June 28, 2010

Weekend: The Good: Mets & The Bad: USA

An interesting weekend in my favorite sports? .. to say the least ..Topsy Turvy? ..absolutely..Fun? ..for sure.. Hot & Humid in the STL? ..of course

The Good Mets opened their three game final interleague (Ugh) series with the Minnesota Twins on Friday with a 5-2 victory as Mike Pelfrey(10-2, 2.71) offered up a solid 2 runs on 6 hits 6 inning start with the recently returned Bobby Parnell combining with Perpetual Pedro Feliciano for 2 perfect bridge innings before K-Rod delivered his 17th save in typical heart palpitating 2 hits allowed fashion. Ducky Wright continued his recent offensive barrage by driving in Jose Reyes ( 2/4 , 1 R 1 RBI ) with his 22nd double in the 4th and hitting his 13th HR off loser Kevin Slowey in the sixth. Golen Rube Tejada extended his hitting streak to nine games with a fifth inning double.

Johan Santana took to the Citi Field hill on Saturday allowing four first inning runs to the Twins who never looked back, riding the arm of Carl Pavano(9-6, 3.33). Pavano provided a 3 hit, 1 walk complete game shutout as the Twinkies set up Sunday's rubber game with a 6-0 win. The "not so good" if not "poor" outing from Santana fueling the talk of Mets fans that Johan must now take a backseat to Pelfrey as Ace of the Mets pitching staff. Tejada's streak remained intact as he was given Saturday off with Alex Cora getting the start @ 2B.

As this undressing of Santana was taking place the USA entry in World Cup 2010 was taking place against Ghana in South Africa. The Ghanans took advantage of a huge giveaway by surprising starter Ricardo Clark to score in the 4th minute of the match, stunning the mildly favored Americans. Despite dominating much of the play the US was unable to put a blemish on the sheet of Ghanan GK Richard Kingston until Clint Dempsey was taken down in the penalty area in the 81st minute. Landon Donovan converted the spot kick to draw thw Yanks level where the score remained through the end of 90 miniutes. Just two minutes into the 1st of two 15 minute extra periods, the Ghanans netted what proved to be the match deciding goal onoff the boot of Assamoah Gyan on a shot that left US keeper Tim Howard defenseless. With the hopes of the nation dashed and talk of $900,000 bonuses to be paid for winning the trophy extinguished, Bob Bradley's squad was left to ponder what if and head home. Some to face paternity allegations (see Landon Donovan)

This World Cup showcase has often been marred by unbelievably inept , incompetent and utterly horrible officiating. The obvious mistake made have blown into a firestorm of demands for video replay, ousting and punishment of referees and changes to what I and the greatest of all, Pele , still refer to as "The Beautiful Game." This is not "Americas" Game..It's Beautifully Perfect as Is..!!!

Following the disappointment of our "futbol" lads on Saturday the Good Mets returned Sunday to the ballpark in Flushing Meadow for the rubber game with the Minnesota Twins. Surprising lefty Jonathan Niese tossed 6 shutout innings backed by Jeff French Heart's 4th inning 2 run HR and a 5th inning 2 run shot from "hot for June" Ducky Wright and a follow-up prodigious bomb off the bat of Ike Davis to give the Mets a reversal of Saturday's 6-0 shutout. Tejada extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fourth inning single

The series win leaves the New Yorkers 1/2 game behind Atlanta in the NL East, 11 games over .500 at 43-32
with a NL second best 28-12 at home.

The Mets head to Puerto Rico for a 3 game set with the Florida Marlins(35-40), who've dropped 4 straight and interim manager Edwin Rodriguez at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel will look to knuclkeballer RA Dickey(6-0, 2.33) to continue his mastery/trickery of opposing hitters while the Marlins will counter with Ricky Nolasco (6-6, 4.92) in the first 13 straight "road" games ( Florida is the home team for this series) through the All Star Game. OF Angel Pagan is still feeling some discomfort but will at least be available to pinch hit , run or play defense if needed.

The Mets hope to continue their winning ways battling NL only teams the rest of the regula
r season while the USA soccer program begins preparations for qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Personally I'm looking forward to strong World Cup 2010 performances from the Dutch , Argentines, Germans and Brazil the rest of the way, but am secretly pulling for a upset from Ghana or Japan.

Remember only 3 days are left to vote for David "Ducky" Wright and write in Angel Pagan to "SendAnAngelToAnaheim".

Let's Go Mets!
Let's Go Mets !!

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