(from the WBC to playing out the string in the bush leagues, this former star still finds time to give his clothing away to children).
While the parent club was celebrating a rare victory at Turner Field, the Mets’ Triple A affiliate New Orleans Zephyrs were toiling in front of a spare crowd in Round Rock, TX. The host Express and the PCL— no doubt wanting to preserve the sanctity of the 144 game schedule — chose to continue last night’s contest after a 150 minute rain delay. As such, your correspondent was able to drive to Williamson County later than he’s ever ventured, just in time to see David Newhan hit a two-run HR off his former Mets teammate Chan Ho Park. If you need any further evidence there’s a world of difference betweeen Triple A pitching and the big leagues, just take a gander at Anderson Hernandez (.335) and Newhan (.350).
The Z’s held on for a 3-0 win with festivities wrapping up sometime after midnight. But not before Park (9 K’s) received a nice ovation from the two dozen or so fans remaining as he strode towards the players’ exit during the 8th inning. Trudging down the left field line, Park stopped to toss his batting gloves to small boy in a Roger Clemens shirt. While the look on the child’s face was priceless (ie. “I’m not gonna get shit for these on eBay”), perhaps Chan Ho was a little hasty giving up the gear with three games to go. Who knows if he won’t be called upon to pinch-hit this weekend?
New Orleans is clinging to a one game lead over Albuquerque in the PCL’s American South Division, and if they advance to the PCL playoffs they’ll have to get by without Mike Pelfrey , Phillip Humber or Willie Collazo, each of whom were promoted effective today. Pelfrey, still looking for his first win of ’07, is on the mound this afternoon against the Braves, with the Mets holding a 1-0 advantage in the top of the 4th.
If the Mets continue to show progress this weekend against “the team that has destroyed them over the past ten years”, perhaps they can credit yesterday’s inspirational pep talk from Joe Benigno-Gazingo.