|Mike Nickeas hit a two-run single in the fourth inning that gave the Mets their first lead. He had a .188 average entering the game. (NYTimes.com)|
A 4-run 4th helped Johan Santana pick up his first win in 20 months as the Mets knocked off the Diamondbacks 4-3 on national television.
The Good Stuff:
- September 2010 was the last time Johan Santana got to have a big capital W next to his name in the box score. He had been great in 5 previous starts this year but no spoils to go with it. He didn't have his absolute best outing, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits in 7 innings with a walk and 5 Ks, but it was good enough on this day for the win.
- "May the fourth be with you," MLB.com's wrapup said for this game. At first I thought, "That's wrong! Star Wars day was yesterday!" But MM, they were talking about the big 4th inning the Mets had, not yesterday's space-themed dateline. Thank you, Random Italic Questioner. I got that after a few minutes.
- Down 1-0 in the bottom of the 4th, Scott Hairston led off with a groundout. Daniel Murphy, hitting fifth in the order for a change, grounded a single to right, and was soon followed by Justin Turner (getting a start at first base) with a single of his own.
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked on a full count, which brought up weak-hitting Mike Nickeas, New York's backup catcher. Worked out today: Nickeas lined a single into center that put the Mets up 2-1.
- After Johan Santana sac-bunted runners over to second and third, Andres Torres golfed another 2-run single into center to give the Mets a lead big enough to withstand an Arizona comeback.
- Aside from Nickeas and Torres, the most impressive offensive numbers of the game belonged to:
- Daniel Murphy (4-4, run)
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis (1-2, 2 walks, run)
- After Santana left, New York handed the ball over to its flimsy bullpen, who held up this time: Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless 8th and while Frank Francisco allowed the tying run to get to second, he blew a 95 mph fastball by Justin Upton for the final out of the game.
- Ike Davis was given the day off against a lefty; if he was anywhere near the kind of hitter he was in 2010 and 2011, he would've gotten the start.
- David Wright had a rough time of things, turning in a rare 0-4, no walk performance at the plate.
Now that's more like it. Solid pitching, clutch hitting. The kinds of things that got the Mets off to their hot start gave them a win today, broke their 4-game losing streak, and once again kept them from slipping under .500 for the first time this year. We'll see tomorrow if this is the beginning of another good stretch; with R.A. Dickey on the mound it's as good a chance as any.
P.S. Before we go, it's time for the "Who Cares?" Move of the Day: D.J. Carrasco (remember him?) was activated today to serve as another arm in the bullpen with Miguel Batista moving to the rotation for the time being. Jordany Valdespin was optioned back to Buffalo. Will this help the bullpen at all? Possibly. Does it register on anyone's radar? It's on mine...think about how much it really means then.