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Losing Streak Ends At One

Mike SteffanosSunday, April 16, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


Mets 9 - Brewers 3

This game lived up to that old "closer than the final score would indicate" cliché. Brian Bannister was in constant trouble for 5 innings, walking 5 and falling behind batters all day, but left on the long side of a 4-1 score. Darren Oliver came into the game in the sixth and gave up a monster 2-run homer to Geoff Jenkins to tighten things up to 4-3, then Aaron Heilman contributed 2 absolutely crucial scoreless innings, but he tapdanced in and out of trouble in both of his two innings, allowing a hit and two walks.

Finally the Mets offense took most of the suspense out of the game by hanging up a five-spot in the eighth for the final margin of victory, and Jorge Julio actually managed to pitch his first scoreless inning of the year in the ninth -- although Bill Hall crushed a double off the wall that would have easily been a home run had he gotten any elevation on it at all.

The Mets offense came back from its one game hiatus to put up some crooked numbers today. Xavier Nady opened things up by crushing a 2-run homer off of Ben Sheets in the second, then drove in the third run with a sac fly in the fourth. Carlos Delgado keyed that game-breaking eighth inning rally with a line-drive 3-run homer. Jose Reyes managed a hit and walk, scoring twice. David Wright went 2-4 and also scored twice. Paul Lo Duca went 2-3, scored a run and also drove one in.

Quick Impressions
Cliff Floyd still looks bad at the plate, going 0-3 with a strikeout. Anderson Hernandez looked really bad going 0-4 -- he's not even making solid contact very often. They're probably going to have to start exploring other options there fairly soon. While they're at it, they might ask themselves if Jose Valentin is going to give them anything except for strikeouts off the bench -- I'd rather see Endy Chavez pinch-hitting in a key spot now, and Chavez sucks. I have nothing against Valentin as a person, but at bat he projects a level of futility at least as painful to watch as Julio's pitching performances.

They finally mentioned Keith Hernandez on the telecast today. Apparently he's been on a vacation and coming back tomorrow. Ron Darling has been getting much better, and contributing more than just agreeing with Gary. At some point it might be interesting to hear the 3 of them together.

Nady is one streaky bastard, but he has a chance to be a decent ballplayer.

Home plate ump Ron Kulpa had a small strike zone again tonight, and that seemed to affect both Bannister and Heilman. Still, I'd like to see both of them throw strikes more consistently. The Houdini act only goes so far.

The Mets face the hated Braves tomorrow night at 7:10. Pedro Martinez will be opposed by Jorge Sosa.

Box Score

Comments (4)

Mike,
You out do yourself with frequent posts. I cant keep up. The only rivalry I am concerned about is the braves...Tonite is game 1.

for all keeping tabs, The braves payroll is at 86Mil, and the Mets near 100Mil. not sure if that has Benson's salary mixed in. With reyes, wright,Ahern, bannister, heilman, Diaz as parts of our core I think we ALSO are a blend of youth ...NOT the explicit collection of mercenaries others paint us to be.

On Jorge: With loop, benson etc gone the egg throwers have annointed Jorge. bad idea. I think Jorge has OUTSTANDING upside. He complements Heilman and bradford with a +++ rm from the right side. Yesterday he NOT only had a scoreless inning, but two strikeouts.

Bannister did something benson cannot. OK I'm exaggerating. He pitched badly but won. He struggled..walking five, but he already knows something alot of Mets did not...How to pitch out of trouble. That said he is ahead of Trachsel. I'm impressed.

Vic diaz needs PT, and looks like he could get it. Floyd is very intrinsic to this team, but consider the assets available if he was to be traded. with X-man doing well and Delgado playing as well as he is lefty hitting is not a big issue. But it is nice to have solutions in place. I also can see ahern officially platooning with Woody at 2nd.

I figure if I post frequently people might overlook my obvious lack of any real talent...

Ed, I agree with you whole-heartedly on the upside, but I think he needs to spend time in Norfolk, pitch as much as possible, reestablish some confidence, and then come back up. This is a guy that needs a fresh start, not to be booed unmercifully every time he breathes.

I just want Bannister to start pitching ahead of hitters like in the spring, because better lineups will punish him for pitching like this. I think he will, love the kid.

The problem with AH and Woodward splitting time is AH only looks good from the right side so far. (He's a natural RH hitter).

Actually, glass half empty........

As Rick P pointed out, that was his D game and HE STILL WON (Did Trachsel?) What Bannister did that Heilman, Seo etc used to is he kept throwing HIS pitch not grooving 3-2 FBs. He was obviously getting squeezed, but did not quit.

Only Pedro pitches up in the zone. If VZ does he also will move to the next level. I care nothing for Benson and outside of one game against SF he did nothing worth remembering. In the 2 games VZ pitched in 04 he showed GREAT stuff. I hope to see that VZ again. We need another starter but the Heilman vs Bannister debate is moot. Space will open up

Julio needs to get his location, Loop had NO STUFF period. He could not get the ball past tinkerbell, injury allowing.

I agree with you on Bannister, but want to see him pound the zone more like he did in the spring, which I believe he will. I'm not debating Heilman vs Bannister either, as Heilman is too important to the bullpen right now. We've always agreed on Zambrano, if he puts it together he can be a very good mid-rotation guy that they lack.

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