About Me

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

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Baseball Interlude

And Also: HC might not quite believe it [see TPM -- publicly, she does now], but look who's the Democratic nominee for President?! Yes, there are surprises in politics. Same sex marriage and a black (biracial) presidential candidate with a good chance of winning? Tell me that a few years back ...

Joba Chamberlain started some games in the minors, but has primarily pitched in relief, including in his short career in the majors. His "stretching out" to prepare for a transition to the starting rotation amounted to some extra pitches off the mound. His past appearances was shorter than his 2.1 innings pitched last night. IOW, it is no surprise really that JC didn't do that well in his first appearance, albeit against the light hitting Blue Jays (their ace was on the mound, but didn't have his best stuff).

OTOH, the guy called up to serve as long relief got the loss because the run he gave up in 3.2 came at a bad time (when the Yanks weren't losing ... a six run seventh sealed the deal). Basically, the guy who pitched the best of the bunch (the pitching line looked like a spring training game, the usual no names getting their inning or two) lost the game. Such are the breaks. It looked like one of the few good outings by Pelfrey would again go to the wayside recently before an eighth inning comeback gave him a no decision. Good thing, since the Mets will use him as a fifth starter, Claudio Vargas going into relief (served well after Perez lasted a batter on Monday).

[Mussina followed up with a win -- it will not always be pretty, but he clearly has something left, and is starting to be quite dependable. Surely he will have down points, but this was one extended contract that pay great dividends.]

Last night, after Joba started, Pedro Martinez came back from his injury (early exit in his sole outing this year). This went well, since he not only pitched pretty well in six innings (two runs given up in the sixth came after it wasn't a game any more) but joined the hit parade (two hits, most since the '90s ... though he was an AL pitcher or injured most of the time since the last time). The Mets needed the game, since they are playing the Giants and Padres, and already didn't take advantage of the other lapdog of that division ... the Rockies.

[BTW, one reliever that was converted midseason into a starter was Santana, helping the Twins get to the postseason.]

The Mets won 9-6 (six run fifth ... turn off the game, it's 1-1 in the fourth ... a three run homer meant a save in the ninth, a two pitch double play; nice work, if you can get it). Joba? We will see how he does as a starter. Hopefully, for Yankee fans, better than the other two youngsters (both injured now). This is surely the case since without him pitching in the eighth, late game leads/winnable margins are in jeopardy. Anyway, would seem like he could have been eased into it a bit better. [I started this before it happened, but the Mets did win today's game, and thus another series.]

Likewise, another bad outing by Barry Zito suggests if Scott Kazmir's victories continue to be a thorn in Mets fans' side for an ill advised trade that led him away, it's good news that Zito -- making Santana like money in a similar long contract -- decided not to come here. And, nine in a row? Look at thoses Cubs.