Friday, April 21, 2006

Mets win on Franco's record-setting HR

This is going to be a recurring theme this season: I can't stay up late enough to watch the end of west coast games. Last year that was not a problem, I was practically nocturnal, but these days I actually have to wake up early in the morning and occasionally that will prevent me from witnessing history.

I get more of a kick out of Julio Franco than I ever did out of Cal Ripken Jr., whose adoration I still don't fully understand. So he never got seriously injured, presumably hid or played through the minor injuries, and played for a very long time? These things just don't add up to heroism in my book. Plus he was only 40 when he packed it in, which is old but it's not like you looked at him and marveled at the longevity.

With Franco, you can tell he's 47. The body is large (arms especially) but the face is weatherbeaten. He's almost 20% older than Ripken was at retirement, and he's still useful against major league pitching. I'm not saying he's any more heroic than Ripken, but he's more freakish and (therefore) fun to watch.

The Mets could not muster much of anything against Jake Peavy, but got to the San Diego bullpen for six runs. Delgado had a two-run homer of his own, bringing his season line to .339/.400/.678, which is both outstanding and pretty consistent with what he's done over the course of his career. He'll give some of this back, but not all of it.

Tonight Brian Bannister gets the ball against Woody Williams. Last night's ending lent credence to the theory that the Mets' brief run of weak hitting had more to do with the pitchers they were facing (16 innings of Hudson-Peavy) than anything else, but it's always hard to tell. All I know is I'd like for them to maintain the best record in baseball for as long as possible, because that, my friends, is a recipe for success.

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