Hey, maybe I'm not so crazy after all. My hunch, stated Monday, that Captain Carlos was taking care of Mike so Mike could take care of opposing pitchers finds some resonance via Marty Noble who sensed something not altogether “subtle” at work Sunday.
Beltran told MLB.com's Noble that he believes in Piazza: “I wasn't thinking about what he did [Saturday] and Friday. I was thinking about what a great hitter he's been in his career. What a great hitter he still is.''
Noted Noble, “Beltran's demonstration of confidence — not too subtle to the trained eye — was rewarded when Piazza lined a double into the left-center-field gap.”
“I don't say I knew what was coming,” Beltran elaborated. “But I know Mike can hit and get big hits.”
On the other hand, all anybody knew about Mike Matthews was he got hit hard Sunday. Just like that, it's adios Matthews and hello, hello (¡hola!) Royce Ring, a lefty-lefty roster swap at that vertiginous place called the Mets bullpen. I didn't form any particular attachment to Matthews, who leaves behind a 1-0 record, but I'm curious as to why he's gone so quickly. He's had a couple of bad outings, as his 10.80 ERA attests, but he's also had a couple of good outings. Now we go with two unproven lefties, Ring and Koo, which coincidentally were the sound effects heard between verses of “Muskrat Love,” a song to which no reliever enters the fray. As ever, we can lay all our pitching issues, like a large, succulent rat, at the feet of King Felix. If Randolph hadn't kept Heredia around (for an unwieldy total of three lefties), there would have been room for Matt Ginter. If we had Matt Ginter, we wouldn't have had to have called on Aaron Heilman.
And if we hadn't called on Enigmatic Aaron, we wouldn't have had two absolute gems from which to get our hopes up, so forget about Ginter. I already have, but it does seem wasteful to have tossed a serviceable starting pitcher overboard for paperwork's sake.
Monday night's game seemed well in hand when Stephanie got me interested in an article she was reading in Psychology Today about personality traits. While we tried to decide whether I was avoidant or schizotypal, I revealed to her a theory I've been working on that I've built a baseballcentric world for myself as a reaction to the unsatisfying familial bonds I grew up subconsciously rejecting. This went deep, as deep as Cliff Floyd went in the sixth. As I made breakthrough after breakthrough in expressing my lingering disappointments over my blood-relationships and how I use the Mets as a substitute for family (and not in the lame way the Jimmy Fallon character claims to in Fever Pitch), I couldn't help but notice the top of the ninth was turning into a disaster.
“Remember the Thanksgiving when…damn, he let that ball play him!…”
“And Father's Day last year, when everybody was at each other's…pick up the ball, David!…”
“The thing is, we've never been close..get it together, Looper!…”
“One parent was constantly overwhelming while the other was constantly underwhelming…goddamnit, Julio Franco is up!…”
“What it all boils down to is…yes! yes! we won!”
The game wasn't lost on us and the irony wasn't lost on me. Like I said, maybe I'm not so crazy after all.