Saturday, April 24, 2004

Panic Mode? 

Yours truly is seriously thinking about entering panic mode. I'm not there yet but I'm close. I'm trying hard to reserve judgment and panic until I see a few games with our entire line-up, but I don't know how Cliff Floyd will rejuvenate Ty Wigginton or how Jose Reyes will give a lift to Jason Phillips. In other words, while I want to agree with what many think - that the offense will get back on track once Floyd and Reyes (and now Wigginton) return - I just don't know.

With today's 3 to 0 loss to the Cubs, the Mets have dropped 7 of their last 9 (5 of those losses to the lowly Pirates and Expos) and have only scored 18 runs over that span. That's an average of only 2 runs per game for you kids scoring at home. The starting losing pitcher de jour was Tyler Yates, who entered the game 1 and 1 with a respectable 3.86 ERA (0.80 ERA not counting the rain soaked 4/14 game that should have never been played).

Yates got touched up early when he tried to sneak a 2/2 inside fastball passed Slamin' Sammy Sosa. Yates didn't get it inside enough, Sosa turned on it, and before we knew it there was a happy fan in the street beyond Wrigley's left field bleachers. Then in the second inning with 2 outs and Derek Lee on third, Yates got ahead of light hitting Ramon Martinez. With a 0/2 count and the pitcher on deck, Yates hung an 86 mph slider in the zone which Martinez pulled to left field scoring Lee. In the third inning Yates found himself in another 2/2 count against Sosa. Cognizant of the fastball that Sosa took him deep on in the first, Yates tried the slider this time. Sosa hung in there and slapped a single up the middle. Sosa moved to second on a Moises Alou ground out. That brought up Aramis Ramirez who hit a fly ball to left just out of reach of Shane Spencer who came charging in to make a play. While Spencer could not make the catch he did manage to keep the ball from skirting passed him and came up throwing to try to nail Sosa at the plate. Spencer's throw was strong and on-line. Vance Wilson, who had catching duties today, was in position to make a play. The throw beat Sosa by a few steps but Wilson must have heard those steps and took his eye off the ball long enough that when he came down with the tag, which beat Sosa, there was no ball in his glove. With that, the Cubs were up 3 to 0 which is how things remained despite the fact that Yates settled down to retire 8 of the next 10 batters he faced, the only base runners being Todd Walker who singled and Aramis Ramirez who reached on a Kazuo Matsui error.

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