Crazy Day at Shea

As the madness at Shea Stadium was unfolding Tuesday afternoon, one of the Mets beat writers smiled and said, ?Schuerholz must be howling right now.?

Knowing that Braves general manager John Schuerholz wouldn?t loosen up enough to even let me know he?d laughed when he learned ?El Duque? was hurt, I just said, ?Nah? and then went out in the hallway to call Turner Field.

As our conversation regarding the Braves’ coaching changes was nearing its end, I asked Schuerholz, ?So are you enjoying the Mets? follies?? Without surprise, he responded with, ?I don?t wish ill will toward anybody.?

Yeah, but this isn?t just anybody. These are the Mets, the team that ended the Braves’ run of 14 consecutive division titles this year. For five months, there was plenty of reason to believe they?d also do something the Braves haven?t this decade — advance to the World Series.

In fact, for about the first four hours Willie Randolph was at Shea Stadium on Tuesday, there was legitimate reason for him to confidently hold that belief.  But then Orlando Hernandez went for a jog that consequently caused Randolph to begin his media session with: ?Before we get into everything, I have some news.?

The news was that El Duque had injured his right calf and the response was ?Well, what are you going to do now, Willie??  It was exactly one week ago that Pedro Martinez proved his health issues extended beyond a pulled calf muscle.  So now the Mets manager may be forced to go for Option No. 3 in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

Having started just three days ago, Tom Glavine never seriously became the third option for Game 1. Instead, these not-so-mighty-anymore Mets were forced to choose between John Maine and Dave Williams. Hey, things could be worse. They could have listed Oliver Perez in that list of options.

Barring an unforeseen miraculous recovery by Hernandez, Maine is likely to take the mound on Wednesday to make his first career postseason appearance. Based on the 15 walks he?s issued in his last 28 1/3 innings, it can be assumed the pressure will lead him to resume his recent control problems.

When I got to New York yesterday, I started crunching all the numbers to give me the ability to feel like I actually knew what was going to happen during this Division Series. Factoring in a healthy Hernandez, I still gained the belief that the Dodgers would win this series in four games.

A quick comparison of the lineups might lead one to assume the Mets have the better lineup. But statistically over the final two months, the Dodgers have been much better offensively. If you want to erase September, when the Mets were seemingly sleepwalking, you?ll still find Los Angeles? offense was just as impressive in August.

With this Hernandez injury added to the mix, there?s no doubt the Dodgers have the better pitching staff. It?s one that has seen steady improvement since the acquisition of Greg Maddux, who I believe was the best pitching coach the Braves have had in Atlanta over the past two decades.



    THROW OUT YOUR STATS!!! I have Faith that Maine is up to the task! What better way for a Rookie to solidify his position in the rotation in this challenging Game?


    At the end of the day it’s all guess work. They still play the game between the lines and anything can happen. Throwing a rookie in to pitch isn’t all that bad, we did it the last time we were in town and look what happened !! You’ll see him again on Thursday !!

    I believe in my team !!

    Go Dodgers !!!


    Gary’s right. The wonderful thing about this game is that we should always expect the unexpected but are surprised when it happens. Players perform differently in the post season. Some thrive unexpectedly, others don’t unexpectedly. Never underestimate anyone, rookie or not. Hoping for a great series and the winner of this one going to the World Series. GO DODGERS!!!


    This could be a blessing or a curse. The reality is that this game will be won by the bullpens. What has to happen is that the Dodgers must get ahead early. They do not play well from behind. Remember 1988? The Dodgers were not the best team in the playoffs. Just the Hottest..GO BIG BLUE!! I hope they wear their alt blues on Saturday…


    As a life long Mets Fan, I have to say that we are used to this type of excitement. It seems that they always find themselves behind the 8-ball. With all this happening, I’m still confident the Mets can pull it out . . . I can see it now, Game 4 in LA, Reyes hits a slow roller down the first base line, right between the wickets of Garciaparra . . . the Mets go on to win Game 4 and then take game 5 of the NLDS back at Shea . . . after all it’s the 20th Anniversary of the 86 World Series . . . hey, it may not be original, but I?ll take any help at this point. Seriously, I think that the Mets pitching is strong enough to keep them in the game for 5-6 innings bridging to the bullpen. As for the bats, they will be there . . . Reyes, LoDuca, Betran, Wright, Delgado, Valentin . . . there is a lot of power there! They will need to hit early and often to win. It?s going to be AMAZING and if all else fails we can hope for another Miracle!


    The only thing better than trying to watch these ‘up-and-coming heroes’ at batting practice almost 30 times this season was watching them in the postseason with an elated spirit I can’t remember as a fan. Can it be this team in the ‘planned anniversary of the re-making of the ’86’-done-over team is actually better?’ Better in many ways. I see the differences and I can honestly say this ’06 team is the best to come around in MLB in a long time & well thought out by Omar. Nice to see a ‘future Met season’ for a change—JD

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