Jerry Manuel couldn’t keep pulling unlikely starting pitcher candidates out of his hat (or elsewhere) forever. Hisanori Takahashi and R.A. Dickey each washed ashore from a foreign land — Japan and obscurity, respectively — and became mainstays of the Met rotation. It was probably too much to ask Fernando Nieve to rematerialize from the warm end of 2009 and travel through the filter of bullpen overuse to keep a good thing going.
But we asked anyway. Unfortunately, we were rebuked.
Nieve didn’t have it. Recently repurposed long man/money sponge Oliver Perez didn’t have it, either. By the time we got to Elmer Dessens, there was nothing left to have. The Mets could dress up as New York Cubans but there was no disguising that they had no pitching for the first four innings Saturday night. Dessens, Igarashi and Mejia gave up no runs over the next four, but by then the horse was galloping south on I-94 and Mrs. Lincoln had forgotten how much she enjoyed the play.
Those were, however, sharp uniforms.
Elsewhere in baseball, a perfect game was pitched. Of course it was elsewhere. The Mets are never where a perfect game is pitched unless, as we were inevitably reminded regarding the Philadelphia precedent of June 21, 1964, it is pitched against them. Roy Halladay now has something in common with Jim Bunning, and it’s not random acts of senatorial weirdness. Congratulations to a great pitcher who hasn’t been a Phillie long enough to engender genuine hatred. I got a minor thrill as a baseball fan seeing him retire his 27th consecutive batter. Then I felt a major pang of envy as a Mets fan who has yet to be party to the happy side of a no-hitter.
A time for us…someday there’ll be…
On the brighter side, we’ve had two walkoff home runs this season and nobody broke a leg at home plate. So that’s something.