By Mike Steffanos
Marlins 5 - Mets 2
You'll forgive me if it's getting harder to blog about these games. It's almost surreal to be watching games that have so little meaning. Baseball teams don't usually have a month-long victory lap, but that's how this season has turned out. In an odd sort of way, I feel much the same way watching these games as I did last September when the Mets were out of it.
But this game did have some importance for the Mets, as we all waited to see how Pedro might bounce back from the awful start Friday night in Pittsburgh. For four innings Pedro was a magician -- allowing only a walk to Mike Jacobs that was erased when Wes Helms grounded into a double play. However, in the fifth inning it all came apart, as Pedro tired and started leaving his pitches up. With his fastball topping out at 85 tonight, that wasn't going to fly. After using an economical 57 pitches to navigate the first four innings, it took Pedro 30 to slog his way through the fifth. The Marlins touched him up for 4 runs on 4 hits and a hit batsman as Pedro visibly tired.
I'll wait until after his next start to judge Pedro's fitness for the playoffs, but will admit that I'm concerned. As great as Pedro is, a lot of his fastballs were coming in at 81-83, and he's really going to have to be almost perfect to get by with that. Having said that, I have to admit that Pedro is one guy who is impossible to predict based on previous performance, or logic and common sense, either. You resign yourself to the fact that anything can happen when he starts a game in the playoffs, and hope he takes us for a good ride.
The defense was pretty solid tonight, with Endy Chavez and Shawn Green making great catches in the outfield. I'm beginning to despair of Green ever contributing to this team offensively. I'm with my friend Shari from Take the "7" Train who wondered in her game recap where the offense has gone the past few weeks. Yes, I know these games are virtually meaningless right now, but I'd like to see the Mets start hitting again before the playoffs start. Carlos Delgado had another good night, and Endy Chavez is making a push to earn some playoff starts, but the team just hasn't been clicking offensively for most of this month.