MSG's cameras caught Clint Hurdle doing something rather intriguing and mildly amusing Tuesday night. Each time one of his players committed a miscue – giving up a walk after being ahead, making a poor throw, gawking and smirking at Cameron after every strikeout — he turned around and wrote it down in a notebook. Is that commendable, hands-on detail work or micromanaging intense enough to make Buck Showalter cringe? One wonders how he goes about communicating these mistakes to his young charges the next day.
You, kid, you've gotta get more mustard on that ball…what?…yes, I know we won no matter how many boners we pulled…yeah, we've won two in a row without really trying, but baseball doesn't actually work that way…it's true…it is…listen, you guys are the worst club in the National League…what?…technically you still are even if you did just beat New York twice…it is hard to believe they're better than you, but they are…what's that?…sure it would be nice, but no, you're not gonna get to play the Mets every night…well you're not…fine, see if I care…just see…uh-huh…and I'm telling you I get paid no matter what you do…don't give me any lip — I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated…Sports Illustrated…it's a magazine…yeah, I was a player…I played with George Brett…no, smart guy, not George Washington…George Brett…BRETT!…how young are you guys anyway? Never mind all that. Just take your work more seriously. We have another game with the Mets tonight…what?…you don't know that's a W yet…because you don't, that's why…quit saying “it's in the bag”. Ah, screw it — let's go take infield. Hey, did any of you little worms see my notebook? Huh? Say it again, I dare ya! Oh boy, when I find that notebook, you're gonna get your name written down in there. That's a guarantee mister…yeah, you go tell the union. Like I'm scared'a you. George Brett could kick all your asses…B-R-E…
Gosh, when you can imagine cocky Rockie chortling at your expense, you know you're having a bad trip. The Dirty Thirty stands at 1-7. No squares peeled. No ground gained. The Braves are in sole possession of first. I wouldn't blame our next starting pitcher if he prays the pregame away.
Are you there God? It's me, Victor. We're playing tonight. I'm so scared God. I've never played anywhere but on lousy teams. Suppose I lose again or get no-decisioned? Suppose I get no run support? Please help me God. Get me some runs. Don't let Coors Field be too horrible. Thank you.
Tuesday's player of the game was Aaron Heilman because I finally figured out what this “lowered his arm angle” business is all about. Watch him go into his set. Watch him cock his chin on his left shoulder. He looks like he's about to join in that jazzy dance number from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Come to think of it, that's not a bad metaphor for his season. Aaron Heilman's not such a bad little pitcher — all he needed was a little love…and a role.
Ishii, on the other hand, inspires as much confidence as an Umbrella Night umbrella in a downpour. Has anybody in a Mets uniform since Wes Westrum looked less willing to find out what happens to him next? Ohmigod, wasn't that awful? looks the same in any language.
The Mets are 2-for-35 with the bases loaded and two out. That's a stat they don't bother to track for teams that meet such mundane challenges. Surely sabermetric scenarios are invented for the sole purpose of having the Mets fail in them. Yet you never hear about the good things they accomplish. Not once has it been mentioned that they have a winning record when they put their pants on one leg at a time (51-49, according to Elias).
Oh well. Maybe a trade will make everything right. On the other hand, there's a case to be made at Gotham Baseball for standing extremely pat.