Mets Game 72: Win Over Rockies

Mets 7 Rockies 2

A great game from every angle.

John Maine provided strong starting pitching, the bullpen did a great job, the defense made stellar plays, and the offense did everything right with the bats and on the bases. No complaints.

Maine went 6 2/3, allowing 2 earned runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 6 in a 110-pitch effort. He fell behind 2-0 in the first frame when hot-hitting Jeff Baker blasted a two-run dinger. However, the Mets marched right back in the top of the second, exploding for 5 runs on 7 hits to take the lead for good.

Trot Nixon mashed a solo homer in the third to extend the lead to 6-2, and the Mets tacked on another run in the 8th when Jose Reyes hit a ball that fell safely in right field with the bases loaded to score Damion Easley. Strangely enough, Reyes did not get credit for a hit because Brian Schneider went back to second base rather than going halfway on the fly ball, and was forced out at third on a fine throw by Brad Hawpe.

Notes

I’m happy the Mets have won again, but for the moment still have mixed feelings about their success. All that’s come out in the last few days regarding the way Tony Bernazard completely undermined and sabotaged Willie Randolph has me feeling bittersweet. It doesn’t help that every pundit and SNY personality points out every little positive thing and attributes it to Jerry Manuel. I like Manuel, I believe he is a very smart and solid baseball man, and he’s definitely more media-friendly. However, this roll the Mets are on started before he came along. Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, and others were already on hot streaks while Willie was still around. The team’s overall hustle, passion, and come-from-behind wins all began while on Willie’s watch. On the one hand, I think the team needed a change because Bernazard had singlehandedly created an extremely tense atmosphere which would not have been relieved until Willie was forced out. On the other hand, it’s a little sad that after two wins, everyone is giving full props to Manuel and forgetting that things were beginning to move in the right direction under Willie. Prime example: Carlos Delgado was neither hitting nor hustling until Randolph sat him for two straight games. Was it a coincidence, or did Willie light a fire under him?

Nice to see John Maine rebound after a few tough starts in a row. Also good to see Aaron Heilman pitch another scoreless inning. I hope Jerry Manuel notices that Heilman pitches very well when given a clean slate — i.e., starting an inning.

Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit, including John Maine. Heck, even Brian Schneider had two hits. The two Carloses continued to stay warm, with Delgado smashing a two-run homer and a single, and Beltran going 3-for-5 with a run scored.

A week ago, the Mets’ season looked to be in the crapper. Today, they reached .500, leapfrogged over the quickly dissolving Braves, and now find themselves in third place, 4.5 games out of first. Continuing the momentum has been an issue in the past, so we’ll see if the more relaxed Mets can keep the engine going.

Next Game

The Mets and Rockies do it again in Denver on Saturday at 8:05 pm. Pedro Martinez goes to the mound against Ubaldo Jimenez.

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 21, 2008 at 5:57 am
    I’ve been all over the map on how I feel about the season. I’ve said this one before, and I’ll say it again–the Mets will win the division, but it won’t be final until the last week of the season. The Phillthies will try, and fail, to land C.C. Sabathia (he’ll wind up in Wrigley, if he’s traded at all) as their rotation and bullpen show signs of wear and tear. The Braves are playing for ’09 . . . and the Marlins will fade, but after the Phillthies.
  2. julie June 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm
    I have to say that I feel a bit uneasy or even weird about our club the past couple days.

    I wish Manuel and Bernazard were part of the clean up. Having Bernazard in our organization makes it feel tainted to me. And Manuel, where do I begin. I don’t want to hear about gangsters or cutting people with blades. Why is he referring to Reyes as she?
    And I certainly, without question, do not want to hear him lobbying for a three year contract, ever again.

  3. Micalpalyn June 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm
    Joe: sorry but i think your DEAD wrong. Jerry has in 3 games dramatically emphasized EVERYTHING Willie did wrong.
    1. The Mets are ENCOURAGED by the factor the iron-man mentality is gone. All players will see regular rest. BP has changed the BP has changed…note Joe IS a ROOGY now, Sho is a LOOGY . erry sticks with the performing player…..and this is THREE games.

    PS: Conspiracy theory I think the TEAM new Willie was going to be fired 2 weeks ago just not when.

  4. julie June 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm
    Micalpalyn wrote:>

    If that is the case Bernazard was probably behind the leak.

  5. julie June 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm
    Did anyone else hear Boomer say on his show this week that he saw Moises Alou running down the street after his dog. Apparently they live a couple houses away. Any reason why Moises isn’t running after fly balls in left field. Inquiring minds want to know. 😉
  6. isuzudude June 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm
    Mic: how can you disagree with a fact? All Joe said was…

    “I like Manuel, I believe he is a very smart and solid baseball man, and he’s definitely more media-friendly. However, this roll the Mets are on started before he came along. Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, and others were already on hot streaks while Willie was still around. The team’s overall hustle, passion, and come-from-behind wins all began while on Willie’s watch.”

    How is this dead wrong? Delgado is hitting .275 in June and has raised his average from .224 to .240 this month, much of which has been under Willie’s watch. Likewise, Reyes raised his average from .247 on May 10th to .289 the day Willie got fired. So how is Joe wrong when he says these players got hot well before Jerry Manuel took over as manager?

    No one is disagreeing with you that Jerry is a breath of fresh air and that the team appears to be maintaining their hot streak that began when the Mets took 2 of 3 from Texas. But the fact is that the team looked like they were getting their act together before Willie’s departure, which is what made the timing of the decision to fire him so baffling to so many people.

    I also think you might need to cool your jets on praising Manuel so mightily after 3 measily games. Joe and Show were ROOGY/LOOGY’s from the beginning of the season, not since the start of Jerry’s managerial inception. I’m not even sure how you can say Manuel is only using them as specialists, anyway. In the one game Show has appeared in since Jerry took over, he faced 1 lefty and 2 righties. That doesn’t sound like Manuel is using his as a LOOGY to me. Also, about the “iron-man mentality” being gone…prove it. It’s only been three games, so all I know is that Manuel is talking a good game since he’s been hired as manager, but he’s yet to rest anyone. So wait until you see David Wright or Jose Reyes getting a day off during the rubber game of a road series to tell me that Manuel is doing a better job of resting his stars. And sticking with the performing player? Dude, it’s a 3 game sample! Just wait until the inevitable 3 week slump comes from Beltran and we’ll see if Manuel has his allstar CF riding pine in order to get Endy Chavez more atbats. I doubt it.

    The key right now is that the Mets are winning again. If you think Jerry Manuel deserves all the credit, then go ahead and think that. I just want to know what the next excuse will be when the next losing streak hits, because apparently Jerry Manuel can do no wrong.

  7. Micalpalyn June 22, 2008 at 11:33 am
    This is late: but i do agree, and MY reflection is basically based on that fresh air in the club house.

    ‘So wait until you see David Wright or Jose Reyes getting a day off during the rubber game of a road series to tell me that Manuel is doing a better job of resting his stars”….If he does what HE says he is planning he wont need to rest his ‘STARS’ during the rubber game of a 3 game road series…they might even play a little less tired. Heck I work better knowing I have a day off coming dont u?

    as for my other points they have more to do with what he said. YES lets see what he does. …but he seems to be managing for the season not just todays game….

    Its a 3…4 game sample and i look forward to gushing over a 20 game sample…if I am gushing then we all will be. BUT consider Philly is around the corner and all of a sudden they look vulnerable.