The monkeys attended Shea Stadium last night for what may prove to be the final time. Upon leaving, we turned to each other and said "They can't burn this place down fast enough." The game was pure torture.
Now all started well and good. Carlos Delgado hit a huge grand slam homerun and the familiar chants of "MVP! MVP!" filled Shea Stadium. Shea Jones' father provided the home crowd some energy as news of his big homerun hit the scoreboard. After Santana's start the day before and a day like today, disaster had been averted. But things were about to take an ugly turn.
Oliver Perez, who has been the best big game pitcher this side of Johan Santana, had control issues and a high pitch count heading into the fifth. It caught up to him as he allowed two runs and then left two runners on for the poison pen to try and clean up. We all know how that story ends and the game was tied.
After Brian Stokes allowed the lead run, the Mets tried to roar back in the bottom of the seventh. For a while it appeared that Ramon Martinez (Yes, he is on the team) was going to get the biggest hit of the year as he led off with a double. The Mets had first and third and could not score. The following inning the same situation presented itself and the Mets were able to tie (due to a generous walk) before hitting into an unlucky double play.
Then came the ninth where after a leadoff triple, everyone at Shea stood ready to erupt knowing that the Mets had dodged the bullet. That 2007 was not happening again. But the eruption never came. David Wright struck out. The Cubs wisely walked Carlos y Carlos. Ryan Church grounded into a fielder's choice and Ramon Castro struck out.
Church who had been the MVP of the team before his concussion has been killing the Mets hitting .203 in September. But really, what choice does Manuel have other than to hope he regains his form. His other viable option was Tatis who is out with a separated shoulder. The same Tatis who was hitting .392 with runners in scoring position. Hmm, do you think they can use a guy like that?