Wednesday, August 31, 2005

8/30 - Mets 6, Phillies 4

"They've climbed up the hill and over the top -- that's the biggest hit for the Mets this year!" --Gary Cohen on WFAN, after Ramon Castro's 3 run homer to give the Mets the lead

Wow. What a comeback. I mean, the Phillies basically gave this game to the Mets, but they'll take it. There are 12 games left in this crucial test against playoff challengers--Phillies, Marlins, Braves and the Cardinals. If the Mets go 9-4 in this string, you'd have to like their chances.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Off Day Digest: What?


"Are you serious?"

"No way!"

"I can't believe a team could be this dumb!"

Yes, these are some of the tamer reactions from Mets fans today after the team revealed that Steve Trachsel--remember, that's the guy who pitched a one hitter on Friday night--was going back to the bullpen and Victor "Runners Are Always On" Zambrano would start Friday in Florida. The reason being given is that Zambrano responded to Willie Randolph's challenge of last week to step up his pitching in Arizona and has great record at Dolphins Stadium. Sure, Zambrano threw a good game, and has been okay overall this season, but still--Trachsel threw one hit shutout ball; he worked hard for five months to get back; he was the most consistant pitcher the team has had over the past three seasons; and he (perhaps most importantly) really liked being a Met!

So of course the team must give him the shaft.

The only reason I can think of for this idiocy where Zambrano gets picked over Trachsel is that pitching coach Rick Peterson still wants to prove he can make Zambrano a top notch pitcher, more than a year later after the Scott Kazmir trade and the infamous "I can fix him in 15 minutes" quote.

Or perhaps Zambrano is sucking Peterson's dick in between starts. I mean, it's either ego stroking or sex, because on any other baseball planet the decision to send Zambrano to the bullpen would be a no brainer. When Zambrano blows a crucial game on Friday against the Marlins, don't say I didn't warn you.

(Geez, this entry sounds like I've been listening to WFAN all day or something.)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

8/28 - Giants 4, Mets 1

Well, 5 and 2 is nothing to sneeze at, considering how crappy the Mets have played on the road. The lack of offense in San Francisco is troubling, but perhaps three days at home against the Wild Card leaders the Phillies will go a long away to setting them back on track. Or setting them back down to .500, who knows with these guys.

I'll still stick with September 12th as the day where we'll know what this team's season will be like.

8/27 - Giants 2, Mets 1

I think I typed this a few weeks ago, but Tom Glavine doesn't deserve this. He pitches yet another good game, and all of sudden the team that scored runs in bunches is back to being offensively challeneged. Even still, if this team comes out 5-2 on the road trip, it's still rather successful--yet not enough to get to the top of the wild card hunt.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Where Have You Gone Beltran & Floyd?

The kids carried the Mets through the four-game sweep in Arizona, so they can be forgiven for their lack of productivity today. But where were the veterans? Again, Beltran and Floyd, who have combined to drive in only five runs over the past 11 games, were not factors.

Also, according to, Mets skipper Willie Randolph thinks the team can take the wild card. But this is a team that entered today only four games out of first in the division. With more than a month to go, why are the sights already on second best? Granted, no one here at Zisk thinks the Mets will be in the post-season, but as Mets fans we're supposed to be skeptical. Shouldn't Willie don the cap of "optimist"?

Trachsel's Return

I'd expected Steve Trachsel to pitch a decent game last night, a decent game, mind you, for a guy who hadn't pitched an MLB game in 2005. I expected him to go five or six innings, give up three or four runs, depend on another offensive explosion to salvage a win and then, after the game, talk about how good it felt to be back on the mound and how his mechanics were sound. That's the script guys are supposed to follow when they start on the comeback trail; happy, even though they just got doused with whoop ass, and humble, because, well, you know, this is professional sports, they're always humble.

Trachsel followed the post-game part of the script, but holy hot damn, did he ever exceed expectations during the game. Eight shutout innings, just over 100 pitches, and he made a 1-0 lead stick, he even had a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Granted it was only the Giants, who have replaced the Angels as the grazing grounds for players put out to pasture, but it was on the road, a place that has tripped up the Mets all year.

The Mets are now 68-60. When's the last time they were eight games over .500?

8/26 - Mets 1, Giants 0

To paraphrase a boy band hit of a few years ago, "Trachsel's Back, Alight!" Steve Trachsel returned with one of his best pitching performances of his Mets career, and David Wright provided the only run with yet another homer. Maybe Victor Zambrano should have back surgery and he'll come back with a curveball as nasty as Trachsel's was yesterday.

However, I'm still not going to get excited--I am a Mets fan you know.

Friday, August 26, 2005

8/25 - Mets 3, Diamondbacks 1

My first thought in the 5th inning was, "What if Pedro is at 120 pitches, with a no hitter, in the bottom of the 9th?" I was so relieved it didn't come to that. This game yet again proved that Martinez has become a craftier pitcher as he gets older. Even though he walked a bunch of D-Backs, he was still able to get them to swing (or just look at) a variety of breaking balls.

I still refuse to get excited, even though the Mets are 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card. This is the same team that lost five in a row, then won six in a row at the begining of the year, and has clung to .500 like Linus's blanket. If they're still in this race on September 12th (after a road trip through Florida, Atlanta and St. Louis) then I might.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Zisk # 10 Now Online. Read it, We Dare Ya.

The spring 2005 edition of Zisk, a.k.a issue #10, is now online! Click here or check out the link to it on the right.

And here's the best baseball dare of the year.

8/24 - Mets 18, Diamondbacks 4

Gosh, that's a nice score, isn't it? I bet Pedro wishes they saved some runs for his start tonight.

I got home last night late, and turned on WFAN figuring they would be at least talking about the game. The first thing I heard Gary Cohen say when the receiver came on was, "Well Mike Jacobs has added to his legend tonight." I mean, who could have expected a AA catcher-sometime first basemen would hit four home runs in his first 14 plate appearances in the big leagues. Is Jacobs the new Shane Spencer? (Not the Spencer that played for the Mets last year, the Spencer of 1998, of course.) Also, how good are David Wright and Jose Reyes going to be in a couple of years? And what happened to Kaz Matsui and his sudden ability to hit? Really, what is going on here? Too many good things at once freezes my brain...

Being a Mets fan, I have to mention the negative--why aren't Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran hitting on this trip? And why do I have a sickening feeling we won't get a sweep?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Seconding Steve's Thoughts

Fourteen runs is a good week for the Mets offense this year, but in one game? It's even more impressive when you consider that a) every Mets starter, including pitcher Victor Zambrano, had at least one hit and scored at least one run; and b) only one of those runs was driven in by the 3-4 hitters, Beltran and Floyd, both of whom are, of course, saving some offense for Jae Seo 's start tonight.

8/23 - Mets 14, Diamondbacks 1

Well, this was unexpected. A tremendous offensive outburst, decent pitching from Victor Zambrano AND the DFA of Danny Graves (YEAH!), which kept Mike "Who Needs to Stop at AAA" Jacobs on the roster and at first.

Still, please move Zambrano to the bullpen, at least until Steve Trachsel proves himself one way or another.

In other news, last night's Twins-White Sox game was easily the best I've seen all year. Three amazing crash-into-the-baggie-wall-at-the-Metrodome catches to save a shutout (twice) and a no hitter (once); two great pitchers (Johan Santana and Freddy Garcia) throwing as if their playoff lives depended upon it; and finally, Garcia's no-hitter broken up in the 8th inning by a crushing solo shot by Jacque Jones. As he crossed the plate, with the Metrodome sounding as if it was 1991, he pointed the sky and looked as about as emotional as any player I've seen this year. When he finally was sitting down in the dugout, the Twins broadcasters mentioned that it was Jones' last at bat before he was leaving the team for a couple of days as his uncle had died earlier in the day.

Wow. Talk about drama. Just another reason baseball is the greatest sport ever. (Check out Bat Girl for a Twins perspective on the best game of the year.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

8/22 - Mets 4, Diamondbacks 1

This is the 10th road trip this season for the Mets, and it's only the third time this season the team has won the first game of a trip. Tom Glavine jumped into the way back machine last night, making the D-Back hitters flair at pitches as if it was 1995. Sunday's hero Mike Jacobs filled in at first, and was the best defensive catcher-first basemen the Mets have had, well, perhaps ever.

So my question is this--what are the Mets really going to do with Steve Trachsel? If, as Willie Randolph says, he'd only pitch out of the bullpen in an "extreme emergency," there has to be some secret plan to make him a starter. Could they actually DFA Victor Zambrano? Could management actually admit that last's year trade was a total mistake? The next week before post-season rosters need to be set could be rather interesting.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Best Concert Ever

When I read the paper on Sunday, and learned about the Mets' mind-blowing collapse, my thoughts immediately turned to Steve. I feared he would have had a heart attack if he witnessed the Mets coughing up that eight run lead. I would have called him during the game but I was in Boston with my band, and even though we'd played at a record store that night we were still treated to a drunk's nutty story (which usually only happens in bars).

"Is there a concert here tonight?" the guy asked as he took off his headphones. "Sounds good, got a good beat," he tapped his leg as he listened to the band playing inside the store. We were hanging around our van, packing up gear.

"The best concert I ever went to was in 1979. Guess who it was?" Everyone else acted busy, but I took the bait.


"No, Bob Marley! He had cancer by that time. Just up the street there, before the built those apartments. You know those apartments?"

"No, we're from out of town," my bandmate Julie replied.

"It's just up the street there. You know those apartments? It was the best concert ever, everyone was there." He tucked his discman in his armpit and began counting off. "You had Gladys Knight and the Pips, okay? Then Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder! Next up? Billy Joel! And he did a song with Mr. Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond. Then you had a guy from England show up to play keyboards...guess who?"

I got this one right. "Elton John?"

"That's right! I got arrested for smoking dope that night, but the judge let me off. He said, 'You can't arrest 50 people for smoking dope if no one gets hurt.' The judge was a Bob Marley fan, you see, he was at the concert, and he really said that, 'You can't arrest 500 people if no one gets hurt.' I only got arrested one other time in my life. When I was 17 I almost went to jail for having a silencer, but my dad bribed the judge and got me off. I was really into guns when I was a kid."

Then there was a long pause. Everyone packed a bit faster, but the guy just went into the next part of his act.

"And what's up with Michael Jackson?" he continued. "Is he a white woman or a black man or a white man? He's one ugly dude. He looks kind of like her, no offense," he said, referring to Julie.

By that point the equipment was loaded into the van, and one by one we split off from the performance. He was talking about the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church when I left. I'm just glad I have witnesses because no one would ever believe me otherwise.

8/21 - Nationals 7, Mets 4

I was once again fortunate enough to get free tickets to game, and I looked forward to seeing the Mets complete another sweep on a Sunday. Alas, my traveling party got off to a late start, and didn't get to Shea until 1:15. As we were waiting to get the tix, we heard groans coming from the stadium. I knew it would be bad, but come on Kris Benson, 6 runs in two-thirds of an inning? Ugh. The only positives of the day were witnessing Mike Jacobs, the recent callup from AA Binghamton, hit a home run in his first major league at bat, and seeing security restrain someone in the parking lot before we went in, and watching 10 security guards remove some asshole in the 8th inning.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

8/20 - Mets 9, Nationals 8 (10 Innings)

Dear Pedro Martinez,

We're very sorry that we blew an eight run lead, costing you a chance at your 13th win last night. We realize that our miscues throughout the season have probably cost you any shot at a Cy Young award (that rumored 'roid user Roger Clemens will probably win it, which will piss off Mike, again), and we hope you can find it in your mango heart to forgive us.


The Mets Bullpen

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Kaz Who?

While this season hasn't been a banner year for a Mets fan, the resurgence of low scoring games, like tonight's 1-0 win over the Bucs, has been a joy to behold; every play is magnified ten fold. Driving home from dinner the first thing we heard was Victor Diaz putting the Mets ahead by driving in Ramon Castro in the bottom of the seventh. Then in the top of the eighth, the mofo nearly gave the game away by dropping a line drive in right field. Jae Seo, he of ever-shrinking ERA, had no room for error and came up aces. (One earned run in his last 23+ innings.) Why on earth did it take the Mets so long to bring him up to replace Ishii? Lucky for us we were home in time to see Reyes make that laser strike to first to complete a double play in the ninth.

Now, how much longer until they decide whether or not to put Piazza on the DL?

8\19 - Mets 1, Nationals 0

Jae Seo is--to quote Dan Patrick from ESPN's Sportscenter--"En fuego." Yet another gem of a performance, yet another groan from Mets fans thinking, "We could have won a bunch of Ishii's starts if Seo was pitching."

One down, two to go.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Rick White's Beard

I didn't manage to catch up with the game until after Pirates hurler Zach Duke was done manhandling the Mets, but I did get to see ex-Met Rick White come on in relief. That's one guy who could never play for Willie Randolph. White is defined by his Kojak dome and that porcupine on his chin. What can I say, I miss Rick White's beard.

8/19 - Pirates 5, Mets 0

Are we sure we didn't trade away this Zach Duke guy away in the Kris Benson trade?

This weekend is the make-or-break series. If the Mets don't sweep the Nationals before going west of the Mississippi once again, they are truly done.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sight Seeing in Coney Island

Last night I had the good fortune of getting a ticket to a Brooklyn Cyclones game. Brooklyn thumped New Jersey 9-1, scoring in six of their eight turns at bat and forcing the Cardinals to make four errors. It was a sloppy, lopsided win with constant action, but what was happening on the field paled compared to what was happening in the stands.

My favorite sight was the group of teenagers the Cyclones have hired to serve as cheerleaders. There are no cheerleaders in baseball, you say? Agreed, typically there aren't, nor should there be, but stick with me here because if there's one demographic that's completely incapable of masking their boredom it's the teen set and the Cyclones cheerleaders are, remarkably, delightfully, indifferent toward the idea of rousing a crowd's interest in a game. They spent most of the game perched atop the dugout and despite this being mid-August, acted as if they'd never set foot inside a Cyclones game before. When Cardinals pitcher Chris Clem got the hook in the fifth inning, the stadium P.A. blasted Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack." This was the cheerleaders' chance to shine, an unscheduled game delay that wasn't filled with a sausage race or cheese cake eating contest; the spotlight was theirs to take. When we heard the Raylettes singing their part of "Hit the Road Jack," the girl cheerleader wagged her finger at the boy cheerleader, and when Ray sang his part, the cheerleaders reversed roles, the dude cheerleader half-heartedly giving his lady counterpart "what for." They were smirking and fumbling and THEY COULD DO NO BETTER THAN MUMBLE THE WORDS TO THE DAMN SONG! The Cyclones have played 29 home games and it's safe to say the cheerleaders have heard "Hit the Road Jack" at least once a game (not to mention the dozens of times they've encountered the tune in their civilian lives), and they've yet to memorize the lyrics or work out any choreography that rises above half-assed. It's like their moms told them they had to stay in on a Friday night and do laundry, and their lack of enthusiasm was hysterical.

The topper came two innings later. The Cyclones had runners on second and third with one out. Their lead was comfortable but not insurmountable. The tension was rising; a hit would plate two runs and break the game wide open. If ever there was a time for cheerleaders at a ballgame to work the crowd into a frenzy, this was it. And where was our faitful duo? Sitting on the dugout, talking with friends in the front row, their backs turned to the game. Just as the pitch was being delivered the guy cheerleader laid down and pretended to take a nap.

But despite the lack of direction from the pep squad, the Brooklyn faithful were very much tuned into the game. They responded to every hit; they made noise whenever a Cyclones pitcher got two strikes on a hitter; they cheered manager Mookie Wilson every time he walked onto the field. This was a smart crowd, a crowd that knew their baseball, none more so than the guys sitting next to my friend Brian and me. They had John Candy physiques but wore Rick Moranis-size t-shirts, and clearly they didn't believe in using bleach when washing their whites. Their eye glasses had lenses you can only get from NASA, and they each had a radio-only walkman, the bulky kind I got for Christmas back in 1982. These are my kind of fans, practical dudes unfazed by how others perceive them and, apparently, dudes who are also painfully hard of hearing. Each of them set their dial to a different game--dude on the right was tuned into the Mets/Pirates game, while the dude on the left was listening to the Yankees/Devil Rays game--and cranked the volume on their cinder block-size walkman. As we all know there's little fun in listening to a game and keeping the updates to yourself, you want to share the fun with those around you, and given that these guys couldn't hear themselves they wound up broadcasting to everyone in our section what they thought about the game they were watching and the games they were listening to.

Dude on the right: "That's it, Beltran, baby, scoring from first on a single, baby! That's why we signed you! You don't need no surgery!"

Dude on the left: "That's right, A-Rod, you did just leave another guy on base, and yeah, you're playing the D-Rays. Putz!"

News of every Mets highlight and Yankees miscue was gleefully reported and punctuated with a high-five. Hundreds of us were able to follow three games at once and it was awesome.

8/17 - Mets 5, Pirates 1

Welcome back Carlos Beltran. And I mean the speedy Carlos Beltran that the Mets thought they were getting at the beginning of the year. A stolen base? A bunt for a single? Scoring from first on a single? That's what Mets fans have been waiting to see.

Radio highlight of the night:
While our radio announcers were talking about how David Wright takes it personally when Cliff Floyd is walked intentionally, Floyd was walked intentionally yet again. So Gary Cohen said, "Wright's in the on deck circle, doing his calisthenics, building up his circle of hate."

Ha ha.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

8/16 - Mets 6, Pirates 2

It would have been very easy for the Mets to come back home and totally give up on the season after their disastrous West Coast swing. But I'll give them credit, they didn't show any signs of giving up last night, which might be a testament to Willie Randolph's skills as a motivator. Who knows? Kris Benson didn't have his best stuff, but somehow gutted out 7 strong innings.

Radio highlight of the night came during the reading of the out of town scoreboard:

Gary Cohen: "...and the Royals, who haven't won since the Johnson administration, will be in Seattle later."

Howie Rose: "You mean Andrew Johnson, right?"

Monday, August 15, 2005

Moving On

"Damn it!"

"What's wrong?" my wife asked, looking up from her copy of Ear Diseases in Small Animals: An Illustrated Guide.

"The Mets are dead," I answered.

"I thought they died last week."

"Last week was their practical death, when they stopped drawing air. This weekend was their spiritual death. First there was the collision between Beltran and Cameron and now this, Pedro's no-hit bid turned 2-1 loss."

"But it seemed like they got a lot of hits today, how did they lose 2-1?"

"That's just it, that's the key to this game, not the two runs that Pedro gave up--I expected him to cruise today because the Dodgers were basically fielding a Triple A team; their big star is Milton Bradley, a reject from the Indians--but the fact that the Mets racked up 10 hits and scored only one run. Those aren't players out there, they're ghosts."

"Turn off the TV, honey."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

8/14 - Dodgers 2, Mets 1


Beltran or Cameron would have gotten that ball Pedro, of that I am positive. And then the no-hit glory would have been yours. And that win would have launched us into the playoffs.


Kaz Matsui striking out to end the game somehow seems appropriate.

8/13 - Mets 5, Dodgers 1

Really, what took the Mets front office so long to banish Kaz Ishii and bring Jae Seo up? Seo was masterful yet again, giving up his first run in 20 and a third innings. If Seo won even 40% of the games Ishii lost, the Mets would be tied for the wild card lead. I know Steve Trachsel is coming back soon, but how could you banish this guy to the bullpen when he's this hot? How about a six man rotation, Willie?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

8/12 - Dodgers 7, Mets 6 (10 Innings)

Welcome back Victor Diaz. Think the right fielder wanted to make a statement in his first game since being recalled to take Mike Cameron's spot on the roster? Two home runs and going 3 for 4 will make people take notice. Alas, the usually reliable Aaron Heilman let Victor Zambrano down in the bottom of the 7th and a catcher (Dionne Navarro, Dave Navarro, something like that) who had yet to drive in a run homered off Braden Looper in the 10th to win the game.

I missed that home run as I was outside Magnetic Field--one of my favorite Brooklyn haunts, which has "Mets Beer" on tap--on the phone. One guy was walking out as I was on the phone and said to me,"You the Mets fan?" I shook my head yes, and then he said, "You're not going to like what's on the TV now." Gee, thanks dude.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Ain't We Lucky We Got 'em!?

My brother, Casey, and I caught the beginning of the Mets game as we sat in traffic on 495 North in Massachusetts. Later, two hours into Maine, we caught the final score on NYC's WABC, the AM home of the Yankees. Classy as ever, the Yankees announcers read the Mets/Padres score without mentioning the collision between Cameron and Beltran, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, which is fine given how much time they, the announcers, have to devote to reminding listeners of the heroic nature of Jason Giambi's month long comeback. ("It's hard work!") Casey swears that Giambi is back on the juice and that the Yankees are picking up the tab. He says that Giambi has nothing left to lose and the Yankees are going to pay him either way so why not try to squeeze some production out of the guy? Though completely lacking in evidence, I like Casey's thinking.

8/11 - Padres 2, Mets 1

Two weeks ago I called the Mets loss versus the Brewers (where Roberto Hernandez gave up 5 runs in the top of the 9th) the worst loss of the year. I was wrong. Yesterday's game is now the worst loss of the year, and it would have been even if the Mets had won. The collision between Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron was one of the most upsetting things I have ever seen at a ballgame, and the most disturbing thing I have ever seen happen to my favorite team. There was complete silence in my office at one point, as if we thought the possibility that Cameron was dead was very, very real. I will never be able to forget that collision.

So the team moves onto L.A., with Victor Diaz in right field for the series and, most likely, the rest of the season. If the Mets end up with a .500 record on this trip, I would consider that a major achievement.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

8/10 - Mets 9, Padres 1

Welcome Mets fans, to David Wright Week!

Tuesday night, if you'll recall, the young third baseman caught a ball barehanded, a catch that was replayed on every cable channel that exists. Last night our Mr. Wright made the Padres pay for an intentional walk to Cliff Floyd by hitting a ball that landed somewhere near my birthplace, Escondido, CA. Add on 4 for 5 night with 6 RBI's, and David Wright Week is going according to plan.

Today our tenative plans call for him to throw a no hitter. Watch and see what happens!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Good for What Ails You

When I fell asleep last night the Padres were handing Pedro's ass to him on a platter to the tune of 4-0. (Like my brother said--we were on the phone when the onslaught began--everyone has an off day. Given how tired Pedro looked last year I thought he'd have racked up a dozen rocky starts by this point in the season.) When I woke up it was 8-3 and Offerman was striking out to end the game. I don't think anything of interest happened in between. I did, however, have the pleasure of stumbling off to bed with songs from the new M.O.T.O. disc in my head.

8/9 - Padres 8, Mets 3

This was definitely not a game worth staying up for. Pedro Martinez was bound to have a truly awful outing at some point this year, it just took until August to make it happen. When Chan "Money Ho" Park gets a hit off your pitcher, it's a sign that the night will be a complete waste--and probably a sign that the Mets road woes will continue.

But this game will mainly be remembered for David Wright's amazing bare handed catch. Ted Robinson said it best: "That catch will be on highlight reels for 20 years."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

8/7 - Mets 6, Cubs 1

I made the rare trip out to Shea on a Sunday night (thanks to my friend Jocelyn and some free tix courtesy of WFAN) and got to witness a rare sweep by the Flushing boys. The crowd seemed rather subdued for much of the game, which surprised me since it was Pedro bobblehead night. And speaking of subdued, Victor Zambrano topped his twin Carlos Zambrano. Victor rebounded from that 38 homer performance against Milwaukee and pitched an excellent game. One of the signs they showed on the diamond vision summed it up: "Our Zambrano is better than yours."

It's an off day tomorrow to head out West for three against the once again over .500 NL West leading San Diego Padres and then up the I-5 for three against the Los Angeles Dodgers of Brooklyn. If the Mets are to prove my proclamation of their season being over wrong, they need to win 4 out of 6 on this trip.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

8/6 - Mets 2, Cubs 0

Here's the headline tomorrow's Post should have: "Please Jae It's Seo!" Jae Seo returned from Norfolk to throw 7 innings-plus of shutout ball, making myself and many Mets fans think, "WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU GET RID OF ISHII SOONER?!?!! ARRRRRRRGH!!!!!"

8/5 - Mets 9, Cubs 3

Mike and I didn't see any of this game (Tom Glavine going 8 innings was a godsend for this bullpen), as we were enjoying some great music in the hipster haven of Williamsburg in lovely Brooklyn. Alas, because it's Williamsburg, it took 18 years to get back to my hood in Brooklyn,c ursing the MTA and Williamsburg the entire way. For one brief moment, I hated that area more than I hate Kaz Ishii. Ishii is going away though, replaced by Jae Seo for today's game. If only we could replace Williamsburg...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Knights of the New Crusade: Take Two

I just noticed that my post from earlier this week was cut off. Here's the section that was missing...

The evening was fun, though, highlighted by an appearance by a curious Christian garage rock band from San Francisco called The Knights of the New Crusade. They've got great songs, they dress as knights, and their lead singer brandishes a sword. I haven't quite figured them out, but recommend you see for yourself.

Viva Castro!

Steve's right, the Mets are done. After winning seven out of 10 at home, they've dropped seven of their last 10; they simply can't resist the warm embrace of mediocrity. When that line drive slipped past Carlos Beltran yesterday afternoon, allowing the Brewers to pull off their second straight late-inning win, I heard the bell ring. Unlike Steve I wish they'd been able to trade for Manny, but even that was more for 2006 than this year. Ever the optimist, I started thinking of the positives. At this point maybe Willie Randolph, looking ahead to next year, will feel more comfortable juggling the line up, maybe give Wright some at-bats in the #3 spot, pencil in Castro for a few more starts behind the plate, give Heilman a start or three (sweet merciful god I hope this happens soon, let there be no more of Ishii's antics!). But all of those calls are based on instinct, I suppose numbers should play a role in such decisions, too. Once you've figured out who you expect to return next year, you have to figure out who's been most productive this year. So, while procrastinating some real work, I cooked up the following formula to see which Mets players have helped the offense the most.

Long version: (Runs + Runs batted in - Home runs) divided by (At-bats + walks)

Short version: (Runs produced) divided by (Plate appearances) For example, if Reyes goes to the plate 10 times and scores 5 runs, he produces .500 runs per at-bat.

So here they are, your top run-producin' Mets for the 2005 season:

(Runs produced per plate appearance)

Ramon Castro - .288
David Wright - .259
Cliff Floyd - .252
Victor Diaz - .230
Jose Reyes - .225
Carlos Beltran - .220
Mike Cameron - .220
Mike Piazza - .203
Kaz Matsui - .200
Doug Mienkiewicz - .188
Marlon Anderson - .176
Chris Woodward - .173
Miguel Cairo - .143

Note that two of the top four do not start for the Mets. Note also that the $119,000,000 man is firmly nestled at #6.

8/4 - Brewers 12, Mets 9

I've tried in vain to come up with something witty to write about yesterday's loss, but I have failed. There is nothing funny about a 40 year-old man giving up 5 runs in the top of the 9th inning.

It's too painful to think about.

Four letters now describe the Mets season: OVER.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

8/3 - Brewers 6, Mets 4

Lesson learned--Braden Looper and Robert Hernandez cannot be used back-to-back nights when the first night sees each of them go over two innings a piece.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

8/2 - Mets 9, Brewers 8 (11 Innings)

"This was a war of attrition." -- Howie Rose on the WFAN post game report.

Growing up I was a big fan of the miniseries--Winds of War? Saw it. The Thorn Birds? Saw it THREE times. V? Watched it religiously. This battle between the Flushing faithful and the Brew Crew was like some made for TV epic that just didn't know how to end. 4 hours and 29 minutes of drama spread over 11 innings, making it the longest Mets game of the 2005 season. Let's recap what happened:

--Victor Zambrano had his worst Mets outing ever, giving up approximately 26 home runs in less than 2 innings.
--Aaron Heilman is a decent pitcher, and should be starting over Kaz Ishii until Steve Trachsel comes back.
--Doug "I CAN Have a Good OBP" Mientkiewicz might be coming out of his season-long slump by getting on base 5 times tonight.
--Mike Cameron has shook off all the trade talk, and hit a spine-tingling home run in the bottom of the 9th that made Gary Cohen sound like he'd gone through puberty again.
--This is the first time in 3 years the Mets have come back from a 4 run deficit.
--Carlos Beltran got booed while going 0 for 6. If he doesn't start hitting during this homestand, he will soon become the new Kaz Matsui.
--Mike Piazza might not be the same hitter he was 4 years ago, but he can scare the shit enough out of some relievers that they'll throw four straight balls to allow the game-winning running to come across the plate.

Finally, here's one of the funniest things I've ever heard during a radio broadcast.
Howie Rose, while describing the Brewers rotund relief pitcher Dana Eveland: "His physique is Wellsian."

Gary Cohen: "Is that David...or Orson?"

Ha ha.

Pedro Martinez throwing on Wednesday, which always gives me a good feeling.

Off Day Digest: The Mets Hall of Fame

So what do Mets blogs write about during an off day in August? How about two articles about the Mets Hall of Fame. Both are some quality reading to get ready for this week's visit by the Brew Crew.

Also worth reading is a tribute to Bob Murphy, just a day before the one year anniversary of his passing.

A Statement to Zisk Readers

In light of recent events, I wanted to let the Zisk readers know that I, Steve Reynolds, have never ingested alcohol while writing any item for Zisk, in either its printed edition or online form.

Thank you for your support.

Another Statement to Zisk Readers

In light of a recent events and testing at the Zisk offices, I'd like to say that I, Steve Reynolds, have never knowingly ingested alcohol while writing for Zisk, in either its printed or online form. I believe that the positive test stemmed from something I unknowingly ingested over the weekend.

Thank you once again for your support.

Yet Another Statement to Zisk Readers

In light of the recent discovery that I, Steve Reynolds, am drunk right know, I'd like to apologize to all Zisk readers for jlhjksdjksdh hhjhjhf6uyueusd. And another thing, who keeps stealing my goddamn pens?!?