What could be more thrilling than a 1-0 win in the 11th inning on an infield single? Not listening to Fran "I Have Pictures of the Wilpons Killing a 5 Year Old and that's Why I Have My Job" Healey and Keith "Master of the Reeee-tarded" Hernandez calling the game on MSG. Mike warned me that the moronic twosome was calling the game in a voicemail I heard while standing in the Chinese takeout joint in my neighborhood. At that point, I almost lost my appetite and canceled my order of boneless spare ribs. Somehow, cooler and smarter heads prevailed, as got the yummy ribs, walked home, dug out my old A.M. antenna, plugged it into the back of my living room receiver, and listened to Howie Rose and Gary Cohen on WFAN show how a baseball game should be announced while watching the Red Sox-Yankees from Fenway Park with the sound all the way down. It was baseball heaven.
(Sorry I digressed, but H&H piss me off to no end. Every game with them is like a stab to my temporal lobe.)
So back to the game at hand. A favorite baseball cliché that gets tossed around is that pitching and doing "the little things" win games. So let's talk about Mets pitching first, specifically Kaz Ishii. So far, the ex-Dodger has been quite a surprise. Even with the extremely fluid strike provided last night by home plate umpire Paul Nauert, Ishii kept the Astros in check and was very economical with his pitch count. The much-maligned Mets bullpen somehow came up with four innings of scoreless relief. Of course, this may be the only four straight scoreless innings of relief that manager Willie Randolph will see all season.
And while it's early, it seems as if the Mets of '05 do many of "the little things" right, as opposed to the Mets of '04, who took sleeping lessons from Art Howe. Three well executed sacrifice bunts in one game is a very good sign. It's obvious that Randolph has put his stamp upon this team and that they follow his lead. Somehow I don't think Art Howe could or would be able to get his starting infield to take extra infield drills during batting practice just so they would be ready behind Ishii.
Four in a row after five in a row? Could be...