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The Angels Series

Mike SteffanosThursday, June 19, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 69: Mets 9 - Angels 6 (Monday)
Game 70: Angels 6 - Mets 1 (Tuesday)
Game 71: Mets 5 - Angels 4 (10) (Wednesday)

With all of the excitement over changing managers I neglected to post on the first two games of the series. I'll catch up on that in this post, and then will be back later with another opinion piece.

Monday's win: A pretty solid game in Willie Randolph's swan song as manager. If playing that type of game was the rule rather than the exception, Willie would still be managing.

After failing to pick up his third win of the season in games he pitched much better, at least stats-wise, Mike Pelfrey finally broke through in a game where he managed to maintain his aggressiveness despite lacking his absolute best stuff. That's what growing as a pitcher is all about. Once again throwing mainly fastballs, Pelfrey gave the Mets a chance to win.

Carlos Beltran contributed a couple of homers to continue his resurgence. After an anemic (.200/.364/.365) April, Beltran has enjoyed a solid May (.306/.374/.491) with an even better June (.294/.392/.559). Beltran's 5 HR so far this month has doubled his season's output. His defense has been really solid, too, as he seems to be finally shaking off the aftereffects of off-season surgery.

Tuesday's loss: The Mets had a couple of things going against them in this one -- a hangover from the fiasco with Randolph and the fact that John Lackey pitched like an ace while Santana didn't. I had the feeling this was a lost cause early, when Santana was handed a 1-0 lead and promptly turned it into a 3-1 deficit.

Santana has had his ups and downs this season. For the most part he's been good, and he usually gets better as the year goes on. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't take him the full year to settle into pitching here.

Wednesday's win: Oliver Perez lacked his good slider all night, and it seemed only a matter of time until the Angels really got to him. It happened in the fifth, where a 3-1 lead became a 4-3 deficit. In Perez' defense, I liked the fact that the runs came off hits rather than walks. It wasn't quite as bad an effort as it looked from afar.

As for the Mets pulling this one out, that brought back some memories of 2 years ago -- but it was obvious even when they were down that they were playing a solid game. If they continue to do that, I think the fans will be more accepting of the team, even if they ultimately come up short.

I remember when MadTV used to do commercials for the "Lowered Expectations Dating Service". In a way, that's how I feel about the Mets this season. I'd love to see them roar back and make the playoffs, but I'll settle for more consistent sharp play and effort at this point. The first 2-1/2 months of this season have been frustrating and unrewarding. I want watching baseball to be fun again.

View Mike Pelfrey's Full Season Stats
View Johan Santana's Full Season Stats
View Oliver Perez's Full Season Stats

Game 69 Box Score
Game 70 Box Score
Game 71 Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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