Sunday, July 31, 2011

Game #108: Nationals 3, Mets 2

Willie Harris is tagged out by Danny Espinosa trying to steal second base in the first inning. (
One minute, Scott Hairston had brought the Mets back from the dead. The next minute, Rick Ankiel sent them back to dead.

Ankiel's baserunning in the bottom of the 9th generated the winning run for the Nationals, who handed the Mets a 3-2 defeat and series loss.

The Bad Stuff:
  • The offense was nonexistent for the first 6 innings; in fact, dating back to the 7th inning Friday, the Mets had gone 18 straight innings without scoring a run. Opportunities were missed in the 3rd (bases loaded, 1 out; Daniel Murphy's baserunning blunder creates the double play) and the 6th (balk puts runners on second and third, Angel Pagan and Jason Bay strike out).
  • After the Scott Hairston show tied the game in the top of the 9th, Bobby Parnell came on and let it slip from his hands. A single and hit batsman put runners on, then after a fantastic Keith Hernandez play from Murphy to get the out at third, Parnell let one just get away from Josh Thole, allowing Rick Ankiel to advance to third. Ian Desmond then bounced a groundball just out of Parnell's reach, and Ankiel came home to give Washington the W.
The Good Stuff:
  • Jon Niese, on the hook till the last moment, pitched well enough that he should have won: 5 1/3 innings, 2 runs on 8 hits, no walks, 6 strikeouts.
  • Ryota Igarashi, Pedro Beato, and Tim Byrdak combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless, 1-hit ball to keep the game in reach.
  • In the top of the 7th, Terry Collins sent Scott Hairston up to pinch hit for a struggling Lucas Duda. Hairston made him look good, depositing a 2-2 sinker deep into the left center stands. Then in the 9th, with 2 out and no men on against Nationals' closer Drew Storen, Hairston made Terry look like a genious, getting a hold of a 1-0 sinker and launching it over the fence to tie the game. The bombs were Hairston's 6th and 7th longballs of the year, which ties him for second on the team (just one behind David Wright's 8).
  • Jose Reyes appeared to get back on track with his 49th multi-hit game of the season (going 2-4). Daniel Murphy also had two hits, keeping himself in the top 3 in the NL in batting average.
Final Analysis:
Not gonna lie, this was disappointing. The Mets had their chances, but uncharacteristically couldn't capitalize on them.

The team finishes its 10-game road trip with a 6-4 record with a 4-game sweep in Cincinnati, but series losses in Florida and Washington, teams New York should have beaten. We'll take the 6-4, that's pretty good, but they could have done so much more.

Now the Mets return home for a 10-game homestand: they'll face those very familiar Florida Marlins (3 games), the Braves (3 games), and they'll have the Padres for 4. With the season 2/3 of the way through, the Mets have one of their final really great chances to gain some ground on the push to shock the world. It's gonna take series wins to do that.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Game #107: Nationals 3, Mets 0

Jose Reyes turns a dobule play in the Mets 3-0 loss to the Nationals Saturday. (
One knuckler that spun too much and an emergency starter were enough to bury New York's 5-game winning streak.

Yunesky Maya picked up his first major league win and the Mets' offense only got going when it was too late, falling to the Nationals 3-0.

The Bad Stuff:
  • R.A. Dickey made one mistake. With 2 on and 2 out in the bottom of the 1st, his 3-2 knuckleball to Washington rich boy Jayson Werth spun a little too much. Werth made him pay by launching it into the lawn over the fence in left center.
  • That 3-0 advantage was more than enough for Yunesky Maya. Maya was only on the mound because Jason Marquis, the Nationals' scheduled starter, was traded to Arizona hours before game time. I'm sure if he had any other options, Davey Johnson would have gone with them instead of Maya, whose career ERA of 6.31 must have made Met mouths salivate in the pregame. Needless to say, that number will go down after tonight: Maya baffled the Mets' bats with 5 1/3 innings of scoreless, 5-hit work. The bullpen kept New York down for the rest of the game, and just like that the Mets' 5-game winning and 4-game 8-run+ streaks were over in a brisk two and a half hours.
  • Jose Reyes' struggles finally caught up to the rest of the team: Reyes went 0-4 tonight and has gone just 4 for his last 26. His first real slump of the season is a bit of a cause for concern, but the thing is, most of the time he's still been getting good wood on the ball, just been hitting it to the wrong spots. That happened at least twice tonight. Hopefully he will work himself out of this soon.
The Good Stuff:
  • Aside from that one bad pitch, Dickey pitched a pretty solid game: 6 innings, those 3 runs on 6 hits. DJ Carrasco and Manny Acosta combined for 2 scoreless innings once Dickey took his exit.
  • David Wright continues to knock the cover off the ball, going 2-3 to bring his average up to a very respectable .280. Jason Bay also went 2-4, making it 7 for his last 12.
Final Analysis:
On paper, this was a game the Mets should have won easy, the offense as hot as it was and the so-called pitcher Washington managed to scrape together. But games are not played or won on paper, and Mets fans had to live with that unfortunate truth tonight at Nationals Park. At least Davey Johnson was on the winning end of this one.

...But let's make sure to take the series tomorrow with Jon Niese on the mound. That would make this loss more acceptable, because who can argue with a series win on the road?


Friday, July 29, 2011

Game #106: Mets 8, Nationals 5

Dillon Gee gets his 10th win of the season, going 6-2/3 innings in an 8-5 win over the Nationals. (
The Met machine continues to produce offensively, and once again needed just about every run.

New York got to Chien-Ming Wang early and the Mets overcame a struggling bullpen to hold on for the 8-5 win over the Nationals.

The Good Stuff:
  • Chien-Ming Wang was making his first start in nearly 2 years. In his heyday, he won 19 games in consecutive years for that other New York baseball team. I'm sure he's a decent guy and I wish him the best...after tonight. Because tonight it was an offensive feast for Terry's boys. Jose Reyes led off the game with a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Justin Turner singled and then a red-hot Daniel Murphy singled home Reyes. David Wright singled to load the bases and Angel Pagan's base hit brought home another. Jason Bay's groundout plated one more and Lucas Duda's sac fly made it 4-0 after the 1st.
  • The Amazin's got two more off Wang in the 4th: Bay singled and Duda reached on an error. Bay was thrown out at home by Rick Ankiel off Ronny Paulino's single (check the replay; Werth must have planned that miss on the ball knowing Ankiel was behind him), but runners went to second and third. Then Dillon Gee helped out his own cause with an RBI single, and Reyes brought home another on a sac fly.
  • In the 6th, two runs came in thanks to two-base hits: Bay led off with a double, came home on Paulino's double, and Paulino in turn came home on Reyes' double to make it 8 runs for the Mets, their fourth straight game crossing that run threshold.
  • The offensive explosion was enough for Dillon Gee to continue his near-mastery of Washington: he picked up his 10th win by allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking 4 and striking out 5.
  • Ryota Igarashi finished out the 7th and after the bullpen nearly collapsed in the 8th, DJ Carrasco came in to put the fires out, striking out Danny Espinoza and Ryan Zimmerman to end the bases-loaded National threat. Jason Isringhausen then came in for a 1-2-3 9th and his 298th career save.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Well, there is the matter of why DJ Carrasco had to come in and save the day. Bobby Parnell wasn't sharp, allowing 2 earned runs. Tim Byrdak led Parnell's second run come in as he failed to retire any of the two men he faced. Fortunately things didn't get as close as they did in Cincinnati yesterday, but Mets fans must have had that in the back of their heads as Washington strung together hit after hit after hit.
Final Analysis:
Five in a row, and three A.B. (After Beltran). These Mets continue to never say die, and with this win they're at their best mark of the whole season, 4 games over .500. As unlikely as it is, it's not impossible that New York will still be in it late in September. At this rate, they'll be fighting till the final day of the season.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Game #105: Mets 10, Reds 9

In two games since replacing Carlos Beltran in right field, Lucas Duda is 3 for 7 with a home run and four runs batted in. (
It was hot today at Great American Ball Park. I mean really hot. "Milk was a bad choice" hot. Guess what else was hot? The Mets' bats.

Lucas Duda and Jason Bay highlighted back-to-back 4-run innings with bases-clearing doubles, and the Mets held back a furious comeback to sweep the Reds, 10-9.

The Good Stuff:
  • The offensive machine started up in the 1st when David Wright singled home Daniel Murphy. Murph finished 1-3 with 3 runs and David went 3-5 with 2 runs.
  • The machine stalled for a while but then came alive again in the 4th: New York got the bases loaded with none out, then two batters later Lucas Duda laced a double into the corner in right, scoring all three runners. Duda finished 2-4, bringing his average up to a good-looking .283, and he scored almost immediately on Josh Thole's RBI single.
  • The Amazin's liked what they did so much in the 4th, they decided to do it again in the 5th. They promptly loaded the bases and Angel Pagan singled home a run. Jason Bay then got in on the action in a big way, hammering a double into the right center gap (his second 2-bagger of the game), clearing the bases and knocking out Cincy starter Homer Bailey. That made it 9-3 and seemingly broke the game open.
  • ...But the Mets would need one more, and they got it in the 9th. Angel Pagan singled and stole second, then went to third after 2 walks. With 2 out and Willie Harris at the plate, Red pitcher Logan Ondrusek let one get away from him, and Pagan trotted home the 10th run on the wild pitch. That was enough.
  • Pitching wasn't too good this afternoon, but Bobby Parnell turned in another solid performance. Opposite Cincinnati's fireballer, Aroldis Chapman, New York's fireballer went 1-2-3 in the 8th, making Edgar Renteria look silly (he lost his bat fishing for an 87 mph slider) for the strikeout third out. Jason Isringhausen gave up a homer to Joey Votto in the 9th, but it did the least amount of damage and he got the final outs in a row for his 4th save.
The Bad Stuff:
  • New York needed every single run on this afternoon; pitching made sure of that. Chris Capuano picked up the win, but looked ugly doing it: 5 1/3 innings, 6 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks, 4 Ks.
  • Manny Acosta didn't do much better relieving Cappy in the 6th; he allowed a 3-run homer to pinch-hitting Miguel Cairo on the first pitch. Pedro Beato also let one slip through on 2 doubles in the 7th.
  • The Reds had 13 hits on the day and 8 were doubles. Not a good day for anyone on the mound.
Final Analysis:
Break out the magic brooms Mickey Mouse, cause we're sweeping the city away! The Mets got it by the skin of their teeth, but they most certainly got it: New York's first ever 4-game sweep in Cincinnati. And what a series it was.

The Mets take the momentum from their 4-game winning streak into the nation's capital, where they'll face Davey Johnson and his Washington Nationals. Friday night will also be the return of Chien Ming Wang, who will make his first start in two years. I wish him well...after we're done with him.


Beltran Update
Carlos Beltran arrived in Philadelphia to meet his new San Fransisco Giants teammates and get ready for a familiar opponent. San Fran manager Bruce Bochy gave up his #15 to Carlos so he'd feel comfortable. As far as I know, he hasn't spent much time with bearded wonder Brian Wilson me, we'll know when he does.

Wheeler Watch
Newly acquired prospect Zack Wheeler will make the move from Class A San Jose to Class A Port St. Lucie. His last start in the Giants organization was July 22nd, so his first start with the Mets will likely be in the next couple days. You can read about Wheeler's reaction to the trade here.
*10:15 UPDATE*: Wheeler tweeted about an hour ago that he expects his first start in PSL to be Monday.

MM's Day at the Ballpark: Mets vs. Reds, 7/27/11

Being from the Midwest, there's only a few times each year the Mets are close enough to see in person. So when I saw they were coming to Cincinnati, just three hours southeast of my home in West Lafayette, Indiana, Dad and I jumped at the chance to see them. We bought tickets to tonight's game and tomorrow's day game. And let me tell you something: it's gonna be hard to beat the time I had today at Great American Ball Park.

When I got to Cincinnati this afternoon, I read that sometime while I was on I-74, Carlos Beltran had been traded to the Giants. I knew it was coming and I was glad it was the Giants, but it was disappointing that we came just short of missing his last game. "Missed it by *that* much!" Turns out, this was the low point of the day: the rest of it was Amazin'.

I got there right when the ballpark opened and went down to the Mets' dugout. As Jose Reyes went out to take infield, I flashed him the spotlight. He flashed it right back. It was awesome.

Later on, Le Grande Orange Jr., Justin Turner, came out to sign autographs for fans, including yours truly. Dad even got a few pictures (see below).

Later on, something even more Amazin': who should be sitting right next to the Met fans in the row behind us? None other than Daniel Murphy's grandmother. They were spreading the word around until it got to the guy just behind us, who wasn't very much surprised...cause it was Murph's father. I even shook his hand. They were there to see their boy play major league baseball; so how does Daniel respond? Oh, just his first career 4-hit game, a couple doubles, an RBI, no biggie. The Murphy family should be given season tickets, maybe he'll do that every day.

But at the end of the day, the best part was just interacting with all the other Mets fans at Great American Ball Park. Yes, there were actually quite a few. Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets in the bigs: you have more fun watching your team on the road than at home. You see a Met fan in New York, it's ordinary. You see a Met fan in Cincinnati, it's like, "Hey! Go Mets!" It was like we were all in our own fraternity, united by the orange and blue of our team.

I even ran into someone I never expected to: not just another Met fan, not just another Met blogger, but an actual, genuine Met blogger from Indiana. Lee Harmon is his name, and you can find his blog at (long name...he knows).

It was an Amazin' day and an Amazin' game to see. Overall, the best time I've ever had at a baseball game. I won't forget this any time soon. Thanks team, thanks fans in Cincy. Good night, good luck, and Let's Go Mets.


Here's a few pictures from the day:
On the way to the ballgame
Justin Turner signs my baseball
He even posed for a picture. Thanks, Justin!
SNY's own Kevin Burkhardt
Flexible Mr. Reyes
Could someone please explain the Dora backpack? Earlier this season I saw Dale Thayer with it, now Pedro Beato's got it. Is it some kind of bullpen tradition?
Hi Gary & Keith! Did you see my sign?
Simply No FYner! (The 8's for you, Mr. Carter)
Marvelous Mike Pelfrey, en route to his complete game
Big Dude's home run trot
Just a double, no biggie.
A Like-Minded Fan
Dee Snyder wannabees
Pelf finishes what he started
Aww, what a cute couple.
An Amazin' end to an Amazin' Day

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Game #104: Mets 8, Reds 2

Oh man, do I have a lot to say about this one. The game recap will come in this post, my day at the ballpark will come in the next post, so stay tuned.

You figured in the wake of Carlos Beltran's departure, this was the time the Mets would have a letdown game. Well, surprise-surprise: No Carlos? No problem.

Home runs from Lucas Duda and David Wright were more than enough for Mike Pelfrey, who pitched his second complete game of the season en route to a 8-2 win over the Reds.

The Good Stuff:
  • Tonight it starts and ends, quite literally, with Mike Pelfrey. Pelf went the distance, giving up just 2 runs on 7 hits, striking out 3 and walking absolutely no one. He hasn't done it often this year, but tonight at least, Pelfrey showed flashes of greatness. The only runs he gave up were a solo shot to Joey Votto (he'll get his hits against anyone) and on a sac fly in the 7th when the game was already over. If this Mike Pelfrey shows up every 5th day, the Mets' rotation will be that much better.
  • New York gave Pelf the support he needed right off the bat: Jose Reyes lead off the game with an infield single, and after David Wright got aboard with 2 outs, Angel Pagan ripped a 2-run double.
  • The Mets were quiet until the 5th, when Mike Pelfrey of all people led off with a base hit (his only one on the day, but he was getting solid contact every at-bat). Reyes replaced him at first after a fielder's choice and promptly stole second, going to third on an error. After Willie Harris walked, Daniel Murphy laced his second double of the game, scoring one. Harris came in almost immediately on Wright's sac fly.
  • In the 6th, Lucas Duda hit a line drive that would have been an easy out at Citi Field. But this wasn't Citi Field. And a line drive like that at Great American Ball Park (what a great name) is a home run, Duda's second in a week.
  • If the game was in any doubt, David Wright put that to rest in the 7th. Harris walked and Murphy singled (he went 4-5 on the day), and Wright golfed a long home run to straightaway center. In his 6 games since returning to the bigs, David Wright is hitting .429 (12-28) with 2 home runs and a whopping 11 RBIs. Suffice it to say: we missed this guy.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Jason Bay's struggles continued; he went 0-5. He hit a ball home run distance but it went just foul...he struck out a couple pitches later.
Final Analysis:
You couldn't ask for anything more in this game; just about everything went right. All things considered, this may have been the best game the New York Mets have played all season. It was certainly the most fun to go to. But more on that later. First...

Thanks, Carlos
It was kinda disheartening: the instant I get into Cincinnati, Carlos Beltran is on his way out. He was traded to the San Fransisco Giants this afternoon for 21-year-old Zack Wheeler, the Giants' best pitching prospect. This was a great trade all-around: the Mets got the top prospect they so desperately wanted, the Giants got the bat they need for their run to repeat as World Series champions.

Carlos Beltran gave all he had to this organization for six and a half years: .280 BA, 148 HR, 552 RBI, .867 OPS. Fans may never be able to shake the image of Beltran watching the best curveball Adam Wainwright had ever thrown and will ever throw in the 2006 NLCS, but keep this in mind: without Carlos, the Mets would have never been in that situation in the first place. And so, with some disappointment but mostly fondness, I say Thank You Carlos Beltran. Good luck with the Giants, I hope you get your ring.

On the other side of things, Midwestern Met will now carry a special section to the blog: "Wheeler Watch." Every time Zack Wheeler takes the mound in the Mets' farm system, you'll hear about it right here. Hopefully, we'll be following this young stud's career all the way to Citi Field.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Game #103: Mets 8, Reds 6

Carlos Beltran slides across home plate to score one of his three runs Tuesday night. (
Christmas came early in Cincinnati: the Reds played Santa Claus.

Aided by three Cincy errors, New York put up 6 unearned runs in 5 innings, and Tim Byrdak slammed the door on Jay Bruce to give the Mets the 8-6 win.

The Good Stuff:
  • Sure, they got a few gifts. But you still gotta take that check to the bank, and the Mets were able to do just that.
    • Carlos Beltran reached on a Joey Votto error in the 1st that put Justin Turner on third, and David Wright opened the scoring with an RBI groundout. Daniel Murphy hit a lazy flyball to right that could have easily been an error on Bruce to score Beltran.
    • Jose Reyes reached on a Brandon Phillips error in the 3rd. Two batters later Beltran knocked Reyes in on a bloop single. Wright singled and Murph was hit, loading the bases for Jason Bay, whose sac fly made it 4-0.
    • In the 6th, after falling behind 5-4, Bay drew a walk. Ronny Paulino then hit a hard grounder to third that was misplayed by Miguel Cairo and ended up on second. Jason Pridie delivered the goods with a 2-run double to recapture the lead and send Jonny Cueto to the showers (Cueto's sub-2.00 ERA remains in tact; all 6 runs were unearned).
  • New York got some help in the 7th on RBI singles by Murph and a pinch-hitting Angel Pagan, who's set to return to the lineup tomorrow.
  • Jon Niese was hammered for 4 in the 5th but still earned his 10th win of the season. Manny Acosta pitched a scoreless 6th and Ryota Igarashi gave up 1 in his 1 2/3 innings; he was bailed out in the 8th by Pedro Beato.
  • Jay Bruce was the Reds' last chance in the 9th, but Tim Byrdak came in for a redux of last night's performance with a strikeout.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Niese's final line doesn't look too impressive: 5 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.
Final Analysis:
You could make the argument that the Mets didn't "earn" this win. But after that 27th out, the only thing that matters is how many runs you've gotten on the board. And when NYM has 8 and CIN has 6, it's a good day in Queens.


P.S. Good news for next year/our potential miraculous playoff run: Johan Santana is set to come off the DL on August 28th. So either the foundation will be well in place for 2012's playoff run, or it will give 2011's highly-unlikely-but-wouldn't-it-be-thrilling playoff run that final push over the top. Either way, this is good news.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Game #102: Mets 4, Reds 2

The Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey lasted 6.2 innings and gave up two runs. (
It appeared to be a case of deja-vu: New York leads late, home team comes back to steal the win. But Jason Isringhausen wasn't about to let that story back out into the limelight.

The Mets erupted for a 4-run 7th, highlighted by Daniel Murphy's 2-run double, and withstood two late Reds runs to hold on for the 4-2 victory.

The Good Stuff:
  • After keeping quiet for 6 innings, the Amazin' offense finally came alive in the 7th inning.
    • Jose Reyes reached on a one-out single and went to third on Justin Turner's single. Carlos Beltran followed with a sac fly to make it a 1-1 tie.
    • After David Wright got on with a single of his own, Daniel Murphy broke the game open with a double to the wall in right that plated both runners, putting the Mets up for good.
    • Jason Bay followed with his first double since the bronze age to score Murphy and provide a much-needed cushion.
  • The 4-run 7th gave R.A. Dickey the run support he so craved and put him in line for the win. Dickey lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 8 hits, walking 1 and striking out 7.
  • Pedro Beato was brought in to relieve Dickey, and when he couldn't seal the deal, Tim Byrdak was brought on to face Reds slugger Jay Bruce. Last year, when Byrdak was a member of the Houston Astros, he served up Bruce's home run that won the NL Central for Cincinnati. Revenge was sweet for New York's "Big-Time Timmy-Jim," who got Bruce swinging on 3 straight sliders to get out of the jam.
  • Bobby Parnell pitched a hitless 8th and handed the ball off to Jason Isringhausen for the save. A groundout, a Wright error, a strikeout, a single, and a walk later, Brandon Phillips hoped to become the hero. But Izzy wasn't about to produce a repeat of yesterday's bullpen collapse, striking out Phillips on a 1-2 cutter to give the Mets a thrilling, if not heart-stopping, W.
The Bad Stuff:
  • David Wright's defense continues to be an issue; in his 4 games back from injury he's got 3 errors. This is probably just lack of experience, lack of routine, but it would certainly help if he were to get back into his Gold Glove self.
Final Analysis:
Phew! That was a close one. It went from won to lost to won to lost to won again at the end, but the Mets got the job done. Good win.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Game #101: Marlins 5, Mets 4

Things were going so well. Then, quite simply, they weren't.

David Wright's home run gave New York a lead late, but Bobby Parnell gave it away in the 8th, and the Mets fell to the Marlins 5-4.

The Bad Stuff:
  • New York had finally reached upstream and took a 4-3 lead into the 8th, but newly crowned set-up man Bobby Parnell couldn't keep the Fish from swimming ahead: a leadoff homer from Logan Morrison tied it, then a single and double by John Buck put Florida back on top.
  • Dillon Gee didn't have his best stuff, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings. He got out of a few tough jams, but still left after 96 pitches on the hook for the loss.
  • The Mets had their chances to put more on the board, but only hit 1-9 with RISP and stranded 7 castaways on Gilligan's Island: Miami Branch.
The Good Stuff:
  • When you have the chance to win in the 8th, you must have done some good stuff. Such was the case today. Jose Reyes went 2-5 (multi-hit game #47) and scored the game's first run on Carlos Beltran's sac fly. Jason Bay got New York closer in the 6th with an RBI single. And David Wright finished off his welcome back series in grand style, slashing a 2-run homer to left in the 7th to make it 4-3 (the rally once again began with 2 outs).
  • Manny Acosta had one of his best outings of the season, holding down the fort with 2 perfect innings after Gee's exit, striking out 3.
Final Analysis:
Oh, how nice it would have been to get out of Miami with a series win. The Mets had the win in their grasp, but much like the sand on South Beach, it slipped through their fingers. No other way to put it: this one hurts.

The good news is we get out of the extreme heat of South Florida...into the extreme heat of Cincinnati. New York opens up a 4-game series with the Reds tomorrow night. This series means much to me because it's one of the rare times the Mets get anywhere near Indiana in a year. So this Midwestern Met will be taking a road trip to the banks of the Ohio River and seeing the boys play live on Wednesday and Thursday...hopefully Carlos Beltran will be able to join me there.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Game #100: Marlins 8, Mets 5

Chris Capuano pitches for the Mets during a game against the Marlins on Saturday in Miami. (
New York got the ball rolling in the 5th proceeded to drop dead in the 6th.

Gaby Sanchez hammered two 2-run homers as the Marlins sunk the Mets 8-5.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Chris Capuano was cruising through the first 5, holding Florida scoreless. The wheels came off in the 6th: Emilio Benifacio singled, Omar Infante tripled, Sanchez hit his first 2-run blast, and three batters later Logan Morrison gave the outfield fans another souvenir. Before, Mets lead 2-0. After, Mets down 4-2. There would be no comebacks tonight.
  • In the 7th, with DJ Carrasco acting as agent, the Fish added an insurance plan: one run scored on a throwing error by David Wright (though it was really Daniel Murphy's fault at first, the SNY team pointed out), and Sanchez followed with another twin dinger. One more came in in the 8th off Ryota Igarashi to make it 8-3.
  • Except for what happened in the 9th (see below), the 5-9 hitters for New York combined to go 0-19 without a single walk.
The Good Stuff:
  • After 4 quiet innings, the Met offense came alive with 2 outs in the 5th. Jose Reyes legged out an infield single and stole second. After walks to Justin Turner and Carlos Beltran (one of Beltran's 3 BBs on the day), Wright came up and singled to left to score 2. David has 4 RBIs in his first two games back from the DL.
  • In the 7th New York added another after three straight singles from Reyes, Turner, and Beltran.
  • By the 9th the game was out of reach, but the Amazin's at least made it interesting. Lucas Duda, pinch-hitting in the 9-spot, cracked a towering shot into right for his first home run of the 2011 campaign. It was a long time coming for Duda, but he got that particular monkey off his back. He didn't have that much time to celebrate it, though: on the very next pitch from Leo Nunez, Reyes did his best Duda impression, launching it into right for his 4th four-base hit of the year. This is as far as New York would get, but they at least forced the Marlins to make great defensive plays on the final 3 outs.
Final Analysis:
Half the game had been going so well, unfortunately pitching didn't have it in the latter innings. But that exciting 9th provides at least some smiles, even if the night ended without the W. There's always tomorrow.

After this 100th game, the New York Mets are right where they began the season at: dead even. All things considered, it's been a fun first hundred. Here's hoping the final 62 will be just as fun.


Game #99: Mets 7, Marlins 6

Author's note:
I have been vacationing in South Haven, MI for the past few days, and early yesterday morning, my hotel was struck by lightning, frying the wifi and preventing me from posting last night. To my regular readers, I would like to say two things. First, wow, I've got regular readers! Cool. Second, I don't plan on missing posts; only acts of God will prevent me from doing so. (Please don't take that as an invitation, Almighty One.)


And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

The Mets had the Wright stuff tonight. Wright on, Mets. Some other third annoyingly obvious David Wright pun.

David Wright came through in the clutch and the Mets overcame rally after rally, holding on to beat the Marlins 7-6.

The Good Stuff:
  • Wright returned to the New York dugout after two months on the DL. He made his presence felt right out of the gate with an RBI double in the 1st inning. After three pedestrian outs in between, David came through again in the 8th with another RBI double that broke a 5-5 tie and gave the Mets a lead they would not relinquish this time.
  • New York had the lead throughout, just in different intervals: 3-0, 4-3, 5-3, 7-5, and finally 7-6. They had to keep the foot on the gas to hold off those charging Fish (as weird as that phrase sounds), but they were able to do just that.
    • Wright’s first double got the scoring going in the 1st, and two more came in on Daniel Murphy’s single and Angel Pagan’s sac fly.
    • With the score 3-3 in the 4th, Jose Reyes singled and Justin Turner reached on an error. Carlos Beltran followed with a single to right to score Reyes.
    • At 4-4 in the 7th, New York had the bases loaded with none out. They could only plate one on Ronny Paulino’s sac fly, but it was enough to give the Mets the lead.
    • …Until Florida tied it in the bottom of the 7th. But Turner scored on Wright’s second double, and David came in right after on Murph’s double.
  • Bobby Parnell surrendered a run, but not the lead, narrowly escaping the 8th. Jason Isringhausen then came in and shut the door with a 1-2-3 9th, earning his 2nd save.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Still, there is the matter of all those leads we had to regain…that falls on pitching. Mike Pelfrey wasn’t stellar, allowing 4 runs in 6 innings (hurt heavily by 4 rare walks). Pedro Beato put the tying run on in the 7th, and that run came in on Tim Byrdak’s watch. Parnell got out of that jam, but even he struggled to hold it in the 8th.
  • Parnell’s problems can be placed to a degree on David Wright, whose error to lead off the inning ensured that there would be trouble. His 2-5, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs day is great, we’ll take it any day, but he did leave 3 runners aboard with two out in those pedestrian at-bats in between. But all is forgiven with that double in the 8th.
Final Analysis:
The Mets had been playing exciting baseball while David Wright was on the DL, so some fans might not have even noticed his absence. Some have even argued that New York was better off without him (myself included after his rough April and May). Well, I’ll admit it: I was dead wrong. David Wright’s presence is of high value, and even though he though he has his deficiencies (he strikes out an awful lot), the New York Mets are a better team with him patrolling the hot corner. Welcome back, David.