If you're scoring at home:
Demons slayed this season: Turner Field, Cory Lidle, Kyle Davies, Tim Hudson, Armando Benitez, Mariano Rivera, Pat Burrell.
Demons remaining: Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, SUCK ME pitchers.
Things appear to be progressing nicely. And yes, I'm putting Burrell in the "demons slayed" category after that life-changing play by Sugar Pants in the 9th inning last night. Does anyone have any doubt that in any other year, that ball shoots down the line and the Phillies tie it up later that inning? What the heck is going on around here? I don't know, but I likes it. Throw in the fact that the Mets generally kept Burrell out of the mix on a night where the pitching was shaky and the ball was flying out of the yard, in a game that the Phillies really needed to win, and BANG -- you've got Burrell as a slayed demon. Last year he'd have hit 2 dingers and capped it off with that double in the 9th to put the tying run in scoring position, with a rattled Wagner on the hill. The times, they have a-changed.
(1) Glavine had zero command and Heilman was awful. Not much analysis required. Heilman's body language has me especially concerned right about now. He just looks defeated before he even throws a pitch nowadays. Hopefully Mullet-Head has 10 minutes to spare with him.
(2) Not sure where I come out on Wagner's performance. On the one hand, he recorded a rare 5-out save against the heart of the Phillies' lineup on a night where the ball was flying all over the place, with 40,000 fans calling for his blood. That's impressive. On the other hand, he was constantly falling behind hitters, his velocity inexplicably disappeared in the 9th inning, and got his bacon saved by Lo Duca's great throw/Reyes' great tag on Rollins in the 8th, and Wright's incredible double-play in the 9th. But I suppose results are what really matter, and he got them. Also, it should not be overlooked that on the caught-stealing play on Rollins in the 8th, Wags came back from 3-0 on Utley to strike him out on three straight pitches. Very nice.
(3) Was it just me, or would almost all of the Phillies' home runs last night (especially Delucci's) have been routine fly balls at Shea? By contrast, Beltran's, Delgado's and Wright's shots were all absolutely crushed. Just throwing that out there.
(4) The Braves truly stink right now. Ah, that's a shame.
(5) In Toronto last night, some scrub named Adam Loewen on the Orioles got lit up for 5 earned runs and 4 walks in 5 innings in just his third big-league start. His career numbers now are 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA. Why am I mentioning this? He's scheduled to pitch again Sunday at Shea. SUCK ME ALERT!! SUCK ME ALERT!!!!
(6) Thanks to Metstradamus for this link. I'm not sure what's funnier - the fact that Armando has inexplicably gotten whinier since he left town, or the image of Jon Miller suiting up and taking the mound for the Giants.
So, 7 and 1/2 games and climbing. Very tough matchup tonight with Myers on the mound. I expect we'll lose one of the next two, and this seems like a likely candidate. I have nothing left to say except one more Carlos Beltran Mole Fact:
If you look closely, you'll see that Carlos Beltran's mole has a tiny Carlos Beltran head growing out of the side of it.