Francour, Mets, save Most Delicious Pies for Dessert
Evan Pritchard for Amazine
April 26th, 2010
Jeff Francour has been full of surprises lately, in the tradition of Soupy Sales, with his cream pies in the faces of the unsuspecting. Last week he mashed a cream pie into the face of Ike Davis after his first major league hit. But the Mets as a team have been saving up their most delicious pies for the face of Bobby Cox, the short-tempered manager of the Atlanta Braves, who has been their arch enemy and nemesis for as long as most Mets fans can remember.
Last night, Mike Pelfry managed to hold the Braves in frustration while serving up two bases loaded double plays in a row with the Braves behind 1-0, a pie in the eye, so to speak, of Bobby Cox, only to be followed by a pie from the sky, a deluge of rain that stopped the game one pitch after it had become a regulation 5 inning ball game.
Pelfry did not get the complete game to his credit because the last batter, the leadoff man in the top of the sixth, was pitched a single strike by reliever Raul Valdes. It had been raining fairly hard all night, but it really opened up with the Braves batting in the top of the sixth. Perfect timing as far as the Mets were concerned.
With this rain-shortened victory (manager Manuel said “I think we deserve a lucky break!”) the Mets swept the Braves for the first time in a good while, and jumped to second place, at 10-9, and the Braves jumped to last place in the NL East, with 8-10. The Mets are now in a three way tie for second with Florida and Washington. If this were later in the season, we would note that the Mets are a half game behind the WILD CARD berth, held by San Francisco who has a 10-8 record. But we won’t succumb to such presumption…yet. Give us Mets fans another few months and we will. Was it Archimedes who said, about the Pelloponesis Nine, “Give us a wild card and we will move the earth!” All three NL division leaders are at 11-7, and only one team, the Pirates, are more than three games out of first in any division. It is a tight race.
The biggest pie in the face of Bobby Cox happened in the first game of the three game series, but in a sense the Braves threw the pie, but Angel Pagan lovingly provided the cherry on top. There were runners on second and third with one out, and Reyes popped up to short. The infield fly rule was called. The shortstop called for it, but Chipper Jones ran in and collided with the shortstop and the ball squirted out of his mitt. Error on the third baseman Jones. Reyes was already out, but did Jones do this to cause confusion to the other Mets runners? If so, it backfired in a big way. The catcher, McCann, who can hit better than he can field, ran over and picked up the ball to the right side of the pitchers’ mound, then pointed to first then threw to the first baseman to tag Reyes who was already out because of the infield fly rule. That was a second mistake. Then McCann started to argue with the umpire about the infield fly rule, a third mistake, but also a fourth mistake because he was obviously wrong concerning his knowledge of the rules, a fifth mistake because his back was to home plate, and a sixth mistake because he did not call TIME. In all the confusion, Angel Pagan started a mad dash for home, and did a belly flop as he slid across home plate with the pitcher just missing the tag on a throw from McCann. If the pitcher had reacted quicker and been at home already to receive the throw, there was a chance he could have tagged out Pagan, a seventh mistake. Needless to say, Bobby Cox got mad, and started throwing things. The Mets won 5-2.
The second game was also a disaster for the Braves, one in which they lost 3-1 after a running mistake. With Prado at 2nd and Escobar at 3rd, there was a fly to Mets right fielder Francoeur. Prado tagged up and ran as fast as he could to third, only to find Escobar standing there like a brick wall. Escobar had not tagged. Prado was spam in a can and was doubled up by those mean old Mets. After the game, Cox had a meeting in which he yelled at his players….alot. That is why the third game, Pelfry’s 1-0 Houdini act, in which he went to 24 consecutive innings without giving up a run, brought his record to 4-0, and lowered his ERA to 0.69, was a sweet victory. Life’s short, Mets fans…enjoy the dessert while you can!