(No one was more surprised than Mike Piazza to see footage of a teenage Todd Jones lipsynching to “Smalltown Boy” on the jumbotron)
With the possile exception of new area resident John Rocker, I don’t think any of us can imagine the intense pressure faced by Marlins reliever Todd Jones. Jones, a god-fearing man of letters, did his best to deal with the temptations and distractions offered by the New York metropolitan area, but in the end, it was all too much. Just a stone’s throw from the Kew Motor Inn (a hot bed of fornication that we have no proof of Jones ever having visited), the burly hurler spoiled Al Leiter’s return to Shea Stadium, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits during the Mets’ half of the 8th inning, a two-out single by Carlos Beltran and subsequent ground rule double by Mike Piazza (above) handing the lead to New York.
Though Braden Looper did his best to give the game back to Florida in the visitors’ 9th, it would seem as though reports of Doug Mientkiewicz’ defensive prowess have reached Charlie Reliford, the umpire ruling Miguel Cabrera out on a play at the plate, despite the Florida left fielder sliding underneath Ramon Castro’s phantom tag.
And onto the finale…..how many times have we seen a player get the benefit of a blown call at home, only to get the game winning hit a few moments later? OK, not very often, but at least I’ve not mentioned anything about sexual assault. (whoops).
As for Pedro Martinez’ home debut, it was another great performance with precious little run support. This Martinez guy is OK, but he’s no Aaron Heilman.