Quick, get the trainer out here with some scotch tape and chewing gum!
So today I watched the Yankees game on TV, and the Mets on my computer. Kind of strange… but I guess I’ll be doing that a lot this season.
Mike Mussina looked sharp, and had good command — much better than his last few outings. (Of course, it is the Pirates). We’ll see what he had to say afterwards; maybe his arm strength is improving, or maybe he stopped trying to overcompensate for it, which is what Torre thought he was doing last time out. The Yankee offense got into a groove against Pirates ace Zach Duke in the 4th, batting around and then some; Jason Giambi’s grand slam was the backbreaker. Meanwhile, Josh Phelps continues to make a case for himself, and Melky Cabrera continues to play well in all outfield spots. (Sweeny Murti was right; Mike and the Mad Dog are going to be eating their words on that one).
Meanwhile, El Duque didn’t look comfortable starting for the Mets today — and just as he started to settle in, he came up slightly lame while running to first. Sounds like it was just a cramp, though, so start breathing again. It’s easy to freak out about Hernandez’s age and injury history; no one expects him to make every start this season. But Minaya’s a sharp guy, and I have to assume that when he signed Hernandez to a lucrative two-year deal, he had reason to believe Duque could hold up physically this season… right?
Meanwhile, Ambiorix Burgos had another disappointing outing. He’s still young and I don’t see why he can’t improve, particularly if someone sits him down and explains what to do with a strike zone. But Mets fans are only now starting to get over their PTSD regarding flamethrowing-yet-spectacularly-ineffective relievers… I think it would be cruel to subject them to Burgos at this stage.
Mets lost, Yanks won, but I still don’t think it matters yet. Especially not for the Mets. They seem to have some trouble focusing when the games don’t matter (see: last September), but they’ve got time to turn it on before April.