|Ruben Tejada tosses his bat after striking out against Giants starter Tim Lincecum. (NYDailyNews.com)|
Three ruined double play chances led to all three Giant runs, and Tim Lincecum and company were all too much for the Mets, who fell to the Giants 3-1.
The Bad Stuff:
- With a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st, Chris Capuano got Miguel Tejada to ground into what would have been the 4-6-3 double play. But Lucas Duda couldn't handle the throw from Ruben Tejada, and the Giants caught a break. This would be a common theme.
- Later on, with the bases loaded, Nate Schierholtz bounced a groundball. Ruben gave chase but got there late, missed the tag on Pat Burrell on his way to second, and couldn't throw out Schierholtz 1-1.
- On the very next play, Aubrey Huff hit a groundball that Justin Turner took his time on getting to second. He got the force, but the throw to first was, once again, late. 2-1, game over.
- No errors charged on either play because, remember, you can't assume the double play. But those runs were anything but earned.
- The only other run to cross the plate would come in the 7th on the third twin(less)-killer. With one out and runners on the corners, Pablo "Panda" Sandoval hit a groundball to short. Tejada got the throw to second, but Turner's throw was, like David Letterman's show, late. Run scores, 3-1.
- And that third run didn't even matter. Because Big-Time Timmy-Jim was on his game. Lincecum gave up a run in the 1st and then no more, scattering 4 hits across 6 innings (half of those came in the 1st), walking 4 and striking out 6. He was brought out after 114 pitches, but put it in the hands of a very capable bullpen. Even without Beard Man, who got the night off, the Giants relievers would allow one baserunner in 3 innings.
- Chris Capuano picked up another loss of the hard-luck variety, giving up those 2 cheap runs on 3 hits in the 1st, but would give up 1 more through the rest of his 6-inning outing, walking 4 and striking out 5.
- New York shot out of the gate and looked like they would pick up right where they left off yesterday: Carlos Beltran hit a two-out double and Daniel Murphy plated him with a double of his own.
- The Mets would only get 4 hits the whole night, but each one was a double (Justin Turner and Josh Thole had the other two).
You figured that in this series, even against three All-Star pitchers, the Mets would have chances to win so long as they kept the Giants to their low-scoring ways. Well, they did last night, and they did it again tonight. The wrench in the plan was the NY offense, which couldn't get off the ground against torque-master Lincecum.
The Mets lost the game but still have a chance to win another series. And this one is with a national TV audience on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. The last time New York was on Sunday Night, it was the Jose Reyes Show. Reyes will be a non-factor tomorrow night. So the big question is, "Who will step it up this time?"
P.S. Congratulations go out to Derek Jeter, who got his 3,000th hit this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. He becomes the 28th member of that elusive club, and the second one to reach the plateau on a home run (Wade Boggs in 1999 was the first). Yes, he's a member of the Evil Empire, but you recognize greatness when you see it. Congrats, Derek. Next stop: Cooperstown.