It was a good night for El Duque, the patron saint of this blog (being one of the only current major leaguers who'll actually throw an occasional eephus). He went seven innings, throwing a cornucopia of pitches from all arm angles and occasionally, as catcher Paul Lo Duca put it after the game, “inventing stuff out there.” And as if that weren’t enough, he went two for three at the plate, doubling in two runs.
The big question with Hernandez (other than “but seriously, how old IS this guy”?) is always whether he’ll stay healthy, not how well he'll do when he is. But the Mets are starting out with a bang, proving yet again the utter irrelevancy of spring training records. In two games they’ve scored 10 runs, allowed two, and turned seven double plays, all against the team they lost an excruciating Game 7 to last fall.
Continuing the exorcise-the-demons theme, tomorrow they face former deeply ineffective Mets closer Braden Looper, who is now suddenly a starter. Converting Looper seems like a bad idea to me, if only because it implies a kind of scrambling desperation, and April’s a bit early for that… but then again, you know if I trash the idea at any length he’ll come out and throw a one-hitter. Worked for Gil Meche, didn’t it?