Diamondbacks 5 Mets 4
For the second consecutive day, the Mets wasted an outstanding effort by their starting pitcher.
Johan Santana pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits and three walks, striking out ten in a 115-pitch effort. The only thing Santana did wrong was not pitch the final two frames.
Instead, the “setup” relief crew allowed Arizona to score two runs in the eighth, then closer Billy Wagner blew his third straight save opportunity by allowing another deuce in the ninth.
The Mets had a golden opportunity to salvage the game in the bottom of the ninth, as Jose Reyes led off with an infield single and was sacrificed to second by Endy Chavez. David Wright then ripped the game-winning hit down the third base line, but Augie Ojeda made a diving stab, holding Reyes at second and getting Wright out at first. Carlos Beltran was intentionally walked, and Carlos Delgado drew a walk himself to load the bases, and then Damion Easley smacked a grounder into the hole between shortstop and third to drive in the winning run for the second time of the inning. EXCEPT, shortstop Stephen Drew made a sparkling play of his own to stop the ball and make the throw to nab Delgado before he could slide into second.
Aaron Heilman entered in the tenth and gave up a leadoff double to Justin Upton to start the inning. Upton was sacrificed to third, though it looked like batter-runner Jeff Salazar beat Heilman’s throw to first. Heilman then struck out Miguel Montero on a great 0-2, inside fastball for the second out with Justin Upton on third base, but the home plate umpire missed the call. Maybe it was payback for the out call on first base? In any case, Montero sent the next pitch into right field, deep enough to score Upton with the winning run.
The Mets were so relieved that the Diamondbacks scored early in extras, they make three quick outs to make it easy for them to get to the airport.
What else is there to say? The Mets were incidental winners last night, and followed it up with another emotionally devastating loss. The morale can’t be any worse, the team can’t sink any lower. My only hope is that Willie Randolph isn’t made the scapegoat, because he’s putting the players into position to win — but they’re not executing. It’s a matter of personnel, and the first guy who deserves to go — Carlos Delgado — happens to be on a hot streak and has been caught hustling a few times in the last few days.
The Mets have entered a rut where they’re waiting to lose, rather than going hard after a win.
About the Author
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.