I don't really like the guy but I realize he's the best of our generation and he would've got my NL CY vote last year. Too bad he was never in the same division as Bonds.
Lima, covering first base on a ground ball Delgado handled in the second inning, lost Delgado's throw in the backdrop of a white Bank of America sign. Eckstein scored from second base on what could have been the third out. Lima might have escaped allowing one, rather than two, runs in an inning earlier as well. But Beltran made an ill-conceived and conspicuously late throw to the plate on a run-scoring single by Scott Rolen that allowed Rolen to reach second base. A single two batters later by Spiezio scored Rolen.
...And Randolph characterized Lima's performance as "a pretty good job."
Lima thought his command was improved over what it had been. He thought he got blooped twice. His teammates recalled one instance -- maybe.
"One pitch here, one pitch there," he said.
He lamented the three two-out runs he allowed.
"But no excuses," he said.
Those were reasons.
[The Mets] also attributed an element of the most lopsided of their 10 defeats to home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez. . . .
The Mets believe the tenor and the positive tension of the game changed prior to and during the second inning . . . . Lima alleged before the inning began that Hernandez told the Mets' substitute starter he wouldn't be afforded the same strike-zone benefit of the doubt afforded Braves starter John Smoltz. [This plus] a balk called early in the inning "changed everything," Lima said. "It changed my day and the Mets' day ... in a bad way."
Lima filled out his bingo card, as they say in the dugouts, in his first big-league start this season. The 33-year-old veteran of 10 Major League seasons and 231 Major League starts, allowed five runs, seven hits, four walks and a home run, threw a wild pitch, hit a batter and balked -- all in five innings.
But his postmortems focused on the balk, Hernandez's strike zone and the tag.
"I could have come out of that inning, nothing-nothing," he said. "But you know what happened."
And what happened was this, according to Lima. As he walked to the mound to start the second, he engaged Hernandez in conversation about the strike zone. "He said to me, 'You're not going to get those three or four extra inches. You're not John Smoltz.'"
Lima, as outspoken as any player, said, "He treated me like a rookie. He knows me. He knows I've been here. He treated me like I was new."