Mets Game 32: Win Over Dodgers
Mets 12 Dodgers1
Wow … where was all that offense in the first two games?
The Mets went ape on Dodger ace Brad Penny, slapping him around for ten runs on ten hits and three walks in four frames, then assaulted Scott Proctor for another two in his one and one-third inning of work.
Meantime, John Maine was Just Magnificent, plowing through eight and and a third before giving up a run. His final line: 8 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 ER. His near-shutout performance came just hours after the sports talk radio jockeys and other pundits pointed out that the Mets had no starting pitcher go more than seven innings in the season.
When a dozen runs are scored, it’s hard to highlight one or two players. Ryan “Lastings Who?” Church was the brightest star of the day, going 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs scored from the six spot. Luis Castillo, back in the two-spot, went 2-for-4 with two two-out RBI. Raul Casanova also went 2-for-4, with 2 RBI and 2 runs.
The Mets drove home six runs with two outs — and John Maine was responsible for two of them.
A bright green flag (usually we talk about “red flags”) from today’s game was the Mets’ patience at the plate. For the third straight game, the Mets batters were exhibiting good plate discipline, working deep counts, letting the ball get deep, and hitting to the opposite field. Is it any coincidence that Jose Reyes, at the top of the lineup, has become more selective lately? Is it possible that the rest of the order is following his lead? Keep it up, Jose.
Interestingly, the Mets had this offensive explosion with regulars Carlos Delgado, Moises Alou, and Brian Schneider riding the pine. Marlon Anderson, Angel Pagan, and Casanova were all productive in their places.
Pagan, by the way, made a spectacular play in the first inning, catching a fly ball at the wall in foul territory and then doing a somersault over the wall and going headfirst into the seats. He stayed in the game but eventually left due to shoulder tightness. Pagan is scheduled for an MRI and is day-to-day.
Two things great to see from Johnny Maine: getting ahead of the batters (which is easy with a big lead) and pounding the ball inside. On several occasions he made a batter “dodge” his inside fastball, and in fact went so far in on Jeff Kent that he elicited a response from Pig-boy Penny and a warning from the umpires. Despite the warning, Johnny continued to make batters move their feet here and there — I like seeing that nasty side of Mr. Maine.
Carlos Beltran seemed completely over the “flu-like symptoms” that kept him out of Tuesday night’s contest, zipping around the bases and stinging the ball all over the place (he scorched the ball, but right at people). After reading about Darryl Strawberry’s hangovers being reported as “flu-like symptoms” in Bad Guys Won, I’ve been extremely skeptical of players who sit for one day and return the picture of health the next. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not trying to start any rumors — just taking the reason for Beltran’s day off with a grain of salt. Carlos may not have been partying the night before, but Willie Randolph could very well be covering up something else. For example, perhaps one or both of his recently repaired knees is still acting up, and rather than allow the knee to become a media issue, it makes more sense to give an excuse that evokes no questions.
I love listening to Ron Darling, but he’s driving me nutty by identifying two-seam fastballs as four-seamers. For the fifth time in the last three games, he called a particular pitch a “four-seam fastball” as the slo-mo replay magnifying the pitcher’s hand at release clearly exhibited a two-seam fastball (this is when the index and middle fingers are on, or parallel to, the red stitching on the ball). Get yer eyes checked, Ron … maybe you need glasses.
The Mets have a day off to travel on Thursday, then return home on Friday to host the Cincinnati Reds for a weekend series. Game one begins at 7:10 PM and will have Mike Pelfrey on the mound against Matt Belisle.