Monday, May 3, 2010

Can the Real Mets Stand Up?

Will the real 2010 New York Mets please stand up? Can they? I doubt it. They took a serious haymaker last night. Or, since they were in South Philadelphia, perhaps I should say, in the tradition of Rocky Balboa, a left hook.

All the Flushing Heathen who dared not show their colors since the end of the 2007 season showed their blue & orange again these last 2 weeks, as the Mets soared to 1st place in the National League Least with a 9-1 homestand. And when they won the 1st game of that series in Philadelphia against the Phillies -- more of a real nemesis to them than the Atlanta Braves ever were -- a lot of people were thinking, "Hey, maybe the Mets can actually contend for the Playoffs. Maybe they can even win the NL East!"

Then the Phils gave Roy Halladay about 10 times as many runs as he needed on Saturday. And then last night, Johan Santana, staked to a 5-2 lead, did his best Javier Vazquez impression. The Phils tallied a few times in the bottom of the 4th. How many times, Ed Rooney? "Nine times!" Final score: Phillies 11, Mets 5.

Meanwhile, the Yankees took 2 of 3 from the Chicago White Sox, with Phil Hughes pitching 7 shutout innings yesterday afternoon.

Remember after the 2007 season? The Mets got The Great Johan Santana after both the Yankees and the Red Sox decided that the prices the Minnesota Twins were demanding from them were too high.

The Yankees were asked to part with... Phil Hughes. And Ian Kennedy. Well, Kennedy is gone now, anyway, and appears to be no great loss. But Hughes turned out to be a key figure in last season's World Championship, and at the rate Vazquez is going, Hughes is going from 5th starter to 4th starter real fast. And, behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte, that's a nice spot in the rotation to have.

Okay, show of hands: How many people still think the Yankees made a mistake by refusing to trade Hughes as part of the package for Santana?

Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

It's no shame that Santana was not the best pitcher to have pitched in that series, as Halladay might be the best in the game right now. The shame is that Santana was not the best pitcher in his own game. Jamie Moyer was.

Jamie Moyer. He was not IN both Phillies World Championship parades, 1980 and 2008. The native of Sellersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was, however, AT the 1980 parade, and in the 2008 edition.

Moyer may not be the best starter in the Phils' rotation, but he sure was the best pitcher in yesterday's game. Santana really ought to be ashamed of himself, walking in a run with the bases loaded. When the batter was a pitcher. And 47 years old.

The Mets are now a half-game out of first place, but they are every bit as pathetic now as they were when they were 4-8.

It's getting to the point where New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica is suggesting that the Yankees trade Vazquez to the Mets, which would solve both teams' biggest problems: The Yanks would be rid of a guy who can't pitch in the American League, and the Mets would get a starter who can pitch in the National League -- which is more than can be said, for the moment, of Oliver Perez.

The clock is ticking on manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya.

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