bunts successfully. Without information to the contrary, it looks like this decision was called from the dugout. If it was an attempt to get the Mets second straight infield hit (which would be evidence that it was Endy’s decision, and not one I would have a beef with), that was not apparant. He did not "drag" it, and high tail out of the box. Instead, it really seemed to be a straight sacrafice. If so, the Mets deserve this loss. Jose Reyes is the major league stolen base leader, and is successful in that venture 70% of the time. We are facing a pitcher that had until this point not allowed anything beyond an infield hit, and forego the steal to set up a situation where a hit is needed to plate a run? No good. Steal second first, THEN sacrafice, moving the then tying run to third with one out. Such a situation would have indeed resulted in the tying run given how the rest of the inning played out. Instead? Stranded on third. If Reyes had been thrown out at second, I can live with that. It would have been the right move. Steal every time in that situation. Why give up an out for the same end of moving over the runner? I really don’t think the differences in percentages of a successful sacrafice vs. a straight attempted steal by Reyes is significant enough to give up what would be the decisive out. Too conservative. Not to mention for a team 16 games up in the division, too dull. I like Willie, though not happy with this one. Only rationalle (and not one I agree with): perhaps trying to protect Reyes’ health by limiting his head first slides, since the remainng regular season games are gravy at this point.

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2 comments

  1. sp1962@cs.com

    i just watched today’s game and it was a heart breaker, no doubt but as far as I’m concerned, like yogi Berra said “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings” and right now with a two game lead “it’s war”! now…

    let’s go into Atlanta and make some noise.. i smell 1986 this year….

    LET’S GO METS!!!!!

    always an forever!

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