Cardinals 3, Mets 1 (Cardinals win the series, 4-3)
(I’m lost in the stupormarket)
After Yadier Molina’s stunning 2 run HR off Aaron Heilman (above) in the St. Louis 9th, the Mets failed to mount a rally against Adam Wainright. Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez led off the last of the 9th with singles, but Wainright caught gimpy PH Cliff Floyd looking, and was fortunate that Jose Reyes’ subsequent liner was hit right in front of a running Jim Edmonds.
While Paul Lo Duca worked out a 5 pitch walk (and was summarily pulled for Anderson Hernandez, representing the winning run at 1st), Wainright recovered to strike out Cards-killer Carlos Beltran on three pitches, the last being a called third strike.
New York squandered another golden opportunity when Delgado advanced to third on Scott Rolen’s throwing error in the 6th. With Delgado and Wright on the corners, Jeff Suppan intentionally walked Shawn Green, but came back to strike out Valentin and Chavez to escape unscathed.
I’m looking for some comedy in all of this, and other than Scott Rolen cutting off Chris Myers when the latter asked if things were all hunky-dory with La Russa, I can’t find any. The Mets got way more out of the likes of Maine and Perez than they had any right to expect in this series, but the same has to be said of St. Louis’ Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan and their entire No Name bullpen (other than Braden Looper). While holding Albert Pujols to one HR and one RBI over the course of 7 games should’ve guaranteed a Mets victory, Molina totally neutralized the Mets’ running game, and David Wright was just as quiet as Pujols.
Sorry to continue to harp on it, but Mota and Wagner’s performances in Game Two will be in a constant loop in my head throughout the winter far more than Heilman’s lone mistake to Molina. Jeff Suppan was named the series MVP, and deservedly so, but in the spirit of fairness, I think Molina, Scroatface, Jeff Kellogg and Billy Wagner should’ve all received a vote or two.
Much as I’d like to stay groanly at the injustice of it all — the undermanned Mets having to make their way through the post-season wars without Pedro, El Duque, Uncle Cliffy, Brian Bannister, Tom Seaver or Cleon Jones’ cock, the Cardinals were held together with gluestick,
HGH and string. Rolen’s bum shoulder, Pujols’ hammy, Izzy’s absence , having to plug recent castoffs like Weaver and Wilson into prominent roles, etc. Both of these clubs were flawed, but the one area we counted on the Mets having a huge advantage was the bullpen. And while there was mostly strong middle relief work through the series, Mota, Wagner and Heilman’s failings took a huge toll.
Congrats to the Redbirds and almost every single one of their greatest-fans-on-earth. To Beltran, Delgado, Reyes, Wright, Endy Shernoff-Chavez, the dear departed X-Man, Pedro, El Duque, Glavine, Boogie Shoes, Duaner Sanchez, Aaron Heilman, Maine, Gary Cohen, Jeff Wilpon’s Lovely Wife and almost every single one of you, thanks for a terrific last 7 months.
There’s another competition of some sort or another starting on Saturday, but until then, I’ll be beating the dog, making inapproriate phone calls to George Brett and photoshopping Mets uniforms onto Barry Zito, not necessarily in that order.
For those struggling to find a silver lining in this disappointing result, cheer-the-fuck-up. Not only have the Mets scaled heights of late that were unimaginable in the Art Howe Era, but you can now live a Chris Cotter-Free existence until March at the earliest.