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Stayin' Alive

Mike SteffanosSunday, September 28, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 160: Marlins 6 - Mets 1 (Friday)
Game 161: Mets 2 - Marlins 0 (Saturday)

And now the season comes down to Oliver Perez on short rest. Somehow that seems fitting.

Of course Johan Santana was all that and a bag of chips today. I've been watching this team for a long time and I can't remember a better pitched game with everything riding on it, particularly since Johan was on short rest and has been throwing a lot of pitches in his last few starts. Leiter was great in the one-game playoff vs. Cincinnati in '99, but he had runs to work with.

For the second year in a row, the Mets go into the final Sunday of the season tied for a playoff spot. It doesn't sound like they're going to get much help from the Cubs, which is probably only fitting. The Mets were in the driver's seat at one point, but haven't played very well since sweeping in Milwaukee at the beginning of September. If they do keep it going after tomorrow, they can't look for help. It's up to them.

I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but I'm grateful that Santana was able to give them a chance. In a September that has seen me disappointed with this club more often than not, it was an opportunity to get swept up in all of the things that make me love this game.

I guess if I have one hope for Sunday's game beyond the obvious one of winning and making the playoffs it's that the Mets truly compete for it. Friday night's game had the feeling of last season's finale, although Pelfrey battled okay without his best stuff. It just seemed when they fell behind early that they weren't up to the task. I hope for better than that this time.

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

Game 160 Box Score
Game 161 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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Comments (5)

This is it! I, like you Mike, hope they just go out there and play from the first to the last pitch, and give it an honest effort. Of cousre we want a W, but most of all I want to know that they came with their all and tried their best. Santana was a beast on 3 days rest, and threw a 3hit shutout, I cannot say enough of his "cajonnes" down the stretch. Just hoping Ollie can give a great effort today. Yeah Philly might have won the division, but I don't think they have seen the last of the Mets in 08 just yet. I would love to see Mets and Phils for the N.L. crown! Lets Go Mets!

Dammit, they had better not choke again!

That's the sort of comment we can still find in the papers, on the radio. I believe the only two possible reasons for someone to express that is either some fan's sense on entitlement to a winner, or else one a writer who simply dislikes the Mets,wants to see them fail. You know, someone like Mike Francesca, sitting there cold and lonely among his long dead-air pauses.

It was August 5th, and for all intents and purposes the Mets had lost their closer and their #3 starter for the season. The team's record stood at 59-53 then; the Mets were two games behind the Phillies. Since that dark promintory in the season the Mets have won 30 games, lost 19; they are 2 games behind the Phils, just as they were on August 5th.

The Mets are playing short-handed; the bullpen is in tatters, and maybe not so good to begin with. One of the offensive saviors of the season, Fernando Tatis, without whom none of this would matter today, saw his season end a couple of weeks ago. But here they are, one game to play and still in the hunt.

Sorry to repeat myself from earlier, but no one can hang the Choke tag on this team, whatever happens today. These guys have plenty of heart; I am proud to care about them.

it's time for omar and ALL his cronies to get the heck out.
No more making other team's stars richer by giving old farts big contracts.
I really think Omar only cares about the latin players and that they like him by giving them huge contracts. ie: Julio Franco, Alou, Pedro, El Puke'... trading young starts like Lindstrom for Latin Lazy bums. I'm not a racist, but Omar does not cares about the mets, he only cares about his Latin Players

No doubt lazy Latinos everywhere rejoyce in your freedom from racism. And I've got better news: if the above doesn't qualify as racism, then maybe racism doesn't even exist, hooray!

For what it's worth, Matt Lindstrom (along with Henry Owens)was traded for a lad named Jason Vargas, who may well be lazy but is not Latino. Lindstrom was traded because he was deemed a marginal talent; he possesses a big fastball but little control, and apparently was pretty hittable as well. In his first time at the AA level in 2005, at the advanced age of 25, he rang up an ERA of 5.40, which earned him a trip back to St Lucy. That went well, and he was promoted back to Bing in mid-2006; this time he was 27 years old with an ERA of 3.73. At that point Lindstrom looked exactly like a guy who might have a few productive years in the middle of someone's bullpen -- or not. Vargas was a marginally successful major league second year man who showed up with decreased velocity - Florida might not be the best place to go trolling for healthy pitchers. Meanwhile Lindstrom is performing at about his best-case level, getting people out, walking about four and a half a game. He is useful; he's hardly a worldbeater; and he was hardly a "start" when the Mets sent him away.

I do agree that the Mets were shortsighted in giving away so many bullpen options for so little in exchange. But you know, you don't get to keep a guy in your system forever; eventually they become Rule 5 free agents. The team had to make choices on Henry Owens, Heath Bell, Lindstrom; it came down to the excess bases on balls. Omar thought he was dealing from strength and ultimately he made some bad choices, for which I do hold him accountable. I wouldn't attribute his failures to racism.

After 46 years of being a faithful Mets fan I've finally had enough. From ownership that doesn't give a crap about the average fan, to the moron who is the general manager, you couldn't have ruined the franchise more if you tried. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence, and without even knowing anything about baseball, could have put together a better team. Omar's next job with the Mets should be as a valet car parker, for the new luxury box patrons. Only if I were them, I be afraid he'd return their car after the game with a much older model car, with shaky wheels, and think he's done a bang up job.

The thought that the Wilpon's could even consider giving him more time to drag this franchise into even more ruin, is unbelievable.

I'm not going to take it anymore-I'm done. FU Omar and FU Wilpon's.

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