Mets 6, Giants 2

At the subtle "the devil made me do it" urges of my twin, I splurged and got a $36 field seat for the game tonight. They were great seats, like 5 rows from the field, right in line with the left fielder (issues about sightlines to third base aside). That was most of the good news for the evening, and my notorious tight-fistedness should put that in perspective.

And then there was everything else. First off, I paid almost forty dollars -- four hours of work -- to see Jeffrey fucking Hammonds hit cleanup. Yep. because when you think of guys who can clear the bases, you think of Hammonds. Barry Bonds had the night off (I hope it was just the night off...I'm going tomorrow, too), and Alou also rested AJ Pierzynski, who's actually been hitting some lately. Great. Take those two guys out of the lineup, and it's a scary sight watching them try and score runs. Our lineup tonight went:

Dallimore (new guy, hitting pretty OK since coming up to the bigs)

As you can imagine, that's a lineup to strike fear into even the greatest of Little League teams....except maybe the Japanese kids. And, predictably, they didn't do much with the sticks all night...it was mainly bad defense from the Mets that allowed the Giants to get their runs. However, Edgardo Alfonzo had an awful night on defense himself, and that contributed almost as much as anything to the loss tonight. However, Dallimore had a blinder defensively, to the point where the eventually took Fonzie out and moved Dallimore over to second (putting Pedro Feliz in at third). You know, I understand that one of the more unknown drawbacks of being the visiting fan is that you often have to suffer the desires of the manager needing to rest players (they're not going to do it at home...I'd estimate a thousand or so paid money to see the Giants tonight, as opposed to 40,000 at Pac Bell), but while I can't change it, I can certainly whine about it.

However, the flat-out worst managerial move since Grady Little was probably the biggest factor in at least the nature of the loss, if not the loss itself. In the 6th inning, the Giants were rallying, and had already scored once to take a 2-1 lead. The bases were loaded, two outs, with the pitcher coming up. Now, if the pitcher is still going strong, then fine, the likelihood is that you're better off losing out on the 2-out chance to keep your starter in (which also preserves your bullpen, and leaves your better bench players for the end in case you need them). However, while Tomko did have I think it was 5 consecutive ground ball outs at that point, he was shaky in doing so. He was behind on everyone, and had already thrown over 100 pitches. Of course, Tomko pops out, then gets the ever-loving shit kicked out of him in the bottom of the 6th to essentially seal the deal.

Now, it isn't THAT cut-and-dried, of course. If Alfonzo had made the play in the bottom of the 6th, the sacrifice grounder would have been the third out, and then they could have lifted Tomko with no further damage. But, not only did it cost us runs, I'm amazed that Alou didn't have anyone warming up in case Bombko flagged. Getting 5 useful innings out of him is something you take running to the bank, especially with a pitch count over triple digits. When Jim Brower finally came in to get Zeile out to end the inning, it was a 5-2 game, and there's no way THIS Bonds-less offense is coming back. Sadly, Brower looked like shit in the seventh, giving up four hits and one run (a nice double play spared him any further assaults on his ERA). However, David Aardsma looked pretty goddamn good in the 8th, hitting 94-95 on his fastball and he seemed to change speeds nicely, although the angle of our sight wasn't the best for determining that sort of thing.

Steve Trachsel had a nice outing for the Mets, pitching 8 pretty strong innings. Unsurprisingly, Kaz Matsui is tbe guy that is going to make their offense go, the rare times that it does. That said, they got some production from some unlikely sources (Hi, Jason Phillips!), and I suppose this is one of those games that you just say "fuck it" to and move on.

Again, I really like this Dallimore kid. It looks like the defense is definitely there, and if he can hit .270 or so, then fuck it, he should be in there every day...especially when compared to the rest of the putzes wearing the "SF" this season. If I had my way, the lineup would look like this most days (when at full strength, of course):

2B Durham
CF Grissom
LF Superman
C Pierzynski
3B Dallimore (assuming the .270 mark, of course)
1B Snow
RF Tucker
SS Cruz

I'll end with a thought that I had. I wonder if someone has already taken the time to research this, but I wonder: Barry Bonds can't play forever, of course. When he does retire, that is going to free up quite a lot of money for us. My question is, assuming the best possible use of that money (never a sure thing the way Sabean has been going, but work with me here), can the 2 or 3 players we'd sign with that cash come anywhere near replacing Barry's effect on the lineup? Can any 3 mid-range players do it? Four? Five? What if we got a real No. 2 to pitch behind Jason Schmidt? Maybe a No. 3 while we're at it (at least to keep the pressure off Jarome Williams for another season or so)? Any thoughts?


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