Mets manager Jerry Manuel gets a hard time all over the blogosphere, not just in this specifically anti-Mets corner. Jerry does bizarre things, Jerry makes bizzare decisions. The return of superstar Carlos Beltran to the Mets mix means things are now more than messy, as it means Manuel has many mistakes to make.
Somehow, improbably, Manuel sent out a decent lineup last night to start the Mets second half. He hit statnerd poster boy Angel Pagan leadoff, slotted David Wright in third and cleaned up with the returning Beltran. Lefty Ike Davis and right-handed Jason Bay round out the meat of the Mets order.
Unfortunately for Mets fans everywhere, the Mets ran into two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, fresh off a whole wack of rest. Timmy threw a whole pile of strikes, missed more than his share of bats, only walked one and basically shut the Mets down en route to a six-hit shutout.
Expect nothing good to come of this. Angel Pagan came to the plate in a key spot in the fifth inning only to pop out and snuff out a mini-rally. Carlos Beltran was caught stealing, which nearly never happens. Beltran quickly and clearly shed light into his flawed thought process after singling in his first game back:
"I guess when you drink too many coffees and too much sugar before the game, it makes you do crazy things,"
While Jerry avoided saying anything crazy in the papers, you know the old gears are turning and he's ready to pop in lineup sparkplug/crappy baseball player Jeff Francoeur at a moment's notice. Already pledging to rotate Pagan, Beltran, and Frenchie through right and center fields, it won't take much for Manuel to go completely nuts and play Jeffy for six straight nights, admiring his gumption after striking out on three pitches once again.
The return of permapuff Jose Reyes should give Mets fans a reprieve from the Alex Cora - Number Two Hitter Experience, though Jerry's known to throw slap hitters among the trees without any rhyme or reason. My fondness for Beltran aside, the Walkoff Walk Stylebook decrees we must find joy in Mets failings. So here's to the continued struggles of Jose's brittle bones. Get in there and play us some jazz, Jerry!