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Paging Mr. Looper...

Mike SteffanosWednesday, June 21, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Reds 6 - Mets 5

When you lose a game because your high-priced closer walks a couple of guys, I'm not sure how much else there is to say. I was just starting to develop some trust in Wagner after his terrible start, and then he walks the tying and go-ahead runs on base with 2 outs. If he got beat with a bloop and a blast I wouldn't have any trouble being philosophic about it, but this one just makes me shake my head. I hate it when closers put guys on base with free passes. For as much as I love baseball there are a handful of games every year that make me wish I never was a fan, and this is one of them.

Still, kudos need to be handed out to Jose Reyes for hitting for the cycle, and Jose Valentin for a clutch 2-run homer when so many Mets hitters let bad pitchers off the hook. Wagner blew the game, make no mistake, but it was as big of a crime that this game was close enough to blow.

Alay Soler was not sharp today, but battled well and deserved better. Still, he still has something to prove after a performance that was reminiscent of his first two starts. Kudos to Heath Bell, Darren Oliver and Aaron Heilman for keeping their team in the game. I was impressed by Bell, who hadn't pitched in 5 days and looked dominating out there. There is a role out there for him with this team if he can grab it.

I'm not trying to jump on Lo Duca, but he's slipped defensively the last few games. He had a passed ball tonight, and should have been charged with another that went in the books as a wild pitch. He doesn't look sharp behind the plate, nor at bat. Maybe he's getting tired; this could possibly be a good time to give Castro a couple of starts a week.

I'm stopping here and just turning the page on this one, Mets fans. Here is hoping that Pedro can find a way to be Pedro can be Pedro tomorrow afternoon and give this team some momentum going into a 12 game road trip against the cream of the AL east. Then again, maybe a long road trip might be what the doctor ordered for this team.

Box Score

Comments (4)

Your first paragraph capture my sentiments exactly. Not to blow smoke up... but I couldn't read any other article or blog but yours,knowing that your take would be somewhat more philosophical than most.Along those lines hopefully this reinforces the lesson that nost professional hitters can hit a
99 mph fastball if they are sitting on it. In regards to LoDuca's bad game, my thought if he was in for the 9th NO WAY he lets Wagner throw all those fastballs to Phillips.

This is what you get with Wagner. He did this same thing with Philly. He throws heat and often times that leads to bombs. Personaly, I cant take the walks by him (or anyone) . It could be a tough week or two so dont get too down. I'll take 500 for the next 2 weeks and go from there.

ps... Please dont use the name Looper anymore :)

Jim, I appreciate the thoughts, though I didn't feel very philosophical about the way the game turned out. I'm not picking on Lo Duca, but with his history of wearing down and his recent struggles, I just wonder whether getting Castro in there another game a week might not be a good idea. Wagner has been around long enough to know what to throw. He didn't have a good slider last night, he even admitted it after the game. The location on that 2-strike fastball was what killed him.
Bean, again, the bombs don't bother me as much as walks. At least when they beat you with hits they earn it. I'm not going to get down. That was a depressing game but there are 91 more. I find it works better for me to admit that some games make me wish I wasn't a fan than to pretend that I'm above feeling that.

I'll try not to use the L-word any more...

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