Get the Broom

The Yankees will start 21 year old AAA pitcher Tyler Clippard tonight on ESPN’s national broadcast against the Met’s 5-1 John Maine

Can anybody tell me the last time the Mets swept the Yankees?

Joy in (Half of) New York

Well the boys in blue dispatched with the boys in darker blue tonight in the interleague, intracity rivalry.  Oliver Perez looked sharp; the Yankees look bewildered.  As the Prince of New York notes, George has got to be ready to blow a gasket by now.

The Mets, on the other hand, are looking sharp.  The win pulled Perez above the .500 mark at 4-5.  With John Maine and Tom Glavine pitching well, the Mets are looking better than they did a year ago.

Unfortunately so are the Braves…

Mets rally for five runs with one out in bottom of the ninth

 Well, that was wild:

The ball left the bat of Carlos Delgado and bounced beyond the reach of Cubs second baseman Ryan Theriot and beyond the stretch of the Mets’ imagination. The final moments of the season’s most improbable victory were unfolding, an instant after the final fold of the Cubs dotted-line bullpen.

Source: The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News

Take Heart

Take heart, Mets fans: Perez can throw. I’ve seen both Perez and Maine in Norfolk, and of the two, I would choose Perez in a must win. Maine has a little more maturity, and is probably the better pitcher, but if Perez is on he can be absolutely unhittable. Lights out stuff. And if he’s not, you’ve got the entire Mets staff, which has been over the course of the season one of the best in the National League, to step in.

Anyone who has followed the Mets all season long knows they go hot and cold hitting. Remember that slump against Boston in June? The post season numbers indicate only one thing: the Mets are way overdue due for a hot streak. And as anyone who has followed the Mets all season long knows, when they do get hot they can be devastating.

If the bats come out tonight, the Mets can not only win tonight, I Gotta Believe they can not only subdue the Cardinals, they can tame the Tigers.

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Some folk don’t believe in destiny. They are usually the ones grousing in front of the tube this time of year, whining about this and that. Meanwhile, the Mets stepped up tonight and ensured the series is destined to return to Shea. Must have been the You Gotta Believe Fairy Dust Desiree over at Wrightaholics has been spreading around! Personally I’m pleased with the way the series is going. The Mets, who cakewalked through the season, definitely need some adversity to prepare them for the Tigers. The glass is half full.

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Ya Gotta

OK, Mets fans, here it is. The Time. The Team. Did I mention the Time?

The 2006 baseball season-for everyone–hinges on tonight’s game. I believe whoever wins tonight will win the NL pennant. I also believe how victory is achieved could very well determine the outcome of the World Series. Right now Detroit believes itself to be the team of destiny. The only team than can beat a team that believes itself to be the team of destiny is another team that believes it has a rightful claim. And, of course, a lineup and a pitching staff-we’re not talking fantasy here, we’re talking faith. But as the Red Sox learned in 2004, and the White Sox learned last year, what makes the difference is…

Ya Gotta Believe.

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I live in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and am a Mets fan through their affiliation with the Norfolk Tides, so it is coming as a something of a surprise to me how New York Mets fans feel about yesterday. Finally, they are the Kings of New York.

Did you notice the grins that spread across the faces of the Mets players in the ninth inning last night? Delgado, in particular, caught my eye. It was almost as if it finally dawned on them just how good this team is, like the playoff win was a validation of what Willie has instilling in them all along: a belief in themselves.

Yet the celebration was somewhat subdued. Willie has this team focused on what it is it needs to accomplish.

Regardless of what happens, I think it will be the smiles I remember.

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Those who announce the impending demise of the Mets because of the ailments of one Pedro Martinez truly fail to appreciate Pedro’s real contribution to the club. This is nothing new. The Red Sox didn’t get it (some gloating Bosox fans still don’t – couldn’t let that pass). Note they will be watching the Mets contend for the World Championship.

Pedro’s contribution is more spiritual than physical. The Mets have won without Pedro all season. A 9-8 record on a team that will finish with 30+ more wins than losses does not indicate a major material contribution. Whether Pedro is able to physically perform or not is only marginally relevant. Pedro’s presence is what is important. What Pedro symbolizes is what is important.

The signing of Pedro in competition with teams like the Red Sox and Yankees announced to the world that the Mets were intent on winning. Pedro himself brings the intangible, the will to win. That is what made him a great pitcher, not his physical talents. And Pedro seems to have the ability to transmit that to those around him. He did it in Boston. He is now doing it in New York.

Pedro is the kind of player an entire team can rally around. That kind of contribution far exceeds balls and strikes.

Check out Inside Pitch’s insightful analysis of the Pedro situation, and Amazine’s poem, both of which inspired this post.

— Michael Norton

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