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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Forget A-Rod's 600 - Mets achieve their own milestone: .500

Last night, the New York Mets became proud members of the .500 club. The Mets Hall of Fame asked for a game ball, but when Jose Reyes tried to toss one into the dugout, it ended up in the stands. David Wright then sidearmed a game ball toward the dugout, but it went down the line.

The Mets are currently negotiating with a Braves' security guard who ended up with the ball used to make the final out. They have offered him the bat held by Jeff Francoeur when he took a four-pitch walk Tuesday night, an autographed picture of Carlos Beltran's knee brace and lunch with Oliver Perez.

The Mets actually got to .500 on Monday night, but before they could properly commemorate the occasion, Francoeur went and spoiled everything with a dramatic game-winning homer off of ex-Met Billy Wagner that gave the team false hope that they could get back in the race.

But they say that momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher, and Mike Pelfrey was able to set things right with another disastrous outing.

Well aware of what was at stake, the Mets did their best to make it a historic night. When was the last time that every member of the Mets' usually sure-handed infield made an error EXCEPT for Luis Castillo?

Pelfrey brought his "A" game, the one where A stands for "atrocious." For the fifth time in his last seven starts, Pelfrey failed to make it past the fifth inning.

But it was Jerry Manuel who most rose to the occasion. The Braves had runners on first and third and two out in the fifth inning with Brian McCann coming up. It was still a tight game - the Mets only trailed by 3-2.

The conventional move would have been to walk McCann, who already had two extra-base hits in the game, including a homer his last time up. For the season, McCann was now 5-for-9 against Pelfrey, a .555 batting average. For his career, McCann was 17-for-36 against Pelfrey, a batting average of .472.

Behind McCann was Eric Hinske, who had not had a hit in August and, after last night's game, is hitting .220 since the All-Star break.

Oh, and Hinske, unlike McCann, is not an All-Star.

At Sunday's Mets Hall of Fame ceremony, Davey Johnson was praised for being one of the first managers to pay attention to the numbers. But what chance do numbers have against Jerry Manuel's gut? And Manuel's gut said to pitch to McCann, who promptly delivered his third extra-base hit of the night - a run-scoring double. The game was out of reach soon after that.

McCann's double raised his career BA against Pelfrey to .486 and his 2010 BA against Pelfrey to .600. Take that, A-Rod - you weren't the only one to reach 600 yesterday.

*

Exactly one year ago today, a Met team decimated by injuries trailed the wild-card leading Giants by 8 1/2 games.

Today, the much-healthier Mets trail the wild-card leading Giants by 8 games.

2 comments:

Uncle Mike said...

The much-healthier Mets are only a half-game closer to first than they were a year ago? Hoo, boy. I guess, along with English, History and Physical Education, Math isn't the Mets' strong point -- not this season, anyway.

As I did for "How to Be a Yankee Fan In Baltimore," I have posted "How to Be a Met Fan In Philadelphia," for anyone interested in checking out this weekend's Mets-Phils series. Don't worry, I take the subject seriously, and don't give the Mets or their fans (much) grief in it. I know you don't need it, and I hope this guide will make your experience down there, should you choose to go, more enjoyable -- regardless of what the final scores turn out to be.

Uncle Mike said...

Or maybe I need a reading-comprehension course: I saw "trailed by (X) games" and thought "first place," not "wild card." Sorry.