A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Matsui 2, Reds 1

Asian Night at Shea was a big success last night with Kaz Ishii pitching a great game and Kaz Matsui supplying the punch and knocking in both RBIs with a cluth homerun. Actually, it's hard to determine whether it was good pitching or bad offense. There is definitely a fine line between the two and with two struggling offenses, I'm leaning more towards a bad offensive night than a good pitching night. The Mets have had some timely hitting and late inning comebacks this year, and that is not the way to live. Like last year, their luck will run out if they do not become more proficient at working the pitchers, working counts, and creating runs more. The Mets, still live and die by the homerun and their starting rotation is just not as good as anticipated, though still being shaped and could straighten out.

Willie started a bit of a mini controversy by bringing in Koo for the beginning of the ninth inning instead of Braden Looper.

"Willie's the manager. I've got to do what he says," said Looper, who has converted nine consecutive save chances. "All I can say is, I want the ball when the game is on the line. But I'm not the guy who makes those decisions."

While I have no particular problem with what Willie did, some people think that the closer should be in every closer situation if they are rested and sometimes even when they are not rested. Personally, I think Koo's stock was on the rise with two solid outings and Willie wants to find out what he has there. Changes are coming in the bullpen and Koo needs to find his place and lefty specialist every two days is not it. El Diablo responded to Willie's move by hitting 97 on gun twice in a row and working at 94 consitanly while looking as nasty as he ever has. Willie has shown a penchant for not managing by script like Art Howe, and you really cannot argue with it. He goes with his gut and not just by the book and I'll take that any day. He's still learning and still gets out matched by some managers some games and makes weird moves, but I do not think anyone believes he will not grow. He is a far cry from Art Howe.

* * *

  • "Looper is good, and he's my guy and our guy," Randolph said. "I got a lot of confidence in him. Who knows? Even if I had Mariano, I might have done that."

    Willie, get over it. Get over the Yankees. Stop with the comparisons.

  • Perhaps the biggest surprise of the game was Roberto Hernandez's lack of an accent in the post game. Just by looking at him, I figured he had this thick accent like Armando Benitez did, but quite the contrary.

  • From Newsday:

    About an hour before game time, Pedro Martinez came out of the trainer's room in a hideous orange suit that was a few sizes too big for him and started hollering to his teammates. Turns out he had worn the same outfit Monday before the Mets' 9-2 victory and was trying to start a streak.

    "Am I exciting or what?" Martinez said.

  • Miguel Cairo was one of the Mets on the top steps when Matsui homered and he was going the craziest. Cairo is definitely a big part of this team and it was good to see him react that way for a guy who's failure means his gain.

  • From the OC Register:

    The Angels, looking for help at designated hitter, are rumored to be interested in Mike Cameron of the Mets, as are the Padres, Astros and Yankees.

    Who the hell would waste him at designated hitter? I'm guessing Garrett Anderson would move to DH, but with the best farm system in all of baseball, Omar should be listening.

  • Minor wrap-up:
    • Hagerstown beat Lakewood 5-3 and Dante Brinkley keeps raking. Brinkley went 2 for 4 to bring his average up to .393.
    • St. Lucie lost again, but who cares? Milledge continued to be on a tear and went 2 for 3 to bring his average up to .258.
    • Binghamton goes down in fifteen seemingly uneventful innings to Reading 3-2.
      Norfolk beat Richmond 9-1. Pagan went 3 for 5, Keppinger went 2 for 5, Diaz went 2 for 4 with one walk, and Strickland went one inning and struck out two.
  • With Met/Yankee series coming up, I do not feel as confident as I did last year. The Mets are sputtering and not playing great baseball despite taking the first two games of this series, and the Yankees are red hot after winning ten in row.

    However, the odds are on our side. They just have to lose at some point.

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