The Mets played the final game ever at Shea Stadium yesterday, and lost to the Marlins, 4-2. It was the usual suspects that let them down: their bullpen and inconsistent offense. I’m sure many will call it another collapse, but if the Mets would have made the playoffs it would have been a miracle. With the worst bullpen in baseball, no closer, infielders playing the outfield and backups of backups starting, how did the Phillies not win the division by 10 games?
In yesterday’s contest, Oliver Perez, pitching on three days rest, went five and a third innings. For the first five innings he was great – it was the other third that was the problem. He ended up letting in two runs on four hits, while striking out six and walking three. At least he didn’t pull a Tom Glavine. He kept his team in the game, which was all the Mets were hoping for. Jerry Manuel went through six relievers with mixed results. Four of them came through and two didn’t. Scott Schoeneweis faced one batter but apparently it was one batter too many, when Wes Helms cracked a homer to break up a 2-2 tie. Luis Ayala was next and promptly served up a dinger to Dan Uggla.
And again the offense didn’t show up. Carlos Beltran blasted a two-run bomb to tie things up in the sixth, but that was it for the bats. They only totaled four measly hits. Carlos Delgado flew out to deep left with two runners on in the eighth, and Ryan Church (who had struck out in his last six at-bats) knocked one to the edge of the warning track to end the game. But close doesn’t count.
They’ll probably be labeled as chokers who authored another collapse. But they battled their way back into contention and had to fight their own bullpen every game. In the end, they just weren’t good enough. Their fate was sealed when Endy Chavez made what seemed like another game-saving, spectacular catch. The Mets never win when he does that.
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