Sunday, July 10, 2011

Game #91: Giants 4, Mets 2

New York Mets' Mike Pelfrey wipes his brow as he struggles through a 4-2 loss to the Giants. (
In the top of the 3rd inning, the Mets had the bases loaded, and Daniel Murphy was up to bat. The Sunday Night Baseball crew mentioned that, with how little the Giants have been scoring, this could be the play of the game. It just didn't go New York's way.

The Mets stranded 10 men and San Fransisco got all the offense it needed, sending New York into the All-Star Break with a 4-2 loss.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Coulda, woulda, shoulda. That's the story of the game. The Mets had runners in scoring position in 6 innings, 5 straight from the 2nd-6th, but hit 1-12 in such situations; their one hit wouldn't come till the 9th, when it was too late.
  • Mike Pelfrey kept it close for 6 innings, but in a rare relief appearance, Jon Niese let it all get away. He gave up 2 runs in 1/3 of an inning, putting the game out of reach for a sluggish Met offense.
  • Perhaps I spoke too soon on Jason Bay...since his two home run game on Tuesday, Bay is 1-19 with 5 strikeouts, including 0-4 today. Let's hope the break will serve him well.
  • Carlos Beltran, now rumored to possibly go to the Giants at the deadline, didn't make a good impression on the SF crowd, going 0-4 and striking out thrice, including for the last out against the Bearded One.
The Good Stuff:
  • As I've said, you figured the Mets would have a chance against a weak San Fran offense as long as they kept it close. Just like R.A. Dickey and Chris Capuano before him, Mike Pelfrey did just that, holding the Giants to 2 runs on 8 hits over 6 innings, walking 2 and striking out 5. Those 8 hits indicate a fair share of jams, and Pelf sure had them, but got out of most of them: 8 of the Giants' 11 stranded runners were Pelfrey's.
  • Justin Turner had a big day, going 4-5 and plating New York's last run, a ground-rule double off Brian Wilson in the 9th to score Willie Harris.
  • Seven of the Mets' 8 hits were for extra bases; Lucas Duda even had a triple.
  • Nick Evans got his second hit of the year, a solo home run in the 8th to keep New York from being shut out.
Final Analysis:
So, we lost the series. No biggie. At least we didn't get swept.

How can you be so chill about this, Midwestern Met? Well, I'll tell you, Random Italic Questioner. In the past two and a half weeks, we've played five series, four of them against first-place teams. We went 3-2 in those five series, beat the Rangers and Tigers on the road, and came back from the dead against Mo and the Yankees. Before this stretch, we were 37-38. Now we're 45-44. Yes, that's just a two game improvement. But everything considered, including losing Jose Reyes last weekend, that's quite an accomplishment.

Two and a half weeks ago, I wrote that "With a good showing, it will be tough for general manager Sandy Alderson to argue for a fire sale." I'd say 8-6 is a good showing. Which means this New York Mets team, which we have come to enjoy watching so much, will for the most part stay together through the end of the trade deadline. And with Ike Davis, David Wright, and Jose Reyes' returns seemingly imminent, New York still has an outside shot at the Wild Card.

So to Mets fans from Long Island to Long Beach, have a good All-Star Break. Ya gotta believe.


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