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Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Mets uglier than just one game

OK, so last night's late game was ugly. Ben Shpigel was there, and had an excellent view of the festivities ... I don't know how many Mets fans were still up when the game ended. I was, though, and yeah, I can't say it was disheartening because my heart doesn't care about the Mets, but man was it ever ugly. I don't know that I've seen a good team make more obvious mistakes in the late stages of a close game.

You know what's worse, though? When Tim Redding is your fifth starter. Because you know what that means, don't you? It means that Livan Hernandez is your fourth starter. I happened to be at the ballpark in San Francisco last Friday night, and I just sat there in the first inning, dumbfounded, as Hernandez gave up hit after hit after hit. I can't say that I exactly felt sorry for Hernandez -- after all, nobody forced him to take the Mets' money this spring -- but I couldn't quite help myself.

More, though, I felt sorry for Mets fans who have to put up with a pitcher like Livan Hernandez every five days (particularly if he really is the club's fourth starter, and really will pitch every five days). Frankly, there's simply no excuse for a team with a new ballpark and a $150 million payroll to trot Hernandez out there regularly, and wind up with Jeremy Reed at first base in a close game, and Angel Pagan in left field at the same moment, and ... well, you get the idea. I can't feel sorry for the Mets, and I can't feel too sorry for their fans. Not with that payroll. As a guy who just likes to watch good baseball, though, I find this odd collection of talent just a little bit offensive.