Sunday, May 15, 2011

Game #40: Mets 7, Astros 4

Justin Turner gets it done with his glove and his bat on Sunday as he drives in five runs in the Mets 7-4 win over the Astros. (NYDailyNews.com)
On the launching pad in Space City, Justin Turner's young career blasted off to new heights.

Turner hit his first career home run on the way to a 5-RBI afternoon in Houston, propelling the Mets to a 7-4 win over the Astros.

The Good Stuff:
  • Justin Turner packed practically his whole career into two swings of the bat. In the 4th, after showing bunt, he chopped a hard grounder down the third base line, which settled in the corner of Minute Maid Park. When the dust cleared, Turner had himself a 2-run double (he advanced to third on the throw), and the Mets had tied it. The next inning, with Jason Bay and Daniel Murphy on base again, Justin belted a first-pitch fastball from Aneury Rodriguez into the left field grandstands for his first career homer. Once Ike Davis returns from the DL, Murphy will likely slide back to second and Turner will become a utilityman. But now that we knows what he's capable of, it'll give the Mets a viable pinch-hitter if needed.
  • Back to that 5th inning for a second. After Turner's double, Jason Pridie brought him home with a nice line-drive single. Three batters later, Pridie was on third and Jose Reyes on first. With David Wright at the dish, Reyes bolted for second, and Pridie came in after the throw to second by Astros' catcher J.R. Towles. You read that right. The Mets pulled off a double steal. No one dreams of pulling that off once they get past Little League. But they did it, and New York had 7 runs instead of 6 by the 27th out.
  • Chris Capuano had another solid start, going just 5 innings but keeping the lid on the Houston offense, holding them to 2 runs. Jason Isringhausen stopped a rally in the 8th, and Fransisco Rodriguez picked up his 12th save in 1-2-3 fashion (his ERA is down to an impressive 0.92).
The Bad Stuff:
  • Take away the 5th and 6th innings, and the Mets would have been the latest no-hit victims. For the other 7 innings they couldn't get anything going. Wright went 0-3 again and struck out twice. Reyes stole those two bases in the 5th, but went 0-4 otherwise.
  • The Good News: Carlos Beltran was back from his swollen eye. The Bad News: 0-4. In retrospect, maybe he should have taken one more day off.
  • The red-hot Mets bullpen looked unfortunately mortal today: Taylor Buchholz served up a solo shot to Clint Barmes in the 6th, and Tim Byrdak was knocked out of the 8th before he could even get an out. I guess if they have to have an off day, it's not so bad when all it does is turn a 7-2 win into a 7-4 win.
Final Analysis:
Terry Collins returned to the city where he got he managerial start, back in the mid-'90s, and came away with a series win. I'd say that's a successful homecoming. The Mets have now won 3 straight series and went 4-2 on this week's road trip.

New York returns home with some momentum, winners of 7 of their last 10. Quite frankly, they're gonna need it this week. Tomorrow the Amazin's face Florida ace Josh Johnson. Then after one more against the Marlins and two against Washington, the Mets head to The Bronx to face the hated New York Yankees. As much as I hate interleague play, I'm excited for the Subway Series. But we've got a full week ahead of us before that. Keeping this momentum from the West is the key.

MM

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