Mets Game 29: Win Over Diamondbacks
Mets 5 Diamondbacks 2
It was a lot closer than the final score.
Danny Haren and Johan Santana gave the audience a good old fashioned pitchers’ duel, with neither ace showing signs of weakening through six innings of baseball. In the end, it was Johan who triumphed, although he was not credited with the victory.
The Mets only managed three hits off Haren, but used them efficiently, and had a 2-1 lead going into the sixth. Santana, who allowed ten baserunners but only one run in six innings, was lifted for Joe Smith in the seventh, and Smith allowed the D-Backs to score the tying run. The game remained deadlocked until the ninth, when the wheels came off the Diamondbacks defense and the Mets scored three runs thanks in part to a throwing error by Conor Jackson.
Jorge Sosa was the beneficiary of the late rally, and is now an incomprehensible 4-1. Billy Wagner earned his seventh save.
Strange moves by both managers in the sixth inning. With a 2-1 lead, a man on second, and two outs, Willie Randolph had Johan Santana intentionally walk light-hitting Chris Burke to face pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson. I guess the idea here was to force Danny Haren out of the game, because I didn’t understand why you would prefer to pitch to Hudson instead of Burke, AND put the winning run on base. The fact Haren was removed by AZ manager Bob Melvin was equally strange, since Haren had retired the last seven batters he faced and the D-Backs were only a run behind and at home. Melvin accented that move with another head-scratcher: inserting tomorrow’s starting pitcher Max Scherzer into the game as a pinch-runner after Hudson walked. Why risk a pulled hammy of the next day’s pitcher, particularly when Scherzer is up because of someone else going on the DL? Strange.
Jose Reyes is back on track, Carlos Delgado is trying his best to prove he’s not over the hill, David Wright is hitting balls over the fence, and Moises Alou is not on the DL … in other words, things are looking “up” for the New York Mets.
The Mets move on to Los Angeles to play “Joe Torre’s” Dodgers. Oliver Perez goes against Chad Billingsley in a 10:10 PM EST start. And here I was just starting to get into the habit of going to bed early …