It's a good thing that the Mets took 3 out of 4 from the Reds, but I'm not thrilled. I guess it's because of the way they lost the one game they lost...with John Maine giving up 4 runs before he got an out on Friday. The Mets could have very easily swept this series. All I've asked, though, is for the Mets to dominate the rest of the way, and if they play .750 ball the rest of the season, I guess they'll be OK.
It's also a good thing that Oliver Perez looked so good coming back from his back injury. Really, he wasn't hurt - he was reportedly just a little uncomfortable. If it was a different part of the season, he would have played through it. But he had about two weeks off, and came back and pitched very well on Sunday.
Perez did serve up a Cincinnati highlight, though - a bomb to Adam Dunn - I think it's the longest home run I've ever seen at Shea Stadium. Dunn hit the right-hand side of the scoreboard, which has the out-of-town scores, and hit about three scores up. He damaged it too - too bad it wasn't a night game - there probably would have been some fireworks. If you get a chance to see a highlight of the homer - check it out. The good news was it was a solo shot, and the Mets still won...so I can appreciate the homer even more. Click here to watch it now.
Lastings Milledge had a good game on Sunday...and has played well so far in his return from the DL. He was 1-for-3 in the Mets' 5-2 win, with a 2-run double. But what I've liked about Milledge in these past four games or so has been his opposite field power. His double was to the right-center gap, and even some of his outs have gone a long way the other way. Some nice hitting...whether or not scouts from possible trading partners are noticing that is another story.
TOUGH TRIP: The Mets will really show us something with their next 7 games. The Reds are/were terrible...though they had played well coming into the All Star break. Now, though, the Mets go right out to California, with no day off, and play three at San Diego and then 4 at Los Angeles (their second trip to LA - the first one was a disaster). There could be a little revenge worked into this trip, and hopefully some pride. The Mets need to establish themselves as the team to beat - because that is not what they've been the past month and a half or so.
KINER'S KORNER: I think the Mets did a really good thing Saturday night by honoring Ralph Kiner before the game. Unfortunately, the game was on local TV, so I had no chance of seeing the ceremony. But Kiner has been a fixture for the Mets, and it's nice that they took some time out to give him his due. The best thing about it is that right now, Ralph Kiner needs the Mets a lot more than they need him. And the Mets still give him some appearances on SNY, they take care of him and look out for him, and that's spectacular. They're definitely doing the right thing when it comes to Ralph Kiner. (They've also made it clear that Saturday night's celebration is in no way a retirement...just a celebration.)
I've said this before, but it's worth saying again - he's still got it. Kiner has made a lot of progress since he was struck by Bell's Palsy a couple of years ago - his speech is much clearer now. And every time he's in the booth, he makes me laugh. He tells the same stories he's been telling for years, but they're still entertaining, but he also shows he's still in touch with the game, by bringing up relevant details about contemporary players. Say what you will about Kiner's on-air mistakes and missteps throughout the years, and what you can attribute them to, but I'm glad the Mets are keeping him around, and I'll miss the day when he's gone. And that day will not be because the Mets asked him to leave - I'm sure of that.
IN OTHER BROADCASTING NEWS...: From an announcer I love to one I don't love. I had to watch the Cincinnati feed for Sunday's game, which means I was lucky enough to listen to Thom Brennaman. How about this one: In the first inning, Oliver Perez walked Norris Hopper. With two outs, he kept throwing over to first base, trying to pick off Hopper. Brennaman: "That's not a good move. Actually, that's a downright awful move." (about Perez's pickoff move). Two throws later, Perez picks off Hopper. Great call, Brennaman!
GO PIRATES: I was watching a little of the Pirates-Braves game on Sunday. They have some sort of special coming up on their success from 1990-1992. It's been far too long since the Pirates have been competitive. I want them to do well...it's a real shame. They have a beautiful ballpark and a great history - and right now they mean zero to Major League Baseball. What a disaster. I don't know why - maybe it's because I read that Roberto Clemente book last year, or because of all the Ralph Kiner attention lately, or maybe because yellow is my favorite color...but I want the Pirates to be a winning ballclub again. (In the American League it's the Royals...and part of it is because I like their ballpark too - I've always loved their fountains.)