Eyewitness Account -- Mets vs. Dodgers Game 1

It has been a very long time I've been watching baseball, but I do not think I have ever seen worse baserunning than I witnessed in the second inning.

There were men on first and second with nobody out.  Russell Martin gets a hit.  Jeff Kent, who was on second, broke late, but JD Drew, who was on first, broke right away.  Both runners came around third, but the relay was perfect, resulting in the only time I've ever seen two runners thrown out at the plate on a single throw.  JD Drew wasn't even close.  He could have stayed at third and would have been there with one out.  That run wound up being the difference.  I guess Jose Valentin (LLMBro) gets two assists?  Complete and utter pandemonium at Shea.

Willie Randolph also should thank his lucky stars, because he did his best Jerry Morron impersonation.  With Guillermo ("Grandma") Mota having pitched the sixth, his spot in the order came up in the bottom of the 7th with the bases loaded and two outs, with the Mets having already scored two to make it 4-1.  A single would have completly put the game away.  In a Narron-esque "heart" move, he had Mota bat for himself and pop out.  You could hear the heads being scratched in the stadium, because it's not like the Mets were short on bullpen help (Bradford, Heilman and Hernandez all have sub-1.20 WHIPs) and only had Ryan Franklin to pitch in close games...

Uh...wait...hmm...even the Reds have pitchers other than Franklin...but you wouldn't think so, based on how he has been used, huh?

Mota then promptly gave up the tying runs in the top of the 7th.  Great move, Willie.  And I thought Grady Little (whose nickname in Boston was "Gump," BTW) was the stupid one.  If the Mets had lost, people would be calling for Randolph's resignation now.  In any event, at the end of the inning, there was the sort of half-hearted applause for the end of the inning, but I also heard some muttering and boos being choked off, because even New Yorkers can't boo their team in the playoffs.

Grady Little then did his impersonation of Jerry Morron, sending out Brad Penny to pitch the bottom of the 7th.  Figure hey, why not?  Having tied the game and with big Mo on your side, send out a starter who has a bad back, who pitches right-handed, to pitch to LoDuca, Reyes, Beltran and Delgado.  Predictably, he gives up two runs and takes the loss.

Wagner seems a bit off his game.  He was throwing in the 96-98 range for his fastball and in the 87-88 range for his slider.  He was spotting the slider for strikes, but the Dodgers seemed to be all over his fastball, which might be a bit flat.

The food is pretty lousy at Shea (and the beer is pretty darned expen$ive too), except for fries from Nathan's, which are excellent.

Finally, here's a reminder, in case you're thinking of doing this:  Do not wear a Yankees jersey at Shea during the playoffs.  I saw some idiot who did.  It would have been better for him if he had worn a Dodgers jersey.

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