Not bad for a night's work: a pitchers' duel from a bygone era, some pretty defense, clutch relief, a whale of a throw and a(nother) Met walkoff. And 13 innings in roughly the time to play one moderately long game of regular duration.
Brandon Webb was first sighted in this park three years ago, beating us in his first-ever start. Of course, that put him in a class numbering somewhere in the thousands, so it was a shock to realize how good this matchup promised to be. Brandon Webb? He's 8-0? Unscored upon since seemingly forever? Really? Strange things happen out in the desert when you stop paying attention.
The Webb hyperventilating sure wasn't some heat-induced delirium, though: With that sinker of his, it's a wonder he ever loses. Considering he doesn't walk anybody, waiting for the sinker or two per start that won't sink is a pretty tenuous game plan. Luckily, enter Pedro J. Martinez, who's rarely seen an occasion he can't rise to. (By the way, a pox on these interviews with players during the game. Is nothing sacred?)
Other random semi-insights and asides before we head into an off-day:
• I'd pay for a DVD of “Paul Lo Duca's Greatest Tantrums.” When Lo Duca loses it, he gets his money's worth — I'd put him in the Pissed-Off Pantheon with the likes of Dallas Green and Dennis Cook. After Carlos Beltran finished his third minute of writhing around on the ground (eeek), SNY cut over to Lo Duca and found him still trying to make Paul Emmel's hair catch fire by glaring at him. (No way was that a swing, by the way.)
• Oh what a throw from Lastings Milledge! That seed was the defensive equivalent of a no-doubter home run — the moment the ball left Milledge's hand, I let out a little yelp of happy anticipation, much the same sound you make when you see a ball leave the bat at that certain angle and velocity. Seeing Wright's glove pop backwards when the ball arrived on the fly was quite something, too. If Milo can do things like that on even a semi-regular basis, I'll forgive him whatever mustard he wants to anoint his game with.
• What was up with the back of Brandon Medders' head? Does he sleep on the rosin bag? Did the bullpen catcher peg him with it?
• I still don't know why Jose Valentin can't bat without his helmet flap folding the top of one ear over, but he can do everything else. That move to third on the ball hit to his right, after he saw the ball was hit slowly enough that baseball conventional wisdom didn't apply, was the epitome of cagey veteran. The only downside? If he keeps this up, we'll be too patient with apparently washed-up pinch hitters for years, remembering how wrong we all were about Valentin. (Seems like a fair deal right now, too.)
• It's official: Johnny Estrada is the worst bunter in major-league history. And he's a catcher! How many bunts has he seen from two feet away that he can't manage one himself? I'm glad he didn't get it down, but for Chrissakes….
• When Ramon Castro came up, Emily asked what would happen if somebody got hurt, seeing how the Round Mound of Pound was our final position player. I ventured that they'd move whomever could fill in best to the position vacated by the injured player, then stick a pitcher in the outfield and move him between left and right depending on who was up, shades of Orosco and McDowell in the Ray Knight/Eric Davis game. (Morning-after add: A move Davey swiped from Whitey Herzog, who'd sometimes do it just to conserve pinch-hitters.) And, I offered, it would be kinda fun to see. In theory, of course.