Sunday, September 28, 2008

PLAYOFF BOUND? YEAR 2

11:12am - Well, here we are, one year later. Early returns on the day are not promising - the rain is coming down in buckets, which is interfering with my DirecTV. For some reason, the channel that has the most trouble coming through is SNY...or maybe I just notice that more because I want to watch it.

So it looks like I will not get to see the pre-game Shea ceremonies...but as long as it clears up in time for the game I'll deal with that - my parents are recording it for me. (Incidentally, I just called my mom, and she says if they played yesterday, the weather today should also allow them to play. Funny how the weather hasn't wreaked havoc on the games like I thought - just my ability to watch them.)

Speaking of watching the games - I have to start out with huge, huge thanks to the Southern Bureau. Not only has he been the biggest fan of 200 Miles From the Citi from its inception, but yesterday he did the nicest thing ever.

No sooner had I finished loading up the crappy ol' GameCast to virtually 'watch' the Mets-Marlins game than I got a text message from S.B. asking if I wanted his MLB.TV password to watch the game on-line. I did. (And I might need it again today.) I was able to watch every pitch of Johan Santana's masterpiece thanks to the Southern Bureau. And here we are today.

11:30am - This is so eerily similar to last year. I just read through last year's posting - my Sunday routine hasn't changed much - Sunday is still laundry and garbage day here. I did the laundry yesterday to make sure I had nothing in my way today. And last week, I put out the garbage Sunday night at around 6pm. It had no sooner gotten dark then by 8:30pm there was a raccoon in my driveway feasting on the trash. So there's no chance I'm even setting foot outside after dusk tonight. The garbage will be done tomorrow morning before I go to work. And speaking of work, I did as much as I could last night - something tells me not much will get done today.

I will not be having Riley's Roast Beef this year - that was unlucky last year...plus, I don't think they're open on Sundays anymore. We have some burritos from Whole Foods that I just ran out to get.

Also on the list of things that haven't changed since last year - I suspect The Wife is rooting against the Mets so that she doesn't have to put up with this anymore. Because there's one big difference - instead of neglecting my parental duties with one child this year, now there are two.

And let me tell you this story about our 2-year-old...she woke up about 5am today, and came into bed with us. After tossing and turning a little bit she sat straight up and said, "Watch baseball?" I turned on the TV to watch ESPNEWS and catch some highlights. Little did she know she'll be getting her fill of baseball today.

Weather update from Mom via Instant Message - "a little drizzly" in Queens.

11:45am - If I believed in conspiracy theories, I'd believe the Cubs were manipulating this weekend to avoid the Mets. (Yesterday's Cubs win probably makes this point moot, but I'll continue anyway.) If I were the Cubs, I think I'd rather face the Dodgers...wouldn't you? Maybe that's what Carlos Zambrano was thinking when he said he'd rather throw a side session against the Brewers today instead of pitching in the game (maybe he can pinch-hit and help the Mets that way). His replacement, though, is named Angel - hopefully that signals divine intervention for the Mets, not Milwaukee.

Incidentally, the Cubs were 5-2 versus LA this year - not having matched up since late May and early June (read: before the Manny Ramirez trade). The Mets gave them fits just earlier this week.

It's also a bit of a relief that there won't be a 3-way tie (thanks to Philadelphia clinching the East last night), and the only tiebreaker, if necessary, will be Mets-Brewers Monday at Shea. The 3-way tie would have dragged into Tuesday. It would have been nice, had the Mets won the division and the Phillies gotten the wild card, for the Mets to have L.A. in the first round, but at this point, I'll take a playoff appearance through the path of least resistance.

11:47am - I'm wondering if I should have written this bottom-up, instead of top-down?

11:55am - Still nothing on the satellite. Interesting note via mets.com - Brian Gorman will be an umpire in today's game - the last regular season game at Shea. His father, Tom, was an umpire who called the first game at Shea. Pretty cool symmetry there.

12:10pm - Incidentally, if the Mets were in the position the Brewers are in, facing a September call-up with a 7.04 ERA, they would be shut out on two hits. I have a feeling the Brewers won't be. As it is, the Mets are facing Scott Olsen - they've had his number this year - in 4 starts he's 0-3 against the Mets with a 6.95 ERA.

Oliver Perez, going on short rest, pitches against the Marlins. It's probably the biggest game he's pitched for the Mets since the 2006 NLCS, when he was great. Let's hope he's still a big game pitcher. For the record, he's 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 5 starts versus the Marlins this year.

**I haven't mentioned this yet - please feel free to weigh in with your comments by e-mail or in the comments below throughout the day.

12:45pm - Similar to last year - looks like I might have to watch this game on the Marlins feed. I can't stand the announcers on Fox Sports Florida...but it's better than nothing. I don't get DirecTV, though - why do I not get SNY or TBS, but get Fox Sports Florida? Luckily, too, there will probably be a rain delay - so more time for SNY to tune in. (Also, mom says "weather not good - raining a bit heavier now." It definitely won't be a rain out - could be a long day of waiting.)

The delay will also mean closer start times between the Mets and Brewers games - Chicago-Milwaukee's first pitch is 2pm.

1:05pm - Jets punted on their first possession. SNY is in and out - briefly I caught a look at some of the VIP's arriving for today's game. Ralph Kiner, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Buddy Harrelson, Rusty Staub, Darryl Strawberry, Jesse Orosco, and Hall of Famer Gary Carter. I'm thrilled Carter was there - I was afraid there might have been some hard feelings with that whole Willie Randolph thing. Rain delay to start the game, by the way.

1:30pm - End of 1st quarter for the Jets - no score. The Jets have had a huge sack to knock the Cardinals out of scoring position, recovered a fumble, and blocked a field goal. Unfortunately, due to a Brett Favre interception, they haven't scored either. But they're on the doorstep - 2nd and goal from the 2 (or 1) - Thomas Jones has already been stuffed there once.

Still not sure what's going to happen with the Mets - I'll check back after this Jets possession, I guess.

1:35pm - Favre to Laveranues Coles - a double-whammy against me in fantasy football, but I'll take it. This, after FOX came back from commercial after an apparent TD pass, called back due to a holding penalty.

Still no Mets - I only have the Florida channel right now (Sun Sports, by the way, not Fox Sports Florida) - and they're showing fishing. My dad tells me it's sunnier now, though.

1:42pm - Jets just returned an interception for a TD - 14-0. And the Mets are about to start. Oh boy.

I have a wonderful wife, by the way - this is hard to do with two kids...she's changing a diaper right now that I should be changing...and she argues with my earlier point - saying she is actually rooting FOR the Mets so that she doesn't have to put up with me being miserable.

2pm - OK, now the Mets are starting for real. And Favre just threw another TD to Coles. 21-0. Much better than last year so far (when the Jets lost to the 0-3 Bills).

2:03pm - A 1-2-3 inning for Perez. That's how you show up for an important start. Oliver Perez 1, Tom Glavine 0.

2:15pm - 1-2-3 for Sabathia, too. The Mets got nothing in the bottom half of the 1st. I think it's really important for the Mets to take a lead before the Brewers do - both teams are scoreboard-watching, the Mets are tight enough at the plate as it is - they don't need to see Milwaukee up before they're up.

2 minute warning for the Jets - they just forced another Kurt Warner fumble. What a disaster the Cardinals are today.

2:30pm - Don't have to worry about the Jets this week - after another Coles TD and Warner turnover, it's 34-0 at halftime.

Oliver Perez has had two good innings - the Mets need to score some runs.

2:50pm - Sun Sports' roving reporter just interviewed Gary Carter. He was pretty low-key, but not without hyperbole - when asked about Shea Stadium, Carter said, "It's one of the greatest stadiums of all time, because of the fans." Uh, thanks Gary, but come on, really. I love Shea as much as the next guy, but I'm not going to go that far. (For my Shea Memories, click here.)

Also, no mention by the Florida guys of Carter's minor league championship. Guess they don't read the blog.

Jets just gave up a touchdown, so it's 34-7. No score through 3 for the Mets. And the Cubs have a 1-0 lead in Milwaukee - the run scored on a very close almost-double-play by the Brewers (the right call was made, though).

2:55pm - 4 great innings by Perez. You may have heard the Cubs might not go more than two innings with any pitcher today. They're keeping to that - Chad Gaudin started the third, and retired the side without difficulty. Mets need some runs.

3:10pm - The Jets are now ahead 34-15. I don't really think they're going to blow their lead, but I hope the defense stops letting Arizona march right down the field.

Whole Foods has crappy chips - they break the minute they touch the dip.

If the Mets don't get on the board soon I'm going to be really upset. I can't stand that they make everything so difficult.

3:21pm - A double and a bloop single have the Marlins up 1-0. I'm nervous. I also just switched back to SNY - I wonder if that was bad luck. Maybe I'll try out TBS.

3:26pm - Oliver Perez's day is done. He leaves with the bases loaded (an intentional walk to load the bases after runners on first and second tagged up) and one out - Joe Smith is on.

Brewers still trail the Cubs 1-0 through five. The Cubs aren't exactly trotting out a Murderer's Row of relievers...the Mets need to get on the board....but first keep the Marlins from adding more.

3:34pm - A bases-loaded walk by Joe Smith and two outs later, the Mets dodged a pretty big bullet. 2-0 Marlins, going into the bottom of the sixth. 1-0 Cubs, going into the bottom of the sixth. The Mets have a pinch-hitter, then the top of the lineup coming up - they need to get runs NOW.

3:42pm - I love Carlos Beltran. And until Wednesday night (or Thursday) I love each of these relievers the Cubs keep trotting out. 2-2!

And Anquan Boldin just scored against the Jets - good for my fantasy team, matching some of the points Coles has put up.

3:50pm - OK. New life, heading to the 7th tied at 2. But now I echo the Southern Bureau's sentiment - uh-oh on the bullpen being in the game now.

Sabathia looks strong - he's through seven, having just given up that 1 run. His third start in nine days. Jeez.

Beltran's homer came when I was watching TBS. Not two minutes later, I lost reception and had to resort back to Sun Sports....a Marlins conspiracy, no doubt.

4:01pm - The Jets defense looks horrible. I'll worry about that in two weeks though, after the bye week. The Mets defense looks great - Endy Chavez made an awesome running catch to end the seventh inning. The Brewers have the bases loaded...uh-oh.

4:06pm - Wuertz just walked in a run, so the Brewers tied it up 1-1. Is it just me, or does it seem like this year there have been tons of bases loaded walks? Drives me nuts - just throw a friggin' strike.

4:08pm - I don't think the Jets are going to lose...but watching them the past couple of weeks is like playing a game of Madden. Ridiculous scores against them.

The Cubs got out of that inning - it's 1-1 heading to the 8th. At this rate it looks like the Mets will be tied going into the 8th as well.

4:17pm - Scott Schoeneweis - are you kidding me? 3-2 Marlins in the 8th. The top of the lineup will be coming up again...hopefully the Mets bullpen doesn't give up more runs, because the Mets can't score too many the way they're playing.

4:23pm - Dan Uggla just got one off Luis Ayala. And now the Brewers just got a 2-run shot. Not good.

4:26pm - The Mets have made things tremendously difficult for themselves. The Brewers are now taking a 3-1 lead into the ninth - they got clutch hits when they needed them. The Mets need to do the same.

On a much more serious note, Anquan Boldin just suffered a really serious injury in the Jets game. He's taken off in an ambulance - bad news.

4:34pm - Well, it's over in Milwaukee. Nothing the Mets can do about that - just have to win and force a game tomorrow.

Marlins pitching change with runners on first and second - clutch double by Reyes, walk by Beltran. Now, with two outs, it's up to Delgado. Otherwise, those bats are all out of the way in the 9th, and I'm not crazy about that scenario.

4:37pm - Delgado flew out. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

4:52pm - Marlins 4, Mets 2. Here comes either the final three outs of the season or a great beginning to the end of Shea Stadium.

5:09pm - Wow. Brutal. And making it worse for me was having to watch the Marlins broadcast. I strongly dislike Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton.

5:10pm - I am so pissed off...but in the end the Mets didn't deserve the playoffs. The Brewers won 5 of their last six games - the Mets lost two out of three to the Marlins. The Brewers got a clutch homer from their star, Ryan Braun, the Mets couldn't get a hit from David Wright in their biggest game (Wright hasn't had a clutch hit in his career). The Mets had no bullpen. They couldn't hold a lead, they couldn't keep a game tied. It happened a bunch throughout the season (just think if the Mets had held five leads - a few Johan Santana starts, and last Sunday against the Braves - they would have won the division by three games and not been in this position on Sunday) - it would have happened again in the post-season. I'd like to think things would have been different in the playoffs....but I doubt it - the Mets would probably have bowed out in the first round.

So there will be no playoffs. The last game at Shea Stadium has been played. The Mets will not open Citi Field as defending champions.....they will just be another team opening another new ballpark.

3 comments:

Southern Bureau said...

Let me be on record before the game starts: Oliver Perez stinks.

And...

I totally agree with you about the Cubs not wanting to face the Mets. The Dodgers are terrible - they're starting Derek Lowe in game one. Enough said.

Southern Bureau said...

and we go to the Bullpen...

Lord help us.

Southern Bureau said...

worst.

bullpen.

ever.