Mets Game 71: Win Over Angels

Mets 5 Angels 4

After leading, losing, and tying, the Mets finally pulled out a win thanks to a solo homer by Damion Easley in the top of the tenth inning to take the rubber match, win the series, and give new manager Jerry Manuel his first win as Mets manager.

At one point in the game, the Mets led three-zip. They blew the lead, then tied it up against Francisco Rodriguez, who had converted 25 consecutive saves to that point. Actually, “they” didn’t do much of anything — this was the Jose Reyes Show. Reyes had three hits, scored three runs, hit a triple, and stole a base. He did get some help in the form of solo shots by Easley and Carlos Delgado, but the bottom line is, without Reyes, the Mets don’t have a chance in this contest.

Oliver Perez pitched OK, going six innings and allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks. Not great, but not bad, especially considering the appearances of Mr. Hyde lately.


In the bottom of the ninth, Fernando Tatis (playing first base) made a diving stab at a line drive off the bat of Reggie Willits, deflecting the drive to Damion Easley, who tossed out Willits at first with Duaner Sanchez covering. It made me wonder, “what if Carlos Delgado was playing first base?”. There have been so many balls that drifted by Delgado without so much as a second look, it makes me wonder how many led to eventual runs, and how many cost the Mets the game.

Speaking of, DH is a great spot for Delgado. I think the Mets should do the right thing and trade him to an AL team ASAP.

I had a hard time paying attention to this game. Maybe it was my lack of sleep since the 3 am firing of Willie 48 hours ago. Perhaps I’m feeling sympathetic jet lag for the men in orange and blue (not unlike couvade syndrome). Or perhaps I’ve thrown in the towel on the season, and therefore have little passion one way or the other. I think I’m just tired.

The SNY lovefest for Jerry Manuel must stop. I don’t know if it was an edict handed down from the Mets’ front office or genuine butt-kissing, but enough already. Manuel is not a demigod, and we don’t need to hear about how he’s affecting every single nuance of the game. For example, it was pointed out that Jose Reyes sprinted from home to second on a routine popup to shortstop. This is nothing new, and had nothing to do with the Reyes tantrum / Manuel scolding from the night before. Reyes has always been one of the few Mets who hustled all the time, despite being benched for “not hustling” in a game last July.

And please, Ron Darling, don’t add the nonsensical, irrelevant quip “Reyes gets a talking to last night and tonight gets three hits”. Reyes is hitting .313 for the month of June and was 10 for his last 21 in the five games immediately before Manuel took over the helm.

Oh gawd … about 15 minutes after I chide Darling, I have to hear similar bullcrap from Gary Cohen’s mouth. How it was so “fascinating” to see Reyes’ performance in this game one night after seeing the way Manuel handled Jose’s tantrum of the night before. PLEASE STOP REACHING FOR A STORY!!! I reiterate: Reyes was hitting close to .500 prior to Manuel’s assignment. His 3-for-5 evening was a COINCIDENCE!

Darling and Cohen also pointed out that the Mets did not have “focus and energy late in games” and “had trouble coming back from deficits late in games”, and insinuated that Manuel was the reason for the team suddenly pulling out a come-from-behind victory. Well isn’t it interesting how short memories can be? Am I nuts, or did the Mets start playing full games, and coming from behind to win, in the last two weeks of Willie Randolph’s managerial career?

I’m happy to see the Mets win, but PLEASE stop painting Manuel as some kind of messiah.

Next Game

The Mets move on to the mountains and land of “near beer” during an off day, then have a 9:05 pm EST start in Colorado on Friday night. John Maine heads to the hill against Dennis Aaron Cook.

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. sincekindergarten June 19, 2008 at 3:56 am
    Ummm . . . Joe, the Mets won this game, as DWright drove in Jose Reyes in the top of the ninth, with 2 out, to tie . . . and Damion Easley hit a 1-0 pitch with 2 outs in the top of the 10th out for the win. 😮
  2. julie June 19, 2008 at 4:08 am
    He must be tired. 😉
  3. sincekindergarten June 19, 2008 at 4:15 am
    Whoops! I saw the headline, which still reads “Angels 4, Mets 3” and went with that. 😮

    Hey, my first cup of coffee is sitting here, untouched, as I tyoe this. Bound to be a typo or three.

  4. isuzudude June 19, 2008 at 5:58 am
    Yeah, Joe you definitely need some Z’s, man. In addition to the incorrect score headline, you have the Mets facing “Dennis” Cook on Friday in Colorado. We all know you meant Aaron Cook. Take the off day and treat yourself to a massage or something.

    Good win last night, although I agree that it’s equally as idiotic to solely credit Jerry Manuel for the victory as it was to solely blame Willie for the team’s struggles since last June. Still, let’s build off this. The story of “Underachieving Team Rallies Around New Manager” is much more encouraging than “Underachieing Team Continues to Underachieve Despite Changes,” even if it is a bunch of spin.

  5. David W. June 19, 2008 at 7:04 am
    Here’s what Wright said about the ninth-inning hit: “I just got lucky,” said Wright, who was batting .238 with runners in scoring position before Wednesday. “Probably 8 or 9 times out of 10, I roll that ball over, but I stayed through it just enough to get it over the third baseman’s head.” Not as compelling a story line, but much more accurate. Good for you for calling out SNY for their BS. Now change the headline, it’s soooooo “Willie Randolph era.”
  6. SNK June 19, 2008 at 8:01 am
    Joe, I totally agree on the Reyes front. Even Joe Morgan pointed out a few weeks back how he sprints around the bases after a HR! This is nothing new, and has nothing to do with Jerry Manuel.

    I like that Wright admitted he got lucky – b/c he did. Just like he’s gotten a bit unlucky lately. The past week or so it has felt like the luck might be changing a bit. I hope that continues.

  7. Micalpalyn June 19, 2008 at 10:52 am
    The only thing lost in this Post is that the ‘NY Mess’ just took a series from the Anaheim Angels… in Anaheim. The Angels have the 2nd best AL record 13 games over .500 so this is not something to look past, especially having been swept by SD a team 10 games under .500 just a week ago and looking pretty timid in doing so.

    All this:with two managers, resting Dw (a day of Dh-ing), playing Tatis at 1st base…where did that come from.

    Based only on the last 2 days, it looks like Manuel will find oppurtunity to rest DW, Rotate Easley with Castillo at 2nd, rotate Tatis with Delgado at 1st. In the Monday game we saw Endy rest Beltran too.

    Bottomline this was a nice win and we we all crave is to see the Mets win.