Friday, May 13, 2011

Game #37: Mets 9, Rockies 5

Carlos Beltran became the first Met to stroke three home runs in a game since Jose Reyes did so against the Phillies in 2006. (
With two if their biggest bats on the bench, an emergency lineup playing infield, and an aging outfielder with chronic knee problems, the last-place Mets squared off against the first-place Rockies and last year's perennial Cy Young favorite. When you say it like that, it makes yesterday's outcome even more astounding.

Carlos Beltran belted himself into history, becoming the 8th Met to hit three home runs in a game, and gave New York a 9-5 win in Colorado.

The Good Stuff:
  • It starts and ends with Carlos Ivan Beltran, who picked the perfect time to have the biggest game of his career. His 3-homer, 6-RBI performance came on the heels of Ike Davis' unfortunate trip onto the DL. On top of that, David Wright was benched for the day to rest his sore back. Maybe Ike was able to transfer his powers to Carlos before he went away; whatever it was, Beltran dug deep and stepped up offense for the whole team. Those three at-bats accounted for 43% of New York's offense over the three-game series. It's days like this that remind us why Omar Minaya signed the guy to the biggest contract in team history in 2005.
  • The most impressive part of Beltran's day was the variety by which he hit his home runs. He hit home runs left-handed and right-handed. He hit them off Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez and two Rocky relievers. He hit them to all parts of Coors Field: left field, right field, and dead-center field. What's ironic is that each of these very different-looking blasts will all go into the books identically: they were all two-run shots, and Willie Harris scored from first on every single shot. Willie should bat before Carlos in every game from now on!
  • What's even crazier is that Harris was only in the lineup to fill the gaping holes in the infield. Willie was on the hot corner in place of Wright, while Daniel Murphy slid over to first to cover for Davis, and Justin Turner took Murph's slot on second. Overall, these three got on base six times and combined for five runs. Eh, good enough right?
  • The three non-CB Mets runs came in the 4th inning. Jason Bay got on with a single and eventually stole both second and third. Two walks later, Josh Thole brought him home on a sac fly. Two batters later, Jose Reyes delivered a clutch two-out bases-loaded single that scored two more.
  • Jon Niese picked up the win for the orange in blue, and while his numbers don't look so impressive (6 2/3 innings/5 runs/7 hits), he did just what he needed to do to get the win.
  • Michael O'Connor gave up the double that gave the Rockies their last two runs (charged to Niese), but the bullpen as a whole once again failed to surrender a run. Jason Isringhausen put the first two on in the 8th, but buckled down to retire the next three Colorado hitters. And Frankie Rodriguez delivered his third straight 1-2-3 9th to secure the win.
The Bad Stuff:
  • The only Bad Stuff is that we can't have Good Stuff like this every day.
Final Analysis:
A month ago, the Rockies swept us in 4 games at Citi Field. This time, we took 2 of 3 in their ballpark. With Davis out and Wright & Bay struggling, Carlos Beltran has once again become the centerpiece of the Mets offense. I think it's safe to say he's up to that challenge. The problems of the last two years seem to be behind him, and if he can still show flashes of the great player he was in '06 and '07, Ike's two-week absence will be much easier to swallow.

Luckily for the Mets, they get three games against the NL-worst 14-23 Houston Astros to build on this momentum/adjust to the Davis hole. Another series win looks like it's in the forecast; stay tuned for the weekend update.


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