...and no Willies, and no Sams, and not even any Henrys; thank whomever you thank for that! Last night, the Mets evened the series against the Phillies, and I gotta tell ya, folks, this Mets/Phillies thingy looks for all the world to be a rapidly and earnestly developing rivalry. What, between the smack talk on both sides of the coin, the Billy Wagner Ex-Phillie factor, Mets fans, Phillie fans, talk radio, blogs, the Phillies pitching staff cutting the inside corner on the Mets a bit too often (or as Bob Uecker might say: "juuuuuust a tad inside!"), the teams being in the same division, the cities being about 90 miles from each other, you just have to wonder... what took so long? What took so long, of course, is the fact that the teams really haven't been good at the same time in, oh, forever. The Mets became so linked up with the Braves since division realignment (heretofore having been so linked up with the Cardinals), the Phillies were almost an afterthought; in fact, they WERE an afterthought, probably even to their own fans.
Which is why I have to laugh at the truly bad rep under which New York fans labor... most people who know anything about baseball, sports in general, or anything in general, know that Philadelphia fans are without a doubt the biggest booers, rowdies, get y'er drunk on, trashily behaving fans in probably all of sports in North America. I'm leaving out the rest of the world because, well, you know how some of those South American and European soccer matches can be.....
But anyway, about last night. John Maine managed to stretch his 100+ pitches into more than four or five innings, and although he still looked slightly askew and uncomfy out there, he pitched well enough to get the win, and hopefully he can build on his performance. The offense did enough, and Jose Reyes got his bat on and smacked a three-run homer late in the game, with the bullpen, including Billy Wags, closing the barn door, and for once, before the cows got out.
Speaking of Wags, do you now have a newfound appreciation for him? No? Well, me neither. It's not that easy to forget the many times he's imploded in big games. So he did the job last night; whoop-dee-do. That's what he gets paid for, after all.
Still in all, I do admit that I felt kind of, uh, relieved? to see him trotting out there for the ninth inning rather than Sanchez, Feliciano or Smith.... so go figure. My my my, fickle fans some of us are!