I'm reminded of that scene in Spaceballs when Lone Starr and Barf are in the space diner after returning Princess Vespa to Druidia. After our heroes place their orders, the camera pans to the other side of the diner to find John Hurt, reprising his role from Alien, doubled over in pain as a creature forces his way out of his stomach. Hurt looks up at the horrible, growling alien protruding from his gut and utters those four words we all had to be thinking on Sunday afternoon:
Oh, no. Not again.
Luis Ayala, oh savior of saviors, was brought in to preserve a 4-2 lead that would've meant a series victory over the Braves. Ayala, officially dead to me, retired nobody and allowed a three-run homerun to Greg Norton that gave the Braves a 5-4 lead. The two insurance runs allowed by Pedro Feliciano were a foregone conclusion by that point. To the Mets' credit, they had three cracks with the tying run at the plate, but Carlos Beltran, Fernando Tatis and Luis Castillo went down in succession and that was that.
Ayala's inevitable meltdown wasted what was a nice bounceback effort by Oliver Perez, who retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced and struck out eight in seven innings of work. The Mets' offense, on the other hand, left a boatload of men on base, squandering numerous opportunities to tack on runs.
Meanwhile, the Brewers managed just ten runs en route to a four-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies at CBP this weekend. The Mets' lead has been trimmed to one game with fourteen to play, though the Phillies have played two more games and both were losses. The teams have practically identical schedules the rest of the way, with the Phillies playing an extra series against the Braves and the Mets playing a four-gamer at Shea against the Cubs and an extra game against the Nationals. One benefit of the Brewers giving it up this weekend: The Cubs are far more likely to have clinched the NL Central by the time they roll into town next week, so a game or two of B-lineups could be in order. The Mets need all the help they can get.
Big winners: David Wright, +33.4% WPA, Oliver Perez, +20.7% WPA
Big losers: Luis Ayala, -75.4% WPA, Carlos Beltran, -13.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wright two-run homer in 3rd, +18.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Oh no, not again, -55.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -59.3%
Total batter WPA: +9.3%
GWRBI: Greg Norton
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by Omar21; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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