By West Coast Craig
Sunset Strip â€“ Mets fans have been teased with enough surprisingly solid play lately to upgrade their status to Cautiously Pessimistic. Thanks to that â€œcomplete gameâ€ shutout last night, the Mets are one game above .500, a game and a half out of first, and itâ€™s almost Mayâ€¦still too early to know anything. Heck, the San Diego Padres won eight in a row and somehow find themselves up atop the NL West. For the Mets, youâ€™re halfway there to matching the Padâ€™s streak, and youâ€™re catching a Dodger team that just lost two out of three frustrating games against the Nationals (who, donâ€™t look now, are also one game above .500 and a game and a half out). While Met fans have been worrying their hands to the bone over David Wrightâ€™s propensity to strike out at key moments, or his sometimes erratic fielding, or his slowly turning into that guy who played Mirandaâ€™s boyfriend on Sex and the Cityâ€¦
â€¦itâ€™d be understandable if you havenâ€™t given anything but a passing glance to this weekâ€™s special guest team to the Shea Shack, so being the token Angelino on this site, I figured it was my duty, responsibility, and yes, pleasure, to bring you the preview:
Who You Wonâ€™t See:
You wonâ€™t see Manny Ramirezâ€¦the curse of the tiki charm starts him off with the saddest calf strain since veal. Itâ€™s his first time on the DL since 2002, unless you count the pulled brain that erased fifty games last season. Manny may be showing signs of age, but he was raking to the tune of a .415 average and a 1.159 OPS before coming up gimpy running through first a couple nights ago…see what happens when you go hard, Manny? You wonâ€™t see Vicente Padilla either, as he was just put on the DL as wellâ€¦though not getting a chance to feast on Padillaâ€™s pitching is a lost opportunity for the Mets. Worst of all, you wonâ€™t see Vin Scully, who never travels west with the team anymore.
Who You Will See:
Youâ€™ll see Matt Kemp, who is playing like somebody who was highly touted for years and might actually be that guy after all. Heâ€™s leading the team in HRs (7), RBIs (20), Runs (20), strikeouts (20), caught-stealings (5), put-outs-by-a-guy-whoâ€™s-not-a-first-baseman (40), and heâ€™s been romantically linked to Rhianna. Without Manny he has to keep it up. Taking over for Manny is young Xavier Paul, who was hitting pretty good for the Albuquerque Isotopes. That doesnâ€™t mean anything really, I just like saying Albuquerque Isotopes. Also recently called up is hot young prospect Jon Link, who I believe got here via his ocarina of time, after rescuing Princess Zelda in Hyrule. Youâ€™ll see Dodger pitchers Hiroki Kuroda (against Ollie Perez, this is the one the Dodgers need to get), Josh Towers (first big league start, and heâ€™s got to face Santana?), and then green knuckleballer Charlie Haegar still learning his craft (he got lit up in Cincinnati last week, so against Maine on Wednesday could mean a double digit over-under line, and it looks like a businessmanâ€™s special, so perhaps a good day to call in sick and head over there).
You Might See:
Casey Blakeâ€™s beard, which took leave of his face at some point during the off-season, wandered around the heartland looking to write a book about the real death of the American dream, became disillusioned when it discovered it had no talent (or fingers to write with), and may now be making a comeback on Casey Blakeâ€™s face again. Early comeback player of the year odds put the beard just behind Jose Guillen.
Thatâ€™s it in a nutshellâ€¦the Dodgers are playing without much personality lately, they havenâ€™t won a series on the road all year, and are catching a Mets team that seems to be settling into a little groove. If you have any other questions about the Dodgers, Iâ€™ll be happy to make up answers all day long. I’ll even try to get Vin Scully off the links to help out…