Game #118 vs. New York

PNC Park | 7:05 | Morris vs. John Maine | Box
The Mets were shut out innings 2-8 but bookended the game with a pair of five running innings. THe Pirates, trailing 10-4 entering the bottom of the 9th didn’t give up. They scored four runs and had the tying run at the plate in the person of Xavier Nady. But Billy Wagner whiffed him to end it.
The Mets five run first came off of Matt Morris. Moise Alou ripped a tater and David Wright contributed a two run double. The Pirates scratched back into the game with homers from Jose Bautista and Nate McLouth and run scoring doubles from Morris (hey, he’s a better hitter than Don Kelly) and Matt Kata.
The 9th inning explosion from the Mets came off of Shawn Chacon and Damaso Marte. Chacon committed a throwing error that helped touch things off.
Jason Bay came through with a two run double in the failed comeback attempt in the bottom of the 9th.
John Maine got the win, but labored. He needed 117 pitches to get through five innings.
McLouth homered Opening Day and then didn’t go yard again until July. He has clocked four dingers in August.
Recaps
AP at Yahoo! Sports

Pre-game Thoughts
What do Matt Peterson and John Maine have in common? They both were part of deals that involved Kris Benson. Other than that, not much. Peterson is a 25 year old relief pitcher toiling for AA Altoona for a club that has a bevy of young relief talent. Maine is a 26 year old with 20 career ML wins, including 12 this year.
Maine shut the Bucs down on July 24. He allowed just five hits and whiffed seven in seven innings in getting the win. In three career games (all starts) against Pittsburgh, he’s just 1-2. But his ERA is a tidy 3.06. Maine’s last two starts have been ugly. Combined he’s gone 8 innings and allowed 12 runs on 11 hits and six walks.
Against Maine, Jason Bay is 2-7 with a homer, Xavier Nady is 2-6 and Freddy Sanchez is 3-8.
As Jenifer Langosch notes on the mother site, “…with his Pirates debut and outing against his former team out of the way, Morris won’t have to worry about nerves anymore.” Umm, what? He’s a 33 year old man making nearly $10 million a year toiling for a club that is going nowhere. That to me is the definition of a stress-free life. If he does well, it won’t matter much. If he falls on his face, it won’t matter much. Either way he gets paid a ton of dough.
Since his last win on June 11, Morris is 0-4 with a 7.65 ERA in ten starts. Opponents are hitting .381 against him in that stretch. And that is ugly.
Against the Mets he is 6-3 career with a nice ERA of 3.26. That includes a start on May 9 in which he got a no decision after pitching seven innings and giving up just two runs.
Morris has been hit pretty well by Moises Alou – 23-74 with a pair of circuit clouts. Of the Mets regulars only Carlos Beltran (7-27) and Jose Reyes (4-21) have struggled against Morris. Everybody else is hitting .280 or better against him for his career.
I finally figured out who Morris reminds me of. It is actor Hart Bochner from the movies Breaking Away and Die Hard. In my book, Breaking Away is the best movie ever about cycling.
For the record, my all-time favorite movies about bicycles or bicycling races:
1. Breaking Away – I think when former Colts coach Jim Mora had his “Playoffs?! Playoffs!?” press conference he was channeling Paul Dooley from this movie. “Refund?! Refund!?”
2. American Flyers – pretty good early Kevin Costner film
3. BMX Bandits – very early Nicole Kidman (she was a teenager). Actually, this film is stupidly funny. Haven’t seen it in years. Kids on BMX bikes take on bad guys
4. Quicksilver – Kevin Bacon (my wife’s fav) as a bicycle courier. This movie hits the 1980s standup comedian daily double with Paul Rodriguez and Louie Anderson
5. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure – this movie wasn’t creepy years ago
Monday Night Thoughts
Jose Offerman lost his mind in an independent league game. ESPN has a story and an audio clip (I guess as part of video including the host of Cold Pizza?) of opposing manager Tommy John. I can’t find video of it anywhere. Anybody know where I can see this on video?

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3 Responses to “Game #118 vs. New York”

  1. Randy Linville Says:

    2/3 of the way through this one. The Bucs have nudged their way back into it after Morris gave up 5 in the first frame. The Mets got five hits in the first inning and just two more thereafter.
    Paulino/Morris have been stolen on four times. Paulino did catch a member of the grounds crew trying to steal between innings. So, that’s good.
    Jason Bay has struck out three times. Has Jim Colborn been tinkering with his swing?

  2. Newmie Says:

    Wow!!! Great veteran leadership. I guess we can’t trade Morris now. Was that Littlefield’s intention, turn Morris into a middle reliver before Sept? Something else to look forward to in 2008. Maybe Morris will do an Ankiel. We needed offense and DL acquired it, by accident of course. Can Morris play CF or C? If he is “versatile”, Tracy will love him. I can’t wait til June to see if our new GM will draft Weiters. Next years draft may cause more of a buzz than this years. Thank goodness it is televised now.

  3. Newmie Says:

    My son is now a Mets fan. He is 11 and was always a Pirates fan, they are his second favorite team now. I told him one day to get out while he can. I am stuck. Like most of you, I will always be a Pirate fan. I gave him my blessing to go to another team if he so desired. Only two restriction, no Yankees and no Braves. I still dislike the Mets, but his favorite player is Wright and he abided by the restrictions. I have never been more frustrated with this team than I am today. This season is much worse than our pathetic record. Thank you Corey for providing this avenue to vent.


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