Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cameron jacks up Turnbow, Mets win in 11

What a game.

I'm not generally sold on the effect of intangibles. For example, if a player, let's call him "Mike Cameron," starts raking on July 31, many if not all commentators weigh in with some version of the following:

"[Mike]'s been dealing with the distraction of speculation about his future, reading his name in the headlines* every day. Now that all those rumors have subsided, he can get back to just playing baseball and the production has followed."

It makes sense enough, but correlation does not imply causation, and with this as with many other intangible/off-the-field influences I have a tough time buying in. On the other hand, there's no disputing that the actual Mike Cameron is 7 for his last 11. "Blowing up" as it were, including last night's super-timely solo HR off Derrick "Who's Derrick" Turnbow. Maybe he does feel more relaxed when he knows he's not about to get sent packing, but it still doesn't prove causation, I don't even care what he says himself.

As most of you have probably figured by now, Mike's a pretty whiny guy. So in the postgame interview, when Ed Coleman puts the storyline (trade rumors were preventing him from hitting) to him in question form, of course Mike's going to talk about how he's had to stay "professional" despite everything he's had to "deal with."

Anyway the bottom line is the Mets survived a historically, trivia-answer-type disastrous start by Victor Zambrano and came back from 6-2 down.

Aaron Heilman is looking like a Cash Money Millionaire in the bullpen, striking out five in 2.2 scoreless. Why is Kaz Ishii still in the rotation again?

Looper got into a little bit of trouble in the top of the 11th, but K'ed his way out of it, just like a dominant closer! Sure it was Russell Branyan and Damian Miller, neither of whom are total strangers to strike three, but it was a clutch showing regardless.

Of course it ended on Piazza's pinch-hit base on balls. I loved his comment after the game: "I've hit into double plays in those situations." We know, Mike, but you didn't this time and we're proud of you.

* Usually these players' names are actually only found in the body of the article. They get listed either before or after top flight prospects as part of a larger package to be exchanged for players with names like "Manny" and "Soriano," who are in the headlines proper, but commentators don't want to be jerks about it.

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