When Lastings Milledge strolled to the plate last night, my wife said he looked like "a punk." When Gary Cohen remarked that Milledge's age, 21 years, 55 days, is the exact same age as Darryl Strawberry was when he made his major league debut, my wife scoffed that Milledge looked like a punk who was headed towards the same end result as Strawberry. I do have to admit, it is quite unusual to see that kind of swagger in a Mets uniform. Ever since the Mets of 1986 started to implode, the Mets have made a habit of shipping out players who had too much "character." But this is a new era, a new "time," if you will. Anyway, you can't judge the character of a man by the way he walks or the way wears his gumby gold - Lastings Milledge might happen to be a very polite, mature and modest gentlemen who lives clean, early to bed and all that. I dunno. I've never met him.
For now, we can just enjoy watching him play. He had his first hit robbed by an outstanding Craig Counsell grab in the second inning, but he laced a double in the seventh for his first major league hit. Milledge got quite an ovation in his debut, and there was a palpable buzz everytime he came to the plate. It was Milledge Time, indeed. Lastings went 1-4, and I'm sure many people in attendance are saving tehir ticket stubs as proof they were there for Future Hall Of Famer Lastings Milledge's Major League Debut.
Oh yeah. By the way, the Mets fell, 7-2, to Miguel Batista and the Diamondbacks last night. Batista threw a complete game, something the Mets staff has been unable to do so far this season. Alay Soler was pretty lousy yesterday, and for me the hero of the game was Darren Oliver. Oliver pitched four shutout innings to save the rest of the bullpen. It's unusual for a pitching staff to give up seven runs in a game and only use two pitchers. The Mets may have to consider Oliver a serious option the next time they need to replace a spot in the rotation.
Tonight's the rubber game, with Pedro Martinez facing Brandon Webb, who's 8-0 this season, but who also has a record of 1-4 in five games against the Mets for his career. Webb is coming off a complete game shutout of Cincinnati on Friday.
Finally, a fellow transplanted Mets fan is transplanting his blog to a new URL. Go visit Lonestar Mets at www.lonestarmets.com. Don't mess with Texas, and Lets Go Mets!