Diamondbacks 4, Mets 3 (7th inning)
This is sort of an experiment. I have lots of schoolwork as we head down the stretch towards summer vacation, and the Mets are playing late. So the choices, as I see them, are thus: go to bed early, miss the game, and get sleep, or stay up, watch the game, and try to get work done with the extra time I'm staying up. I chose option two, decided to mix in a blog, and believe it or not, some schoolwork is actually getting done.
Unfortunately, this experiment is coming to an end...as they get up for the seventh inning stretch in Arizona, I'm stretching my way right into bed, at about 11:35pm eastern time. I figured out what's worse than the 9:05pm starts - 9:40pm starts. Ouch.
The Mets trail 4-3, and Tom Glavine was just lifted for a pinch-hitter, so he can only lose this game - he can't win, so he'll stay at 293 career wins. The highlight of this game so far for the Mets was a BOMB by Carlos Beltran way out to center field. Not much else going on, to be honest with you.
The Mets have late starts Friday and Saturday. I have a function on Saturday night, so maybe the 9:40pm Saturday night start will actually work to my benefit then - I bet I'm home before the game ends...or at least I'll be able to listen on the radio in the car on the way home.
AWARDS: I just mentioned that John Maine should clear some mantle space if he keeps pitching like he has...I meant the end of the year, but he's already won an award for 2007. Maine was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for April. The National League Player of the Month was (my pick for NL MVP) Jose Reyes. If I heard correctly, it's the first time the Mets have swept a month since 1985, when Dwight Gooden and Hall of Famer Gary Carter did the honors.
EDITORIAL ON THE SHIFT: I am not a fan of the shift. There's a couple of reasons for my feelings. One is that I don't like the idea of leaving a whole side of the field open for someone. I understand that the shift is usually only employed against big power guys who always pull the ball, but they're also Major League hitters, and should be able to go opposite field once in a while, and should do it more often when everyone and their brother is playing you to pull. So I'm not a fan of the people who employ the shift, nor am I a fan of the hitters who can't exploit it.
Therefore, I like what happened on Wednesday night in Cleveland. Tie game, bottom half of the last inning, and the shift is on against Travis Hafner. Hafner shot it down the line the opposite way, and the Indians won the game. I don't like the shift, and I love that Hafner exploited it this way.
Also, on a somewhat related note - the other day, Tuesday, it must have been, Carlos Delgado got two hits by going the other way against the shift. Should have been ground balls to short, but no one was there. I know I'm not a manager, or a coach, or anything close to anyone with a job in baseball, and I realize the numbers must show it works, or so many people wouldn't be doing it, dating back decades, but I don't think that's how the game should be played.
BEAT THE STREAK: 10 games!! Ray Durham got a hit late Wednesday night, A-Rod got a hit in game 2 of the Yankees-Rangers doubleheader on Thursday. I'm taking Vladimir Guerrero on Friday against Chicago.