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.