Mets Game 64: Win Over Diamondbacks
Mets 5 Diamondbacks 3
The Mets blew another one, then went into a coma, were lucky enough their opponents did also, and then finally recaptured a win in the lucky 13th inning.
Mike Pelfrey had perhaps his most dominating outing as a pro, throwing eight full innings of shutout ball. He struck out 8 D-Backs in the process, allowing five hits and two walks on 112 pitches. He was removed after allowing a hit to Stephen Drew to start the ninth, and received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd. Right before the ovation, the crowd did all they could do to tell Willie Randolph he was making a terrible move by removing Big Pelf, but he either misunderstood the communication or ignored it, because he summoned Billy Wagner to the mound.
Wags proceeded to strike out Orlando Hudson, allow a double to Conor Jackson to put runners on second and third, and then K’d
Chad Tracy for the second out. Mark Reynolds then worked the count full, fouling off several pitches in the process, before sending the seventh pitch of the at-bat to deep left-center. The crowd, which had been on its feet and clamoring for a strikeout, fell silent in parallel to the ball’s downward trajectory beyond the fence. Billy Wagner’s face also fell, and the entire Mets team looked as though it received a collective punch in the stomach.
I was lucky enough to have seats at field level, directly behind home plate, about 12 rows back (these SNY connections are starting to pay off), and I can tell you firsthand that the Mets looked like a deflated balloon from that moment through the next four innings. The batters were going through the motions, seemingly trying to get the game over with. Luckily, the bullpen held the fort long enough for Carlos Beltran to find the energy to blast a ball of his own over the fence to win the game. Once that bullet left his bat, the Mets dugout was suddenly electrified, and the 38 fans left in the stands shared in the jubilation.
I’m beginning to think I’m some sort of Mets anti-jinx, or negative motivator. Pelfrey pulls this performance out of his backside just hours after my scathing post on MetsBlog stated
This team can’t continue to … believe this is the game Pelfrey finally puts it all together.
If the players are reading the blogs and seeking to prove knuckleheads like me wrong, I’ll be happy to continue writing critical pieces. Whatever it takes to win, I’ll do it. Heck, I’ll change the name of my blog to “FootInMouthToday.com” if it helps.
Got to see phenom Max Scherzer from an ideal view — just behind the umpire’s right shoulder. The kid can throw gas, but his mechanics scare me. He starts out smooth, but curls his throwing hand behind his back a bit and then comes forward with a violent release that jerks his head down. Every pitch he throws looks like it hurts, and I kept waiting for his shoulder to follow the ball to the catcher’s glove. I hope he can stay healthy, but with that kind of motion I fear he’ll tear something with regular work.
Beltran drove in four of the Mets’ five runs with his two hits. Marlon Anderson drove in the other run.
Aaron Heilman pitched two innings of scoreless, one-hit relief.
I questioned the decision to bring in Claudio Vargas in the top of the 13th, as this made the third day in a row he’s appeared in a game — as he’s not been a regular reliever since 2004. Hopefully Willie Randolph doesn’t get all Jorge Sosa on him, and think he can pitch every single day.
Since I had great seats, I got some decent pictures. That damn net, though, screwed up the focus on many good shots.
Mets and D-Backs play the rubber match at 1:10 PM on Thursday, with Johan Santana facing Danny Haren. Should be another low-scoring game.