Mets Game 14: Nationals

Mets 3 Nationals 2

“A long, ugly game that turned out pretty.”

— Willie Randolph’s fitting description during the postgame interview on SNY.

It took 14 innings of perseverance, but the New York Mets finally came out on top, winning on a wild pitch and sweeping the Nationals in a four-hour, 45-minute contest.

For a while there, it appeared neither team wanted to win the ballgame. Rallies would begin, but be extinguished quickly. In the end, it was sloppy play by the Nationals that allowed the Mets to win.

Damion Easley led off the 14th with a single — he was 2-for-2 — then took second base on a wild pitch. Shortly thereafter, Easley moved to third on a pickoff attempt that bounced off his knee and went scooting into the outfield. David Wright and Carlos Delgado were walked intentionally to load the bases, but those actions were moot when Joel Hanrahan free mp3 nokia ringtones crazy frog ringtones free nokia ringtones free get ringtones cingular ringtones boost free mobile ringtones free cricket ringtones verizon wireless ringtones totally free ringtones cricket free ringtones ringtones free ringtones verizon free samsung ringtones cell download free phone ringtones download free ringtones cell phone hotlink caller ringtones download free nokia ringtones free blackberry ringtones free ringtones for motorola phone crazy frog ringtones uncorked another wild pitch — the first to pinch-hitter Brian Schneider — that scored Easley, um, easily.

Ironically, the Mets never would have made it to the fourteenth had it not been for a Ron Belliard error in the eighth — with two out — that put Ryan Church on first base. Church scored minutes later to tie the game.

On the mound, Nelson Figueroa followed up his dominating debut with another gem, pitching 7 stellar innings of three-hit ball and striking out seven. He made just one mistake the entire evening, and it resulted in a two-run homer by Nick Johnson. Figgy was saved from a loss, however, when the Mets tied things up in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Carlos Delgado. The Mets had scored their first run in the first inning, when red-hot Ryan Church doubled in Jose Reyes.

The Mets bullpen was outstanding, holding the Nationals scoreless from innings eight through fourteen.

Notes

Is Mets pitching this good or the Nats hitting that bad? The Nationals were held hitless for seven innings at one point in the game — from the fourth to the eleventh.

What’s bothersome to me is that the Washington offense would appear to be better than their pitching … yet the Mets could manage only two runs in 13 innings.

I think I heard “Crazy Train” being played by the Shea Stadium organist. Kind of cool to hear the old keyboard getting tapped again.

The Nats look like a sloppy and lackadaisical bunch. Ronny Belliard is the king of lazy punks, and Lastings Milledge didn’t look so hot lollygagging after a fly ball that allowed Ryan Church to tag up from first to second.

Lee Mazzilli looked really tired during Nissan Postgame Live. In fact, he looked like a cross between George Hamilton and Yoda.

Next Game

Mets head down the NJ Turnpike to Philly for a three game set. Friday night’s opener begins at 7:05 PM and will match up the aces: Johan Santana vs. Cole Hamels. The game will be shown on CW11 and heard on 660 WFAN and XM 184.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. fafhrd316 April 18, 2008 at 12:16 am
    As sloppy as the Nats were, they were also the recipients of alot of Mets line drives. The Mets kept hitting the ball all night long, and getting good wood on it- but often right at the Nats infielders. That’s the main reason why the game went so long; the Nats kept getting the luck of the draw with those liners.

    Even though the Mets- on paper- looked horrible with RISP, they were trying to get them in, and were just damned unlucky, until the easily Easley (heh) WP winning run. It’s a far cry from last year, where the offense would just shut itself down after the 5th inning.

    Lastly, the only thing I would have done differently in the game would have been to pull Casanova out late in the game, probably around the 9th or 10th inning. He was really outmatched out there, and Schneider would have been a better candidate late in the game rather than Casanova. And before anyone says “but the Mets would then have no one on the bench for catching”, Easley can catch.

  2. joe April 18, 2008 at 7:54 am
    I felt kind of bad for Casanova while he was hitting, as he seemed to be getting a number of borderline calls be called strikes.

    Not sure about pulling him … the reason he was playing was to give Schneider a rest. Had Schneider gone in as of the 9th or 10th, he would have caught 5+ innings, effectively eliminating his day off.

    I know you try to win every game you can, but I’d prefer to have Schneider fresh for the Phillies over the weekend, and take my chances with Casanova against the Nats in extra innings after already winning the first two games of the series.

  3. sincekindergarten April 18, 2008 at 9:28 am
    As I’ve said before . . . A win is a win is a win.

    Now, go get Hole Camels!

  4. isuzudude April 18, 2008 at 11:47 am
    I’d say any game in which Beltran strikes out in his only at-bat, and a journeyman non-roster invitee starts – and we win – is a big plus, regardless of how ugly or sloppy it might have been.

    Although I’m not liking seeing the Mets strand so many runners on base, it is encouraging that they’re at least getting the runners on. Eventually you’d have to believe those runners are going to start scoring, and likely in bunches.

    I always miss out on the oddest of occurrences, too. I missed the game’s first 5 innings (was out house hunting…ugh, I’d rather be getting a root canal) and tuned in to find out John Lannan had 10 strikeouts. Needless to say, my reaction contained a few expletives. But, like SK says, a win is a win.

    My one worry is that this extra inning affair is going to cost the Mets a bit in the energy department. Every arm in the bullpen was used with the exception of Schoeneweis, and the Mets have the trip of going from NYC to Philly for the series, while the Phils get to stay at home, where they wrapped up a series against the Astros with an afternoon blowout victory. My guess is Willie is going to lean on Johan quite heavily tonight, and probably leave him on the mound through 7 innings at least, regardless of results or situation. And with Johan’s propensity to allow the HR, and the weather heating up on the East Coast, it would not surprise me if Johan gives up a couple gopher balls tonight in the small confines of Citizen Bank Park, likely leading to the Mets demise. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong!

  5. whatdatmean April 18, 2008 at 12:58 pm
    despite how long it took to get the job done…this game had a lot of positives…
    -willie is making good changes and trying to mix things up a little[assuming it is all willie’s doing].
    whether we agree with the lineup decisions, bunt calls, the steal calls, leaving cassanover in, bullpen decisions, or willie’s weak argument on easley’s play at 3rd….it doesnt matter, we can question willie all we want, but atleast now…he is making some changes, rather than seemingly doing nothing. he is reacting and trying to be a little more proactive.
    its almost like he read some of the rants that we have been seeing on the various mets blogs…bc he is doing things a little differently on this last homestand.
    i like what he did in this game, with the exception of using church to bunt late in the game with 2 on & no outs….but again, he made a call that no one could have guessed was coming.
    -figgy continues to be the best story in baseball, and has been pitching very well. even if he slows down, still a useful arm to have around.
    -the bullpen has been very strong. heilman bounced back well, sanchez looked good going almost 2 innings, and wags got some non-save action….very nice
    -how nasty is Joe Smith right now!!!!!!!!
    -delgado finally had a clutch hit
    -reyes, pagan, castillo, & church continue to have solid at bats

    why has endy not seen any action till yesterday? are they trying to trade him and dont want to hurt his stock by playing him? seems odd to me. he has been willie’s boy over the years.

    great game…now lets go stick it to philly!