In pennance for all the goofing on- and ranting about- Jose Valentin that I did early on in the season, I intended on dedicating this post to the one-and-only, Mr. Porn Star Mustache, Jose Valentin. One night after getting nailed at the plate trying to stretch a triple into a homer, Jose stayed aggressive, but gotg thrown out again, this time trying to stretch a single into a double. No idea what he was thinking because it wasn't even close, but you gotta tip your cap to a guy who's trying to get as much out of this hot streak as possible. I wanted to acknowledge his leaping defensive grab, and ask the question: Back in April, would you ever have believed me if I told you that Jose Valentin would be intentionally walked for Xavier Nady? I especially wanted to acknowledge the switch hitter's decision to bat lefty against a lefty, and launch teh first pitch he saw over the centerfield wall.
Alas, I do not have the luxury of acknowledging Valentin. I can't even tip my cap to Jose Reyes for hitting the cycle.
Instead I must soak in the defeat, and leave the stand out performance by Heath Bell unacknowledged. The 9th-inning collapse by Billy Wagner against The Cincinnati Reds becomes the focal point of last night's game.
I can, although, applaud the Mets for this: their impeccable timing. Every team in every season must go through a rough stretch at some point. This is unquestionably a slump for the 2006 Mets. They lost two of three from the Baltimore Orioles, and must win this afternoon just to salvage a split with the Reds. After going 9-1 on the road trip, the Mets are just 1 and 4 so far on the homestand. But their hold on first place has not weakened. Apparently the Mets stuck a real dagger into the hearts of the Phillies by sweeping them at home last week. The Phillies lost their second straight game to the Junkees yesterday and so the Mets can rest assured that they have timed their slump perfectly. Now they can get out of it already and resume padding their 9.5 game lead!
After the game, the Mets will head to Towards their most formidable stretch of the season - nine games on the road against the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Junkees. The Mets have been road warriors, but when they return home on July 3rd to face the Pirates, they have a half-season's worth of games against patsys from there on out.
Transplanted Ex-Mets Update: Kaz Matsui Injured
According to the Colorado Rockies website, Kaz Matsui, who has played at AAA since joining the Rockies in a trade with the Mets on June 9, suffered a back strain while fielding before Monday's game. Matsui has not played since, and the organization has not pinpointed a return date.
Mike Piazza, who trails Paul LoDuca by a wide margin in all star voting, hit the go-ahead homerun yesterday in a 3-2 win over Texas for San Diego. The first-place Padres have won four out of their last five, and