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On the night Linsanity officially died in New York, it looked like Valdespinsanity would provide a reason to smile.
Down 2-0 with two on and one out in the top of the ninth, Jordany Valdespin pinch hit for Jason Bay (that signing really is the gift that keeps on giving) and delivered a massive hit for the second time this year. Valdespin took Tyler Clippard deep, giving the Mets the lead and brightening a night that had been awfully dark until that point.
Valdespin did the same thing to Jonathan Papelbon earlier this season and Frank Francisco was able to close things down in the bottom of the inning. Francisco's on the DL now, so Bobby Parnell got the chance to shut things down in D.C. on Tuesday night.
As you can see by the title on the top of this page, it didn't go well. It would have been easy if he just gave up a home run and made the pain quick, but minimizing pain just isn't the way these Mets roll.
Parnell got a perfect double play ball with one out, but the Nats had the hit-and-run on and the ball rolled through the spot once occupied by Ruben Tejada and got Washington in serious business. Parnell struck out the next hitter on three straight curveballs, threw five more benders to get Danny Espinosa right where he wanted him and then returned to his fiery, straight fastball just in time to blow the save.
The screws weren't done being turned. The Mets pushed a run across in the 10th, giving Tim Byrdak a chance to do what Parnell couldn't do in the ninth.
A single, a bunt and a Bryce Harper triple confirmed that he couldn't get the job done either. And then, for the icing on the totally rancid cake, Pedro Beato threw a wild pitch with two outs and the bases loaded for the final bit of agony in a 5-4 loss.
This is not fun and, even worse, this is not new.
Every year, the Mets trick segments of the population into hailing their fighting spirit, resiliency and grit instead of harping on their instability. That lasts right until the All-Star break, when the wheels come off the bus so rapidly that you wonder if you dreamed up the whole thing in the first place.
Sandy Alderson spent all day Tuesday saying that the Mets were buyers in the trade market, but that message suddenly feels as dated as the Knicks saying they'd match any offer for Jeremy Lin up to $1 billion. They are now seven games out of first and losers of five straight games that are making it increasingly difficult to buy into this team's ability to contend over the long haul.
Go ahead and make a deal, but you better make it quick if the idea is doing anything other than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
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