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Five the Hard Way

Well played, Mets.

After five devastating losses in a row, I guess this was the best they could do. They've put on nightly shows more entertaining than Celine Dion's, and that's not easy.

Tonight, the Duck played unlikely hero in a contest that one couldn't have called for the Mets from the get-go. Oliver Perez continued to be erratic, banking tonight's start as the opening argument in the case of why wins are a relatively useless statistic.

Ollie walked five for the third straight start, though this time he did not bring the ten strikeouts that he showed in Philly, allowing five runs to cross the plate in five innings. Only three of those runs were earned, though, on account of Paul Lo Duca's errant throw, his seventh error of the year. Is it just me, or does Paul Lo Duca make you want to trade for Mike Piazza, if only as a late-inning defensive replacement?

But Duck did another Mike Piazza impression tonight. He drove in seven of the Mets' 11 runs, blasting (erm, they were at the GABP, and the ball went like, two feet over the fence) two three-run shots and a single as well. Perhaps Paul had some money on the long side this evening?

Get this: the Duck had five homers and 34 RBI coming into tonight's game, and he leaves with seven and 41. I'll bet a chunk of his winnings are made out to Todd Coffey and Matt Belisle, who, apparently, are major league pitchers.

Yesterday, they run out a half-rate thespian in relief and a pitcher whose last name makes me think I'm watching a certain SNL sketch, and today they have Bill Bray (who came along with Gary Majewski in one of the worst trades in recent memory) giving up three runs in zero point zero innings of work and some dude named after a fish walk two in an inning of work.

To think, all but one of those replacement-level clowns have better ERAs than Guillermo Mota (2 years, $5MM) and Scott Schoeneweis (3 years, $10.5MM). In Omar We Trust? Yeah, right.

I'll keep my criticism curt, for I have little choice but to be pleased with five straight victories. These games took a contribution from everyone in the rotation (even El Duque, whose achy foot forced Pedro back into active duty), and, more importantly, the bats have started clicking again.

David Wright is still firing on all cylinders, Beltran is putting together some strong showings, Alou is using a touch extra of urine on his hands, and even Carlos Delgado is clobbering the occasional ball. Hell, Shawn Green and the Duck combined for six hits today! If Jose Reyes were clicking, this would be the dream team all over again.

Who knows: Baseball Prospectus gives the Mets a 95+ percent chance of winning the division. I think he can get a little rest.


Memo to SNY: I know the quirky announcers are often the best, but can someone remind Gary and Keith that at least one of them has to be the straight man, even in lopsided games. It was getting so bad, as they were one-upping eachother with memories of Underdog, that I was thinking of muting their game and going over to WCBS just to hear John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman have awkward pauses and cut eachother off.

Tomorrow: John Maine looks to push forward against the legendary Tom Shearn. 12:35 p.m. is your first pitch.