Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Game 5, Mets-Cardinals

I'd been thinking about posting here at some point this post-season, and tonight provided the perfect opportunity. Quiet house, the biggest game of the baseball season to date, and enough energy to guarantee I'll be staying up for the duration of this one.

Good game so far in St. Louis. The Cards are up 3-2 in the top of the 6th; the Mets are still in the game and kicking thanks to a Houdini act by the combination of Branford/Feliciano. Bases loaded, no outs and the game teetering on the brink of busting wide open . . . and the Mets pen did an amazing job getting a strikeout (Rolen); force out at home (Edmonds) and a fly out (Belliard).

Weaver's still in for the Cards, and has looked merely okay. Hanging in there though.

Rolen (who I dislike even more after hearing about his silent feud with LaRussa) just made a nifty play at third to get Wright. One out in the 6th.

For the first time this series I feel like the Mets are in genuine trouble. Even after the 5-0 shutout on Saturday night, I still felt they'd be o.k. on Sunday.

I know they're going back to Shea after tonight, but that pitching match-up tomorrow night would look awfully dicey down 3-2: Carpenter vs. Maine.

Two outs after a fine play down the line at first by Pujols. Things feel like they're breaking St. Louis' way right now.

I should throw a shout out to the one person who might actually be reading this: hey Torse, congrats on the new house. And I notice the Jets blog has been updated; I'll have to check that out. (Update: I should've known it would be a Jon Stewart YouTube clip)

Mets get a baserunner with two outs thanks to a Valentin walk.

End of the 6th after an easy grounder to 2nd.
Bulleted List
I don't know what I find more amazing: what Kenny Rogers has done in his two post-season starts, or the job done by Jeff Weaver. Talk about a bizarro October.

Update #1

Feliciano still in for the Mets.

Unreal. LaRussa uses Chris Duncan, a lefty, against Feliciano to pinch hit. And he crushes a home run to right for an insurance run for the Cards. McCarver preceeded the home run by saying whan an odd move it was.

Chris Duncan's numbers vs. lefties this year: .158/.220/.316 - that includes two home runs.

Maybe the most unlikely home run of the post-season so far.

On to the 7th, and the Mets are running out of time here.

Update #2

Josh Kinney on for the Cards.

Got Tucker out on strikes to start the inning, and it's back to the top of the order.

I'm not sure if the Mets have a rally in them tonight. It's feeling like a St. Louis night.

Reyes swings and misses, strike three.

The crowd is sensing it now; there is a consistent palpable buzz that is noticeable even through a Fox broadcast.

Just learned that Kinney was an alumni of an Indy league. That's great stuff. I'll have to check and see what league he played in.

Ground out to 2nd to end the top of the 7th.

The two shows I'm downloading right now:

Pearl Jam, August 6, 2000, Greensboro, NC. It's one of the few 2000 shows I don't have at this point, but this one is going to be a struggle to complete. It's showing no seeders, and my rate is about 1 kb/s. Ouch.

The other show, Husker Du, November 4, 1985, Boulder, Colorado, Late Show. I believe I already have a copy of this one, but this might be from a higher tape generation. Always looking for those upgrades, especially from a soundboard source, as this one is. One of my favorite periods of the band; the setlists from '85 are really out of this world.

Alright, Roberto Hernandez is on the mound for the Mets looking to keep it at two.


Sharp ground out to Valentin at 2nd.


Ken Rosenthal's columns are decent, I guess, but his commentary on Fox is an absolute waste of time. I don't understand what purpose he's serving at all, and Joe Buck always sounds downright annoyed when they have to toss it to him for 15 seconds.

One out walk for the Cards.

Rolen is up.

Torse, if you're reading this at some point, I was looking forward to seeing some Jets analysis on your site. What do you think of this season so far?

I'm glad the Jets are 3-3, no doubt, but this defense is making me pull my hair out. It can't get much worse than this. The defensive line is awful, and this scheme just ain't working so far.

I'd really like to see a Mets-Tigers World Series, I've decided. (Pop-up by Rolen.) Not that I think Cards-Tigers is bad per se, as those are two good old-time baseball franchises, and kind of an old-school match-up. But I think the Mets' offense going against that hot pitching would make for great game-by-game drama.

Wild pitch puts Encarnacion at 2nd, which opens up the opportunity to walk Edmonds and pitch to Belliard, as McCarver just noted.

Chopper to Wright ends the inning.

Beltran - Delgado - Wright.

This could be it for the Mets. Good stuff.

Update #3

Kinney still in the game for St. Louis.

Two strikes quickly on Beltran.

It's hard to believe that it's been 4+ months since I've written in this space, or maybe it isn't. I'm glad I can still pick it up and go . . . even if it's just for one night.

Full count.

Great pitch, off-speed, looked like a slider, caught him looking.

His stuff looks great. Went from breaking stuff to a solid fastball, which he blew by Delgado. 1-2.

No biographical listing on MLB.com, so I'm not sure which independent league he pitched in. Buck said it was "in the St. Louis area." Is that the Northern League? This year he wasn't even called up until July 2, and was eventually sent back down.

Delgado just got an infield single that would've been an easy out if Belliard hadn't been playing in short right field.

Wright up as tying run; LaRussa sticking with Kinney.

Got away with one there. Mediocre fastball, just above waist-level, and Wright fouled it back.

Wright just drilled a double into the left field corner on a lousy slider. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out. I'm not sure who's up in the Cardinals pen right now . . . but that has to be it for Kinney.

It is; in comes Flores to face Shawn Green.

One of the better game of this post-season so far, which isn't saying much. And considering the importance of the game, it's probably the best game of the 2006 playoffs to date.

Update #4

Mets have their shot. Let's see if they can capitalize.

Strike one, fastball.

Strange to think the fate of the Mets' season is on the shoulders of Shawn Green right now.

Edmonds took a step back but caught a sinking fly ball in shallow center for the 2nd out. The runners didn't advance.

Out goes Flores, and in comes Wainwright in a double-switch. Belliard out at 2nd, Miles in.

Update #5

It's starting to feel late, and my eyes are getting heavy, but I'm determined to see this one and this blog to the finish tonight.

Valentin up now who earlier in the game had a ringing two-run double.

Would love to see him get a base hit here. Would take the game to another level.

Two strikes, and took a bad swing at a curve in the dirt.

Another curve hung up there, 2-2.

Ground foul.

Dropped a beautiful curve on the outside part of the plate to freeze Valentin and end the inning.

Do the Mets have any bullets left for their last at-bat? That was a bad blown opportunity.

Update #6

Wow. A one out triple by Aaron Miles puts the Cards in position to virtually end the game here. Miles had five three-baggers during the course of the season.

The Mets, and the announcers, are expecting a squeeze, at least to a certain extent.

There it was. The ball came boring inside from Mota, and all Eckstein could do was foul the ball away. It may have clipped him on the hands or fingers. This is the second visit by the trainer to Eckstein tonight; it looked like he tweaked his shoulder on a nice diving stop in the 1st inning.

Infield pop-up, two outs.

Ground out to short.

Both bullpens have been outstanding tonight.

Onto the 9th.

Final Update

Endy Chavez.

0-2, ground ball to Eckstein, one away.

Cliff Floyd is going to try and do his Kirk Gibson impersonation.

I'm really surprised he's being used in this spot.

I don't know who else Willie could've gone to, but it's hard to imagine much happening here.


Grounder wide of first and Floyd had no chance of beating anybody to the bag.


Ball one.

Strike looking.

Breaking ball, strike two - looking again.

Nasty curve in the dirt, swung on and missed for strike three.

Bad loss for the Metropolitans. Let's see how they respond tomorrow night with their backs to the wall, facing the best pitcher in the National League.

Good night, folks.

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