A long rain delay quickly set the tone for this one, as a 7:00 start transformed nearly into a 10:00 start. Unfortunately, the Mets offense and pitching was washed away by the cool, cool rain as they fell to the Brewers 6-1 to start off their homestand. With the loss, they became the first team in major league history to lose the first game of their first 10 homestands in a season. Mike Pelfrey was let down early on by a David Wright fielding error, which lead to a first inning unearned run but Big Pelf was pretty hittable throughout his five innings of work. The Mets scratched a single run across the plate in the seventh and Angel Pagan had three hits, but overall this was a quiet one for our heros.
Save of course, for some mini-fireworks in the eighth inning, that is. With two out and nobody on, Tim Byrdak brushed Prince Fielder off the plate with a fastball. A few pitches later, Fielder grounded out to the right side, yelling at himself for swinging at a bad pitch. Byrdak, as he was walking off the mound, said something in passing, which caught Fielder's attention and caused him to charge at Byrdak. The two talked for a few seconds before being split apart, seemingly realizing the incident was merely a miscommunication. Despite that, both benches and bullpens cleared despite their being no punches thrown by either side.
Game two of the series against the Brewers is an afternoon Fox affair. First pitch is scheduled for 4 PM and the game will feature a pitching matchup of former Brewer Chris Capuano for the Mets, going up against longtime Met killer Randy Wolf for the Brew Crew.
Jose Reyes did some running on Friday and is feeling much better. However, it doesn't look like he'll be back on the field Tuesday when he's eligible to return.
Frankie Rodriguez was back at Citi Field for the first time since the Mets dumped his vest and prior to the game, he said that he'd consider a return to Queens! No word on Sandy Alderson's interest, but let's just say that it'd be surprising to see him potentially give up an early draft pick and hand out an expensive, long term contract to a closer.
Taking a step away from Citi Field and to the Federal District Court in Manhattan, Judge Jed S Rakoff set a trial date in the Madoff case for March 5th. Rakoff also indicated that he would rule on Fred Wilpon and family's motion to toss the case by the end of September. While we wait, Howard Megdal ranks the possible outcomes in the case.
The Wilpons are certainly hoping for some good news out of the court system because they don't seem to be getting it from the recent attendance figures. The Mets third year ballpark fell to 14th in overall attendance, averaging just 30,891, the lowest figure since the dreadful 2004 season. Since they are having trouble selling tickets, the Mets have resorted to giving them away. Due to the long rain delay, anybody with a ticket for last night's game can redeem it for complimentary tickets to the September 12-15 series vs the Nationals. Well...I guess that's something.
Finally, in seemingly unrelated yet kind of related news, pseudo-celebrity/former Nickelodeon personality Nick Cannon was at Citi Field, as he tried to set a record for most hugs given out. He ended up giving 1,698 hugs but fell 52 shy of the record. Cannon was promoting his radio show on 92.3 K-Rock.
Around the NL East
Ahead 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies' Ryan Madson coughed up the lead, allowing the Nationals to score six runs in the final frame to walk off with a dramatic 8-4 victory. The win was capped off by Ryan Zimmerman's walk off grand salami. Roy Oswalt was scheduled to start but was replaced with Kyle Kendrick after a long rain delay, prior to throwing a pitch.
Chipper Jones is feeling really good and intends to play out the rest of his contract, which ends after 2012. This isn't good news for the Mets but it must be good for the Braves, who beat the Diamondbacks 4-2 on the strength of three home runs.
The Marlins fell to the Padres 4-3 in a "who cares" matchup of basement dwelling teams. Hopefully the Marlins and Padres have cool mothers who allow them to at least "pimp out" their respective basements.
Around the Majors
The big news on Friday came from Chicago, where the Cubs announced the firing of longtime General Manager Jim Hendry, who had spent nine years at the helm and seventeen years total in the organization. At his press conference, Hendry revealed that he had been notified of his termination on July 22nd but decided to stay on in order to provide stability through the July 31st trade deadline and through the August 15th draft pick signing deadline. Rob Neyer grades Hendry's biggest moves over his nine seasons, a tenure which saw the Cubs reach the playoffs three times.
The Giants were shutout for the second straight game and have lost 15 of their last 21, as they fell to the lowly Astros 6-0 on Friday. Wandy Rodriguez easily shut down the reeling Giants offense, who featured a ghastly lineup sans Pablo Sandoval, probably only challenged by the Astros for offensive futility.
In a central division grudge match, the Tigers beat the Indians 4-1 as they extended their slim lead to 2.5 games. In case you didn't know, Tigers catcher Alex Avila is having an excellent season with the bat and behind the plate. Where can the Mets find a young catcher like that?