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Winning Ugly Beats Losing Pretty Every Time

Mike SteffanosTuesday, July 8, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 89: Mets 10 - Phillies 9

When you score ten runs it's supposed to be a laugher. It turned out to be anything but that, but it was still a win.

Pedro looked much more in command last night. He's throwing a lot more sinking fastballs, and is getting better location on his off-speed stuff. If there is still a major concern it is that he allowed two more homers in his 5-1/3 innings of work. Pedro has allowed 2 home runs in 3 of his last 4 starts. You'd love to see him cut that down. Still, this was literally the first time in eight starts he gave up fewer hits than innings pitched. On the season, opponents are batting .314 against him, and his Trachsel-like 1.70 WHIP explains the ERA that still tops 6.

A few other thoughts here. It used to be that umpires rarely overruled a call, and only in the most obvious cases. For the third time this season the Mets were victimized by a call where the umpires got it right the first time and then changed it to the wrong call. All three times the Mets were on the road (Florida, Yankee Stadium and Philly), and the change in calls favored the home team. Ridiculous. Major League Baseball needs to stop coddling their umpires.

Horrible play by Beltran and Wright in the ninth allowing the tying run to get to second on an ill-advised throw. Wright compounded Beltran's mistake by trying to slap the tag down instead of just catching the ball and letting it get by. Beltran defending the play after the game only proves how badly-grounded in fundamental baseball today's players can be.

Billy Wagner is on a mission to achieve Benitez-like status in New York. There is no better candidate in the bullpen this year, however, with Duaner Sanchez not yet 100% and Aaron Heilman up and down.

I consider the next 6 games before the break more of a test then these past 4 in Philly. Since last June the Mets have inevitably followed a big series win with stinkers, particularly against opponents with sub-.500 records like San Francisco and Colorado. If they do it again between now and the break I suspect they will never escape mediocrity this season. There are only so many chances in life (or baseball).

Ryan, we hardly knew ye.

View Pedro Martinez' Full Season Stats

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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