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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

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Guillermo Mota Also Continues to Steal Money

Gosh, didn't see that coming.

To borrow an observation from last week's Mad Men, watching Guillermo Mota set down the Phillies 1-2-3 in the ninth was like watching a dog play the piano. It was very impressive. And you knew he was highly unlikely to do it again.

Mets aren't hitting anymore, are they? For a while they had one scalding hot batter at a time — first Alou, then Beltran, then Wright. I kept thinking “if they could just get those guys to do it at the same time…” Instead everybody got together and went quiet. Reyes, too.

It's tempting to say games like tonight always happen to the Mets at the Cit as they always seemed to at the Vet, even if I know it's untrue. Yet the Mets played a virtual prototype of this game last May, including Heilman giving up a key run on a ball that didn't reach the mound. It feels very familiar. Hauntingly so. Maybe it was just one of the 54 you're gonna lose, though at this stage of the season, it's a little late to accept blows like tonight's.

Armando didn't kill the Marlins. They beat the Braves. They remain just close enough to merit concern. The Phillies are either charging or peaking. I'm not yet certain, but I'm certain they're making it hard (maybe it's supposed to be hard, but it's not supposed to be obnoxiously so). I'd rather be four up than four back. But I'd rather be six up. I'd rather Glavine had pitched the eighth. I'd rather Guillermo Mota had been suspended for 50 years, not 50 games.

You can't always get what you want.

23 comments to Guillermo Mota Also Continues to Steal Money

  • Anonymous

    why is it, if you saw it and I saw it, that Willie didn't see it? You take Mota's good 9th, say thank you, and find another pitcher.
    I actually feel sorry for Glavine. This is ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    Game was lost by the top of the order. 0-14 between the top 3 in the lineup against mediocre pitching is not getting the job done. Mets have stopped hitting and producing. Only scored in 3 of their last 28 at bats.

  • Anonymous

    “I'd rather Glavine had pitched the eighth.”
    You and me both, friend. I couldn't believe it when I saw feliciano out there.
    At this point I think only Willie has confidence in this pen, and that includes the pen denizens (penizens?). And he's probably just paying them lip service.

  • Anonymous

    Not to dump on Delgado but after the home run he had chances,but as has been noted the first four in the order were brutal to say the least and Reyes not getting on at all in this first two games is killing the offence,as he goes so do the Mets.
    Is Willie being pig headed when it comes to Mota?

  • Anonymous

    I didn't hear the bulk of Glavine's interview after he left the game (though I did hear Kevin Burkhardt effusively thank him — they're leaving the game at that point, not scrubbing up for surgery), so I didn't get it at all. In fact, trying to do other things while watching/listening with at best 1.5 ears, I heard Gary go on about getting one more inning out of Glavine, so I just kind of assumed.
    Willie's options once he ran through Pedro the Other and Heilman were Wagner in a tie game and Schoeneweis after being zinged last night. But what's the frigging point of lefties if not to face Ryan Howard with the game on the line?
    Twice this year the Mets have soldiered through a day with a six-man bullpen, which should be adequate, but proves not to be. I don't remember the other specific circumstance, but I do remember how quickly Willie ran through his inventory.
    I just don't get it.

  • Anonymous

    Y'know what, I just fingered & toed the total pitchers in the bullpen and realize we're down one starter but no relievers with Lawrence of Oblivion sent down.
    So you used Feliciano, Heilman, Mota. You didn't use the lefties Schoeneweis and Wagner. That leaves Sosa and Sele, both from last night, neither an ideal option.
    I revise my math but maintain that I just don't get it.

  • Anonymous

    Teams that don't score more than twice in 10 innings on the road and bounce into double plays and brush off sportsmanlike gestures following hard-but-clean slides at second base then limp around the field the rest of the night unable to collect bad throws from bad catchers and hitting popups deserve whatever they get.
    Never mind the bullpen.

  • Anonymous

    I'd like to see a team that bounces into DPs and hit popups score more than twice in 10 innings.
    The Mets, for example.

  • Anonymous

    What really pisses me off is it was Scott Spiezio Redux.
    Once again, Mota threw a batter who'd clearly demonstrated he couldn't hit the changeup a lousy fastball he could unload on. You'd think Mota might have learned something from so high profile a failure. You'd think Lo Duca would have learned to say “Hell no!” if Mota's just dying to bring the heat in that situation.
    I mean, what the fuck? What the fucking fuck?
    My God I hate baseball right now.

  • Anonymous

    ..In bed my wife said- in the bottom of the eighth,” the Mets are winning, don't you want to watch? ” . I simply said , ” No, I have seen this in Philadelphia many times before. Theres no way they will win this one.”

  • Anonymous

    Willie's bullpen management has always been a tad puzzling to me. But c'mon, how many times does Mota have to get bombed in his second inning of work before Willie decides not to try to squeeze it out of him?
    What we need (besides offense and Pedro the Other and Heilman to pitch like they're capable of) is a revitalized Joe Smith. Mota's supposed great stuff or not, I'd much rather have Bazooka Joe than the Master Run-Allower.

  • Anonymous

    One of these call-up relievers in September needs to pitch well enough that Willie can pull the 'We can't not put this guy on the roster the way he's pitching' excuse for why Mota's playing golf in October.

  • Anonymous

    JEEEEEEEEEEEEEZUS this game'll kill ya, sometimes.
    Last night was the first time all year I felt like crying after a game.
    PS — Somebody tell Shane Victorino that he didn't just win the World Series and keep it in his pants next time: ie. DUST THE SONUVABITCH!

  • Anonymous

    When Feliciano was brought in to pitch the eighth, I felt the Mets would blow it. Despite the amount of hits he allowed, Glavine had been SHUTTING OUT the Phillies through seven so why change the plumbing if it doesn't need fixing?
    The argument goes on and on about the growing emphasis on relief pitching with less attention to that of the starting staff. This strategy is hurting all clubs, not just the Mets, but by adhering to it, Willie has overused his relief corp and we could be haunted by a burnt-out bullpen the rest of the season. Because Feliciano is tired, Heilman needed to be lifted for a pinch hitter and Sosa was not available due to overwork, Willie had put himself in a position to rely on Mota (who we all knew would give up a game winner to Ryan Howard).
    This didn't have to occur. Even though nobody can be faulted for an accidental, two-out 40 foot swinging suicide bunt that tied the game, the score could still have been 2-0 going into the ninth. Glavine had enough to pitch another inning. Instead, Feliciano immediately cuts that in half, walks the tying run and gets a reprive by a flyball out to the wall in left.
    Last night's game was not lost in the late innings but rather all those innings accumulated throughout the season by the pen.
    As I asked, why change the plumbing if it doesn't need fixing?

  • Anonymous

    There are ups and downs in fan morale in ever season, but last year the little losing streaks felt like quickly rectified breaks from all of the positivity in Mets Township. This year the little winning streaks seem like brief respites from all of the ugliness and frustration. A whole other vibe, perhaps in part due to expectation, but just as much due to a decided lack of inspiration by the New York Mets. They say Ya Gotta Believe, and I can't count many among us who truly do, myself included.

  • Anonymous

    Whitney's sentiments are so right, it's hard to be behind a team that lacks the certain something that gives them panache but also because of the underachieving. When they win it's more like *whew, that was close* as opposed to – yeah m'f-er that's what I'm talking bout! You're goin DOWN!!!! It's time to own the NL East and not just win by the seat of their pants.
    Dare I say, this team will win the division by “backing in” (a loss by the Phils or Braves) than winning and having the celebration on the field.

  • Anonymous

    Willie is getting Joe Torre and Bobby Cox dust packed hard into his brain. His on-field management decisions are proving to be just as jaw-droppingly stupid as theirs, and are likely to remain that way. He will keep his job only because of his, um, “manhandling” skills, just like them. Oh, and because other teams roll over and play dead for them all at just the right time. That doesn't hurt either.

  • Anonymous

    And it will still count.
    I've never understood the “backing in” argument. I get it, but I don't. When you win via another team's loss it's because you have put yourself into position to win by your actions over the bulk of the season. Of course it's more joyous to have a situation like last September 18, but it's a little random as to how one clinches if one, in fact, is lucky enough to clinch.
    Caught some of last year's clincher on Mets Classics the other day. The Mets game was running ahead of the Phillies game timewise and Gary Cohen said every Mets fan was rooting for the Phillies to win so the Mets could deliver the coup (or Coop) de grace themselves. I remember watching the scoreboard and just hoping we won and finished earlier because I am incapable of rooting for the Mets' competition, even for aesthetics.
    It's way too early for this debate (and I'm rather echoing myself from last September when all we had to worry about was aesthetics), but the backing in thing always drives me a little nuts.

  • Anonymous

    You see Greg, in a less painful year, I would think – OK, if we win the division by someone else LOSING, I'd be all for it. But this year, it would be so fitting. They wouldn't even be able to celebrate on the field (and I was at the clincher last year too, willing the Phils games to go longer than it should) and this year was just so painful..
    I know I'm not making sense, but I am. You get it, don't you?? No happy RE-Coops over here! LOL

  • Anonymous

    They could always run out on the field and point at the scoreboard and giggle.

  • Anonymous

    I'm all for replacing underperforming relievers, but I don't see how they can relocate these veterans with multi-year deals who can't be demoted. And that's going to be a real question for the Mets this weekend: Whether to include Mota on the post-season roster. My understanding is that, if they don't include him, then they have to take him off the 25-man roster by Friday (or later replace him later with someone coming off the DL, like Pedro). In order to get someone like Joe Smith on the post-season roster, I think they'd have to DFA a veteran or send out a younger guy with options.
    And while I'm ranting about this post-season roster, I have an additional question: Who's the back-up shortstop? While I don't anticipate Reyes taking days off during the post-season, there's always the possibility that he gets spiked or gets hit by a pitch or bruises his ribs sliding into a base. Is Gotay the back-up?

  • Anonymous

    I'm only typing this cause there isnt a recap of tonight's travesty?
    WTF is going on????…8 runs in 4 games????

  • Anonymous

    I was wrong — it was another changeup. (I've been wrong a lot recently. I'm in a slump too.)
    I suppose if Mota had thrown a changeup that bad to Spiezio, it wouldn't have mattered.