By Mike Steffanos
Mets 7 - Nationals 1
Despite admitting some nerves early that hampered his control, Brian Bannister continued to justify the team's faith in him with a strong 7 inning performance in Washington. Despite several 3-ball counts, Bannister didn't walk a batter, striking out one and limiting the Nats to 3 hits. He did give up a monster home run to Alfonso Soriano in his final inning.
I'd like to see Bannister start throwing his curveball -- by far his best pitch -- for strikes, although I give him credit for pitching effectively without it. I also wish he'd keep the ball down more. He's shown some propensity to give up the longball -- that won't serve him well against teams like the Phillies and the Braves. He needs to mix in that curve and keep the ball down in the strike zone more often. Still, you have to be impressed with the poise he's shown so early in his young career. We may have to come up with "Vote for Brian" t-shirts.
Heilman pitched an effective eighth. Willie brought Wagner in for the ninth, despite a 7-1 lead, because Wagner needs some work. Wagner didn't allow a hit or a run, but he walked 3 and took 32 pitches to get out of the inning. I'm sure some will criticize Willie for wasting Wagner, and normally I'd be right there with you. Wagner hasn't pitched much, is obviously struggling with his form and needs the work. His velocity and control are just not there right now.
Offensively Reyes, Lo Duca, Beltran and Bannister all had multi-hit games. Bannister impressed with a heads-up double in the seventh. Reyes hit a triple to drive him in. Beltran drove in the Mets' last 2 runs with an awesome shot to the upper deck in RF.
No extra drama in today's game, but Pedro starts against the Nationals tomorrow night. All bets are off if he hits anyone. He will face Tony Armas at 7:05 PM.
Attn: Adelphia Tele-Media Subscribers in Connecticut
Lisa returned our digital cable box to Tele-Media's Waterbury office. She mentioned that we were offended by the words of Tele-Media spokesman Vince Caramanello in the Torrington paper, and that we had switched to DirecTV because of that attitude towards Mets fans. The person behind the counter told her that Mets fans had been extremely vocal in their disapproval, and they were losing a lot of customers to satellite. Now it appears that Tele-Media might actually make a deal with SNY before the sale to Comcast goes through.
The moral of this story is simple: make lots of noise. Even if you have given up on your cable company and have switched to satellite, let them know why. It might help someone else for whom satellite is not an option. Here are 2 web sites from Mets fans who are fighting their cable company:
If your cable company isn't giving you the Mets, don't just whine about it -- let them hear it.