By Mike Steffanos
Brewers 4 - Mets 2 (13)
Played Tuesday, July 31, 2007
For a while it looked like it might happen, but Pedro Feliciano continues to show that he is mortal, and Guillermo Mota was lucky to escape the eighth inning with only a blown save. For Tom Glavine, another potential date with baseball immortality will come Sunday in Chicago.
Glavine pitched pretty well, and the 5 walks he issued were as much attributable to home plate umpire Chad Fairchild's small strike zone as Glavine's control. A larger strike zone would have benefited Brewers' starter Jeff Suppan every bit as much as Glavine, and at least he was consistent. What surprised me was the fact that Fairchild felt the need to walk towards the mound and bark at Glavine because Tom dared make a frustrated gesture after being squeezed on one pitch. When are the umpires going to get the fact that they are just appendages to the game? You would think an umpire might give Glavine a little slack when he is trying to get his 300th win and ignore such a trivial reaction. Did Chad Fairchild believe that anyone was watching last night because he was behind the plate? The ego of today's umpires never ceases to amaze me. Again though, the strike zone was small for both teams, which made such a low-scoring game hard to understand.
|Tom Glavine (Last 5 Starts)|
|Season (23 Games)||137.2||70||67||141||62||49||18||4.38||1.38||14-9|
For the Mets, this loss meant they would post a losing record for July, finishing 13-14 on the month after suffering through a 12-15 June. They played with an intensity level last night which really wasn't there in the homestand against Pittsburgh and Washington. They need to learn how to bring that every day for the remainder of the season, because they are heading into crunch time. It's amazing how often this season something positive (the 4-3 west coast swing and taking the first two games of the Pittsburgh series) is immediately followed by something negative (losing 3 of their next 4 games to the Pirates and Nats). Right now they remind me very much of the 2005 Mets and, unless they can play better ball consistently, stand a real chance of playing golf rather than baseball in October as that club did.
However you feel about the players the Braves picked up, there is no doubt they are a better club than they were last week. There is also no doubt that injuries have slowed the Mets considerably this season. The problem is that there are two months left in the season and the Mets have to bring it every night now. No one else in the division feels sorry for them because Beltran is out. It's time to suck it up and find a way to win with what they have. With a strained oblique, Beltran is likely to be out far longer than 15 days. It's a tough injury and he's no quick healer. They have to find a way to score runs and win without him.