1) Keith Hernandez has highly selective recall of his own career. Last night he invoked the infamous Terry Pendleton game, framing it as a crushing loss (no argument), coming as it did in the second game of a series (it was the first), after a game the Mets beat the Cardinals (again, a nonexistent game) and before the finale, which the Mets came back and won (the Mets were blown out of the game right after the Pendleton game but won the day after that). Today he placed himself in the 1988 All-Star Game (it was the '86 game) at the Astrodome (the '88 game was in Riverfront; '86 was indeed in Houston). Dates and places aren't everybody's forte, I understand, but Keith had a hammy problem in '88 he's referenced several times before and even if the years do tend to run together after a while, 1986 was, y'know, 1986. I guess the important thing is that Keith's career was, in fact, Keith's career and the rest of us can file away the particulars.
2) Scott Schoeneweis pitched the seventh and eighth. David Newhan remained in left. Shawn Green continued to patrol right. It took 87 games, but finally my mini-vigil paid off as the first three Jewish Mets to be on the same Mets team were in the same Mets game in the same Mets inning. This would be a greater source of pride if a) Schoeneweis, Newhan and Green had led a remarkable Met comeback; b) Schoeneweis and Newhan weren't Schoeneweis and Newhan; and c) I just came off the boat at Ellis Island 80 years ago and had to convince mama and papa that it was all right to take time from studying the Talmud to throw a ball around. It's not really that big a deal to me, but with only nine Mets Jewish out of 814 to date, I tend to notice these things.
3) Sandy Alomar, Jr. became the 814th Met. Nice gesture to give him a start before he's either dispatched to New Orleans/retirement or, in that way things happen with this team and 41-year-old reserves, gets 200 at-bats in the second half. Alomar was kept at the expense of Ricky Ledee, who was designated for assignment even after his clutch leftfield defense in the seventeenth inning made Saturday night his best game as a Met. All of Ricky Ledee's other games as a Met are tied for second.
4) Sandy Alomar, Jr. also automatically became the most likable Alomar brother to ever play for the Mets.
5) The last player to debut as a Met before today was Ben Johnson. His birthday is June 18. Sandy Alomar, Jr.'s birthday is June 18. Alomar is 15 years older than Johnson, yet Sandy's the one who goes by “junior”.
6) We promote the 41-year-old while the 26-year-old stays at Triple-A. But nobody ever said anything about the Mets and a youth movement.
7) Aaron Sele went two solid weeks without pitching between June 19 and July 3. He's now pitched in four of the past six games. He seems to pitch better when he's used a lot than when he's not used at all. When he's not used at all, he does absolutely nothing. (Of course that's the case for most of us.)
8) I was delighted when Saturday night's game reached a seventeenth inning because it meant Gary Cohen would reference the Mets' last seventeen-inning game, a 1-0 win over the Cardinals at Shea at the end of 1993. The winning pitcher for the Mets that night was Kenny Greer, a one-game wonder whom I gently jibed in this space in April 2005 for his most fleeting Mets tenure. Well, the Internet being the Internet, Kenny Greer just got around to weighing in a few weeks ago on why he got to enjoy only one game in blue and orange. Read the exchange here. Always nice to hear from Mets, especially the fleeting kind.
9) Imagine Willie had thrown down the gauntlet to Reyes about not running to first (remember that anymore?) by not only benching him for one inning Friday but by announcing that to learn his lesson there's no way he's playing Saturday. And then Saturday goes 17 innings and Willie either sticks to his guns and/or throws out the baby with the bathwater by not playing him, thus risking losing OR Willie adapts to the situation and/or gives in too easily by playing him, thus risking severe criticism in some quarters. Either way, good for Jose for owning up to his momentary lapse of hustle. He didn't really deserve the example-making business, but his actions did.
10) Jose Reyes ran his ass off all day Sunday, but ran it off wisely. He would have been thrown out in the first had he challenged Hunter Pence. But if he had made it and the Mets took an early lead, would it have altered Roy Oswalt's approach the rest of the day? Would have Dave Williams, lead in hand, calmed down and not thrown breaking pitches that didn't do as they were commanded? Those are technically unanswerable questions. But the answer to both is no. Some games, unless it's 1988…I mean 1986, you're just going to lose. This was one of them. After an epic triumph crowned by a once-in-a-lifetime catch Saturday night — and an emergency starter rolling the dice this afternoon in advance of three days off with four (oughta be five) first-place Met All-Stars tipping their caps in San Francisco, you just have to look past it and find other things to notice.
But we don't take off. Stay with Faith and Fear to feed your baseball reading habit throughout the break. Before you know it, it will be Thursday night and you won't feel the least bit at a loss.