It was "bullpen day" for the Mets on Sunday, as rookie manager Mickey Calloway took a page from the Tampa Bay Rays' playbook for the finale of a weekend series vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scheduled starter Jason Vargas was placed on the DL on Saturday with calf issues, though with his shaky performance so far this season, I'd say the calf may be the least of his worries.
Anyway, the strategy didn't work. At all. Ex-Valleycat Enrique "Kike" Hernandez and reigning NL Rookie of the Year each mashed two home runs, the Dodgers hit 7 in all, but they needed extra innings to complete the sweep, 8-7. Kevin Plawecki forced the extra frames with a three run blast, but ex-Met Justin Turner stuck the knife in the Mets' collective backs with a game winning shot off Chris Flexen in the top of the 11th.
Injuries have knocked the wheels off the bus for the Mets since an 11-1 start, and now, they're closer to last place Miami than they are to the top of the division. Yuck.
Speaking of the Valleycats, after getting blown out, 11-4, by Lowell on Friday night, Tri-City came back to win the rubber game of their series with the Spinners on Saturday, then moved into first place in the Stedler Division of the New York-Penn League with a 5-2 verdict over Staten Island. The 'Cats come home Thursday to play Hudson Valley.
Meanwhile, the Albany Dutchmen will be back on the field on Tuesday after an off-day today. They'll have actually had three days off, since weekend games vs. Amsterdam and at Oneonta were postponed by rain. The Dutchmen sit atop the East Division of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, but, like the 'Cats, their hold on first is tenuous at best at this point.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, LiAngelo Ball, brother of Lonzo, and La Loudmouth's middle child, was not drafted by any NBA team last week. All the pundits said before the draft that LiAngelo wouldn't be drafted. The Los Angeles Lakers have made it clear that LiAngelo will not play on their summer league team. The best hope for the Lakers, and the rest of the league, for that matter, is for someone to convince La Loudmouth to seek psychiatric help, since he's still living under the delusion that all three of his kids will play for the Lakers. Not only that, but he thinks the Lakers would be making a mistake if they trade Lonzo away.
Here's the problem. La Loudmouth isn't an executive with the Lakers, just a stage parent living vicariously through his sons to realize the money he didn't make as a player, and to further that end, he makes sure he is heard from on a weekly basis, practically.
Contrast that with newly drafted Kevin Huerter, who will be in line for a roster spot at the least with Atlanta. Kevin's father, Tom, Sr., is still a radio broadcaster at last check with his alma mater, Siena College, and isn't making outrageous statements about his boys just because he never played professionally. The Huerters are going about things the right way. La Loudmouth is a profiteering hustler extending his 15 minutes every chance he gets, even though his act has already gotten past stale and moldy.