Heading into their series against the Giants, we heard something less than the requisite discussion regarding how the Mets would approach Mr. Barry Bonds. After a dreadful year in 2006 when he hit a pedestrian .270/.454/.545 and finished a lamentable first overall in the National League in on-base percentage, Mr. Bonds appears to be back to his old new old self, pacing the senior circuit this year in on-base and slugging averages, homeruns, walks, etc. It hasn't even been sporting, really. Prior to Tuesday's action, Bonds had accrued a 1.312 OPS, obliterating runner-up Derrek Lee's 1.108 mark.
I enjoy watching Mr. Bonds hit. It's much like watching an expert at any craft. Though, I should say that I don't fancy him honing that craft against the Mets. Tom Glavine coughed up longball number 745 to Mr. Bonds on a curveball in last night's fourth inning. Glavine faced Mr. Bonds with nobody aboard, so the damage was limited. Too, the Mets were leading 4-0 prior to the at-bat, so pitching to Mr. Bonds in that situation was a calculated risk.
Mr. Bonds came to the plate again in the sixth inning with a lone duck on the pond and the Mets still leading 4-1. Mr. Bonds was ultimately walked by Glavine, who struck out Mr. Bonds's protector Ray Durham on three pitches. I consider myself a fan of Durham, but his .772 OPS isn't much greater than half of Mr. Bonds's 1.312, so one has to seriously consider giving a free base to Mr. Bonds in order to face Durham instead. The exception might be late in a game when walking Mr. Bonds would bring the tying run to the plate, or any time in the game when Mr. Bonds's runs would be otherwise inconsequential.
In any event, the Mets have made it through two games without Mr. Bonds causing significant harm to their chances of victory (the Mets' defense took care of that on Monday night). The Mets have actually done a very nice job of keeping Mr. Bonds under control thus far, holding him to just 1-for-5 with a homerun and three walks. The Mets should consider themselves fortunate for winning one out of the first two games, considering the franchise's struggles in PacBell/AT&T Park. Including Tuesday's action, the Mets are 7-18 all time at Telecom Conglomerate Park, a shabby .280 winning percentage. Not that these Mets carry with them the failures of Mets teams past, but when a franchise stinks as the Mets have in San Francisco since 2000, I would be surprised if the players weren't aware of it. Whether or not they care is a different question altogether.
Today is getaway day, a 3:30pm EDT start time, before the Mets head home to take on the Brewers, Cubs and Clemens-less Yankees.