Saturday, June 18, 2011

Game #71: Mets 6, Angels 1

Carlos Beltran rounds the bases after hitting a long home run in the 5th inning of a 6-1 win over the Angels at Citi Field on Saturday night. He goes 2 for 4 with 3 RBI in the game. (
For the third straight outing, Mike Pelfrey put on a show. This time, he was there for the closing curtain.

Pelfrey tossed a complete game and four stolen bases created the first four runs for the Mets, who bounced back to beat the Angels 6-1.

The Good Stuff:
  • Twice before this season New York had gotten complete games from its starters, but both were less than a full 9 innings (Dillon Gee's washout in Chicago and R.A. Dickey in a loss in Pittsburgh). But with a 5 run lead in the 9th, Terry Collins elected to let Pelfrey go for the last frame. Pelf did not disappoint, and four batters later (Justin Turner booted a routine groundball), Mike had his complete game, and a whipped cream pie in the face from Willie Harris. Pelf's final stat line: 9 innings, 5 hits with just 1 run (a solo shot by Mark Trumbo in the 6th), 5 strikeouts, and, once again, no walks on 123 pitches. It was Pelfrey's third straight outing without issuing a bases on balls, and, as Keith Hernandez pointed out on SNY, Pelf's metamorphosis into a strike-thrower has brought down his pitch count and allowed him to rebound from that rough April. Mike Pelfrey is picking up steam, and not a moment too soon.
  • On the other side of the mound, the Mets made life hell for Angels' starter Dan Haren, knocking the AL's 3rd-leading ERA man him out after 4+ frames. And they did it with speed. In the 3rd inning, Jose Reyes hit a one-out single and then stole second base. After Justin Turner grounded him to third, Carlos Beltran slashed a single into right to put New York on the board.
  • In the 4th, Angel Pagan led off with a single, then stole second. A resurgent Jason Bay singled him in for run #2, and then Bay stole second. Lucas Duda then hit a groundball that was mishandled by first baseman Russell Branyan, and Bay was able to come around and score run #3. Bay finished the day 2-4, his third multi-hit game in the past four.
  • The dagger came in the 5th, when Reyes drew a leadoff walk and predictably (but certainly excitingly) stole second. Justin Turner stayed hot in the clutch and singled home Reyes for the fourth run. The way Haren was throwing, even Justin probably could've stolen. He didn't need to: Carlos Beltran blasted a 2-1 splitter onto the Shea Bridge, and with the score 6-0, Haren's goose was cooked.
  • The Mets lead the NL in stolen bases, increasing their total to 72 in 71 games, making up for a lack of power with lots of speed.
The Bad Stuff:
  • While Willie Harris did get Pelf with the pie in the face, I think he could've gotten it thicker. By the end of Pelfrey's interview with SNY's Kevin Burkhardt, it barely looked like he'd been pied at all.
Final Analysis:
Complete game from your pitcher and lots and lots of stolen bases. What is this, 1918? But that's the kind of game the Mets have been winning lately. And as long as they keep doing just that, we'll sure as heck take it.

Now New York is back in a familiar situation: win tomorrow, get to .500. It'll be their 4th such game in a little over a week. There should be an advantage in familiarity, right?

More good news: despite reports yesterday that he was talking with Satan's right-hand man, Scott Boras, Jose Reyes has come out and said there's "no chance" he'll leave his current agent, Peter Greenberg. Without Boras' only-money-matters approach, the Mets' chance of resigning Reyes long-term just got that much better.


P.S. Rest in Peace, Big Man.
Clarence Clemons

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