About Me

My photo
This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Two Games ... Twenty Innings

And Also: Transparent: Love, Family, and Living The T With Transgender Teenagers is a touching, well-written work by Cris Beam, not transgender, but a lesbian who was in effect abandoned by her mother as a teenager. So, she felt drawn to trans teenagers, one in particular. You really feel for these teens and young adults, while learning a lot about the community overall ... including one who was sentenced hard time in jail. It suggests as well the complexities of gender and who we truly are. Thus, it is really about a lot more than the trans community, which is the sign of a good book overall.

Tom Glavine needed ten wins at the start of the year to reach 300 ... after half of the season, he has seven, after going 5-1 early. Games like yesterday help explain why it is taking a bit long, though a few games where he was his worst enemy didn't help. The last start was a case in point: he had a batter at 0-2 in a scoreless game. Couldn't get that out ... three run homer. Three more runs added in the inning. Mets lose 6-0. This time he also had a bad inning (a mini-trend), but had a perfectly fine day -- seven innings, three runs. The Mets tied it in the seventh, but their hitting woes basically continued ... they did not score again for ten innings.

Yes, they won in seventeen, with every reliever used, and only the third string catcher not used from the bench (after going 0 for the game, though he got on base -- only to be thrown out trying to reach third to end the inning -- once, Lo Duca got a rest ... the back-up catcher caught the final inning. The game started as the Yanks also played an extra inning game -- thirteen -- blowing Clemens' second great start (eight innings, one run, helped by a misplay). Somehow, after only one error early, the Yanks managed five errors in the game. The final blew the game for them ... but they still got first and third with one out in the bottom of the thirteenth. No go.

If it didn't go so long, it would have been over at 7, when the Dred Scott program started on C-SPAN. It was the national FOX game, which started at around 4. Thus, NY baseball fans had over eight hours of ball to watch (even us who don't get the Yankee station), the Mets game finishing after midnight. Thirty innings of baseball total. Reminds me of a Yankee doubleheader in which the first game went seventeen -- the Yanks won the nightcap -- giving us 25 hours of ball. Ah, Irabu. Dubious pitcher, another disappointment, but did his job that day. The first game was lost when the final back-ender was pushed too far. The last longggg Mets game had a former starter of the Phillies being stretched a bit too long ... he gave up a run in seven innings of relief! Talk about a hard luck loser.

The Mets could relate ... they had repeated chances in extras before finally winning. I was watching parts of the game and the Dred Scott stuff from C-SPAN, and seriously, after awhile, you really did not expect they would win. The Mets had a chance in the 9th ... only added eight innings to the game after they failed, right? Former Astro, Carlos Beltran had a paltry .125 with runners in scoring position. After making a fantastic catch to save the game in his old environs (the outfield has a wicked hill over there), he was 0-7. 1 of 8 is .125. He was part of the two run rally. Aaron Sele, used in a blowout (against the Mets) recently after a long lay-off, made his rare appearance count. Pushed him to 2-0. The tying run came on base in the bottom of the seventeenth, but Billy "ex Astros" Wagner saved the day.

The Mets are in first in large part because the Braves and Phillies are inconsistent teams, surely given the Mets' struggles in the last month. But, those other teams lost yesterday, so the Mets can end the First Half on a truly good foot by winning today. A replacement starter is pitching, Dave Williams, but has shown good stuff in the minors during his stint there off an injury. And, if he loses, it won't be as bad ... the series would be split, and the Mets would know that they at worst would be in the same position as they was at the start of yesterday. If the Mets lost, they were at risk of being 1 of 4 at Houston, after being swept by the Rockies (who earlier swept the Yanks). One game swings can be psychologically important, surely to us fans.

[Update: The Yanks won 12-0. The Mets had to face Roy Oswalt, Astros ace, who got out of a first inning jam, and then watched his team score three in the home half. Went downhill from there, though the bullpen did fine again. You know, after the starter left early down 8-0. Underlines the importance of winning yesterday, huh? One hopes the second half is a tad more consistent. The Yanks start with some shrubs, but Toronto currently has a better record, KC has some fight, and TB seems to like to step up when they play them. Still, good way to start things.]

BTW, I get WGN, so can keep tracks of Chicago baseball. The White Sox, after giving up 34 runs on Friday, managed to win 3-1 on Saturday. The Cubs also won ... they are an interesting team that is playing good ball these days, after a pretty bad start. They are over .500 though have an uphill battle to climb to hope for first ... they are second in the weak NL Central, but have potential, their usual aura notwithstanding. Ted Lilly, who I liked when he was a Yankee, pitched a good game -- he did that a lot this year, often not getting run support. Yesterday, he did, adding to the proceedings himself.

Interesting first half overall ... how about those Brewers? Did those Cards really win it all last year? Detroit surely weren't one-hit wonders. Seattle -- who knew -- has a Wild Card shot. The NL West is competitive, as usual. And, the playoffs in the AL surely might have a different flavor this year. Oh, and -- the first game was broadcast on a local PBS station (21) here! -- there is professional league in Israel now.

Any good prospects?