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. (NYDailyNews.com)
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.

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