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