Orioles 6, Mets 3

A pitching performance of Don Brewer-esque competency by Alay Soler was all for naught, as Baltimore put together a pair of walks, a bloop single and a spirit-crushing HR by Melvin Mora off Aaron Heilman in a decisive 7th inning. Philly’s capitulation to Tampa Bay and the Braves’ loss to the Red Sox (rendering Atlanta 8 games below .500) minimizes the damage, but this was a demoralizing return to Shea for what had been a ridiculously hot group of Metropolitans.

Baseball Musings’ David Pinto points out that Heilman has been in the midst of a brutal stretch since his 3 inning stint against the Yankees on May 19. I’d quote the numbers, but to paraphrase all the baseball savvy old-timers who can’t count to 10 without looking at their fingers, stats don’t teach you how to look into a man’s heart and see just how much goo and other toxins are cloging his arteries. You need to go to medical school for that sort of thing. And I mean a real, accredited institution, not like the place in that movie “Bad Medicine” with Steve Guttenberg and Julie Hagerty. That wasn’t funny at all.

Metsradamus, like many of us, is grasping for answers.

So is Aaron Heilman’s mind right? Is the reality that Aaron Heilman will probably never start regularly, or irregularly as a member of the Mets sinking in, and subconsciously causing Heilman to throw meatballs?

Hot Foot reports that Xavier Nady made his first rehab appearance in Norfolk’s 10-3 win over Pawtucket. X Blank X was one for 4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. Everytime I look at a Tides boxscore and see that Jose Offerman and Michael Tucker have started, I do have to remind myself that the International and Pacific Coast Leagues are all about taxi squads rather than future prospects. But as someone who just paid U.S. dollars to watch Joe McEwing and Alberto Castillo display their versatile talents (and not for the first or second time this year), I should know that as well as anyone.

I had the singular misfortune of hearing the end of the Atlanta/Boston game on the radio while returning home from Round Rock’s win over New Orleans ; homers don’t come more embittered (or sound nearly as drunk) as Skip Caray. The Braves’ mouthpiece mockingly described the scads of Red Sox rooters in attendence at Turner Field as “trying to be clever” for chanting “euwwwwwww” when Kevin Youkilis comes to the plate. Well, they’re clever enough to actually show up to watch a baseball game.

Florida’s 3-1 decision over Toronto was the 6th win in a row for the Fish. Skip Caray will be thrilled to know the Marlins are only a game behind the Braves in the battle for 3rd place in the NL East.

Kiko Calero just closed out the proceedings between Oakland and the Dodgers, a 7-3 victory for the A’s that featured an 8 inning, 11 strike out performance by Barry Zito. Eric Chavez hit his 14th HR of the season, a 2-run shot off the right field foul pole served up Brett Tomko. As Jae Seo sinks further further into mop-up land, Omar Minaya’s acquisition of Duaner Sanchez looks more and more like the steal of the year.

(Bernie Williams, after homering off Chad Cordero in the 9th inning. Not shown : Alex Rodriguez, not letting it all get to him)

A total of 13 pitchers were employed in the Yankees’ 7-5 win over Washington earlier tonight, a game that took place in front of a record crowd at RFK. I missed the DC radio broadcast, but I can only assume the travelling NY fans showed how clever they were by chanting “you suck” when A-Rod squandered a succession of RBI opportunities. “Is defending A-Rod the new black?” wonders Rog. Probably not, but I do think I should go on the record in stating this whole “40 is the New 30” business is completely full of shit. It’s just wishful thinking for people in their 40’s.