|Jason Bay beat the throw to Florida's Gaby Sanchez for an infield hit in the Mets' 3-2 victory. (NYTimes.com)|
Lucas Duda's 7th inning hit brought home Jose Reyes and gave the Mets a well-earned, come-from-behind victory, 3-2 over the Marlins.
The Good Stuff:
- Lucas Duda was installed into the third spot in the batting order for the first time, a combination of Collins wanting to put David Wright in cleanup, and his confidence in Duda's abilities. That move paid off immensely in the 7th inning. With the score tied at 2-2, Jose Reyes led off with a single (his second hit of the game, giving him a still-ungodly number of multi-hit games) and was sac-bunted over by Ruben Tejada. After falling behind 0-2 to new pitcher Michael Dunn, Duda fought back to lace a 3-2 fastball into center, scoring Reyes and giving New York a decisive 3-2 lead.
- With a .286 average following this game, Duda has one of the highest averages on the team. His OPS is .825 for the year, and most impressively, he's only struck out 42 times in 227 at-bats. A big-time hitter who doesn't strike out? We'll take that any day.
- New York was down 2-0 early, but fought back with runs in the 4th (Nick Evans' 2-out infield single) and 6th (Jason Bay's 2-out deflection single). Bay finished with a 3-4 day, and David Wright hit two doubles-that-could-have-been-homers-with-lower-walls and scored once.
- After struggling early, Chris Capuano settled down to finish with just the 2 runs against him in 5 innings. Pedro Beato, Manny Acosta, and Jason Isringhausen held the Fish in check in the 6th-8th innings, and while he got into some trouble in the 9th, Bobby Parnell earned the save thanks to some nice defense from Wright and Tejada.
- New York hit just 3-13 with RISP and stranded 9 men on base; just a couple more hits in those situations could have made it a much more comfortable outing.
The Mets went only 10-16 in August, but winning 5 of their last 6 and getting back Jose Reyes were good ways to close it out. The 2011 season is now entering the home stretch: September. The Mets will start the month by completing a rare 5-game series with the Marlins, then they'll hit the road for series in Washington and Florida (as if we didn't see enough of them already). With a good showing, they still have a shot at reaching .500 or even finishing a winning ballclub. And that, everything else considered, would be quite an accomplishment for the 2011 New York Mets.
P.S. If any of you were curious as to why Pedro Beato has a Dora the Explorer backpack, this article in The New York Times provides an explanation...apparently it's a thing.