Mets Game 35: Win Over Reds

Mets 8 Reds 3

It was a good day for Mothers who are Mets fans.

In addition, it was a good day for Mets fans in general, as we saw Oliver Perez finally throw a decent game, and watched offense swing hot pink bats — both literally and figuratively.

Perez was brilliant through five, holding the Reds to only three hits and shutting them out through the first five frames. Ollie struggled in the sixth, allowing three runs on a sac fly by Adam Dunn and a two-run triple by Jeff “Screw the Mets” Keppinger, but the Mets answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to knock down Cincinnati’s momentum and bag the game.

Carlos Beltran was the offensive star of the game, driving in three runs with a double and his third homerun of the season. Beltran’s homer was immediately followed by another tater off the bat of Ryan Church in the fifth; the back-to-back blasts extended the Mets lead to six-zip at the time.

The Mets bullpen wasn’t perfect, but it held the Reds scoreless through three innings.

Notes

Beltran is now 5 for his last 11 with 8 RBI, 2 doubles, a triple, and a homerun. I think it’s safe to say he’s out of his slump.

Also out of a slumber is Jose Reyes, who had three hits including a cheap double, two stolen bases, and two runs scored. He and Luis Castillo did a great job of setting the table, as Castillo went 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored. Damion Easley added a hit and run of his own taking over for Castillo, who left the game with “quad discomfort”.

Pedro Feliciano threw only eight pitches, but the bottom of the ninth lasted over forty minutes thanks to lineup confusion. The Reds batted out of order to start the inning, and Willie Randolph pointed out this mistake to the umpires after David Ross flied out. The umpires were completely confused by the situation, possibly because managers usually bring this sort of thing to their attention after a hit, not an out. What followed were about a dozen conferences between the umpires, the umps and Randolph, the umps and Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker, etc., while Feliciano waited around on the mound. After it appeared to be all straightened out, David Ross came to bat again, and this time stroked a base hit. Strangely, Dusty Baker started another round of conferences after that hit, when he realized Corey Patterson would not get an at-bat. Or something. With one out and down by five in the last inning, with everyone needing to go see their moms after the game, you’d think Dusty would have let the game run its course rather than extend it any longer. Whatever.

Next Game

The Nationals travel to New York for a three-game set beginning on Monday at 7:10 PM, weather permitting. The Mets send Nelson Figueroa to the mound against Odalis (“Don’t Call Me Oliver”) Perez.

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. murph May 12, 2008 at 9:32 am
    I never understood why the Mets gave up on Keppinger.
    All he did was hit, at every level. Was he such a terrible fielder?

    When they traded him for Gotay, I thought: OK, swapping prospect second basemen, at least Gotay is younger. Then the Mets dump Gotay too. And get nothing in return!

    As an average fan, I just don’t get it. Is there something behind the scenes that we don’t know about?

  2. sincekindergarten May 12, 2008 at 9:54 am
    We got the “Inner Jose Lima” out of Perez for parts of the sixth, thankfully, and the “Inner Tom Seaver” came back and closed out the inning. The latter pitcher had been in evidence for the first five innings, so the IJL was ready to strike.

    Murph, I have no idea why Keppinger was traded by the Mets, other than the fielding part.

  3. isuzudude May 12, 2008 at 10:32 am
    Murph, I think sometimes mistakes happen. Omar probably thought, like the Pirates before him and the Royals after him, that Keppinger only projected as a light-hitting utility-infielder with little hope as a future starter. Give a hat tip to the Reds for recognizing his talent. However, rest assured that neither Jeff Keppinger, nor Ruben Gotay for that matter, is the missing link that would have made the Mets the clear-cut World Series favorites. Be glad Omar made all the right decisions with many other transactions, such as landing Duaner Sanchez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Ryan Church, and Johan Santana – players who will have a much bigger impact on a team’s success than Keppinger.

    As for Gotay, his departure was due to a roster squeeze. With Alou and Castro’s injuries, the Mets needed to carry Angel Pagan and Raul Casanova, and Chavez, Anderson, and Easley all had secure places on the bench. It just left Gotay as the odd man out. And it’s not as though the Mets “dumped” Gotay. They put him on waivers in hopes he would clear and then get optioned to AAA. Unfortunately, the Braves foiled the Mets’ plans, and took him off waivers. It stinks the Mets got nothing in return for him, but it’s not as though Omar just threw Gotay away.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to present some facts to all the fickle Met fans out there who constantly call for Willie’s head and spiral into a pit of depression every time the Mets lose. Since April 15th, the Mets are 14-10. They’ve won 5 series (including sets against the Phillies on the road, Braves at home, and Dbacks on the road) and lost only 2. Meantime, the Phillies are coming off a 3-4 road trip at Arizona and lowly San Francisco, while the Mets went 3-3 against the Dbacks and Dodgers on a recent west coast road trip. Elsewhere, the Braves are on the verge of getting swept in Pittsburgh, and have only won 1 of 6 road series this season. Some of us think the grass is always greener for other teams, but a quick check on the facts reveals the Mets are in as good of shape, if not better, than their key NL East rivals. And now that the offense is back showing signs of life, and Perez is straightening himself out, the Mets are in prime condition to go on a tear. As Joe alludes, let the Yankee fans be known as the doubters, shouters, and pouters. WE have a great team and it’s time to stop criticizing and time to start supporting.

  4. murph May 12, 2008 at 11:38 am
    I thought I understood the waiver procedure, but why
    would Gotay have to clear waivers to be sent down?
    Isn’t it based on number of years in the majors? He only had 3 years in the majors, and not all full seasons. Was he out of options?
    Would Aaron Heilman have to clear waivers to be sent down, as Joe suggested last week?
  5. Micalpalyn May 12, 2008 at 11:55 am
    However, rest assured that neither Jeff Keppinger, nor Ruben Gotay for that matter, is the missing link that would have made the Mets the clear-cut World Series favorites.]

    Agreed Dude: willie had a penchant for playing Cairo and Woodward over Kepp. But Kepp had more upside. but ala Bell Willie did not like him. Why we dont know. Ditto gotay followed the same pattern.

    Dude: Willie as I point out has done by waaay far his best managing job to date. Add to that he has not had Schneider (or Castro) for long periods a difference easily seen in Pelfrey and Ollie’s starts.

    But again, The marlins keep winning and if they keep it up could add peices to keep them rolling (….IF they even need to). I was never particularly worried about Atl and Philly has Pedro Feliz at 3rd and Rowand is gone. Those 2 teams both have question marks. But the Marlins are STOCKED with talent at every level. (BTW where is Anibel Sanchez?) I know the wise among us will say…these are the Marlins, but they have a formula for success that has yielded TWO WS in a meagre window of existence and they keep winning. its like Lastings wound them up and they have not forgotten.

  6. sincekindergarten May 12, 2008 at 12:23 pm
    Mic, according to the Marlins’ website, Anibel Sanchez is on the 15-day DL. Don’t know why. FWIW, Henry Owens (remember him?) is on the 60-day DL.
  7. isuzudude May 12, 2008 at 12:37 pm
    Murph: I’m probably not properly qualified to answer all your questions, but I’ll give it a whirl. After all, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Um…that was a lame attempt at humor.
    To my knowledge, once a player has had 3 seasons experience at the major league level, that player no longer has options remaining (unless it is otherwise written into that player’s contract). Those seasons do not have to be complete. I’m not sure if there is a minimum amount of games the player has to appear in during those 3 seasons for their options period to end, but in Gotay’s case, that minimum had been reached. So, yes, much like Aaron Heilman, Gotay was out of options. And in order to get those options back, the player has to pass through waivers – which is a whole other complicated matter in which I don’t fully understand either. But the bottom line is the Mets had to take a chance on sending Gotay through waivers in order to retain him. The only other options were to release him altogether, or to trade him (which was unlikely to happen due to Gotay’s lingering ankle injury and the fact that no team was going to trade for a guy who they knew they could get for free on the waiver wire). I hope that clarifies things…and if anyone else knows more about this process, please educate us!

    Mic: I’m seriously not counting on the Marlins to continue their run. It seems like it’s every year some team comes out of nowhere to get off to a fast start, but fades as the summer wears on. As they say, the cream always rises to the top. And if the Marlins are the cream of the NL East with a rotation of Hendrickson, Miller, Nolasco, and Badenhop, then I’ll be very surprised.

    BTW – Anibal Sanchez is out after undergoing right shoulder surgery and is not expected back until sometime after the all-star break. Meanwhile, Florida is also missing Josh Johnson (TJ surgery), Rick VandenHurk (upper arm soreness), Henry Owens (rotator cuff surgery), Lee Gardner (elbow inflammation), Sergio Mitre (forearm strain), and Harvey Garcia (shoulder tendinitis). Doesn’t it always seem like they have about a dozen pitchers on the DL at any given time?

  8. Micalpalyn May 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm
    Thanks Dude!

    1. Dude: my point exactly. With Sanchez, mitre and vandenhurk all possible contributors, plus Maybin has not contributed yet, and Miller seems to have come on lately. Cantu and Boone are also contributing. With this team a little spark goes along way. The problem is the could see WC aspirations and go for it if they stay in the race thru June.

  9. murph May 12, 2008 at 10:49 pm
    isuzudude:
    Thanks for clarifying.
    The Holiday Inn reference made me laugh.