Mets Game 93: Win Over Rockies

Mets 2 Rockies 1

It was the eighth inning, with two outs. Carlos Beltran had just popped up, and Damion Easley was walking to the batter’s box. Meantime, one of our dogs was walking around the living room, looking uncomfortable. She was sniffing her butt. My wife says,

“I think she needs to go out.”

“Yes, I’m sure she does. I’ll take her out right after Easley hits a homerun here. He’s going to take a fastball into the bleachers.”

About two minutes later, a ball off Damion’s bat landed over the wall in left-center field. OK, it was a bit to the right of the bleachers, but it was pretty damn close. My wife looked at me with one of those “how did you know that?” looks, and I put the leash on the dog.

Prior to that premonition, the Mets and Rockies were locked in a 1-1 tie that showed no signs of breaking. Oliver Perez, despite walking 6, was electric, striking out 7 and allowing only one run on two hits. His only mistake was hanging a slider to Brad Hawpe, who jumped all over the pitch and put it over the right field fence. However, the walks ran up Ollie’s pitch total, and he was gone after 6 innings and 119 pitches.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ lineup had a heckuva time figuring out Aaron Cook (as usual). They managed six hits and a walk off the Colorado sinkerballer, with Jose Reyes’ two-out RBI single in the fifth accounting for their only run before Easley’s bomb (which came off reliever Taylor Buchholz).

Once again, the Mets bullpen was spectacular, shutting out the Rockies over the last three innings, allowing just one hit. Pedro Feliciano was the lucky recipient of the win, and Billy Wagner notched his 21st save.


Easley went 2-for-3 with a walk, and Reyes was the only other Met with more than one hit, going 2-for-4. The run driven home was Reyes’ 41st of the season — a pretty significant number for a leadoff batter.

Aaron Heilman pitched another scoreless inning, coming into the game with runners on first and second and nobody out. The first batter he faced sacrificed the runners to second and third, Heilman then walked the next batter to load the bases, but he regrouped to strike out the next two hitters to end the inning. I don’t think a reliever could do much better than that, given those circumstances. Aaron’s ERA has dropped a full run since June 15th. Let’s hope we hold onto Heilman, rather than trade him for some scrub such as Juan Rivera.

Speaking of Rivera, this is the “big” name that Jon Heyman suggested during a WFAN interview on Thursday afternoon, citing Omar Minaya’s “history” with the underachieving outfielder. Rivera is currently hitting .221, but Heyman claims, “he’s better than anyone the Mets have right now”. Really? Anyone meaning who? The .194-hitting Marlon Anderson? Rivera, once a Yankee phenom, has never lived up to the hype, except for a 23-homer, .310 campaign in 2006 as a 28-year-old. He’s now 30, and with PEDs banned from the game, I can’t imagine he’ll be any better or even as good as he was two years ago. I see him as an expensive version of Ricky Ledee.

Heyman also said the Mets could probably obtain the Rockies’ Matt Holliday and centerfielder Willy Taveras in return for Carlos Beltran, Fernando Martinez, and Jonathan Niese or Aaron Heilman. Um … yeah … I don’t think so, but thanks for the “info”. I imagine the Mets could also pry Xavier Nady from the Pirates in return for David Wright, but that ain’t happenin’ neither.

The Mets have DFA’d Chris Aguila and promoted Robinson Cancel. Why, no one is quite sure. I suppose someone needs to keep Argenis Reyes company on the bench, or perhaps make Ramon Castro feel thin. Don’t get me wrong, I like Cancel, but I don’t see any point whatsoever in him using up space on the 25-man roster. One of the great mysteries of Metsville.

Next Game

The second game of the series pits Pedro Martinez against Ubaldo Jimenez in a made-for-TV time of 3:55 pm. You can see it on FOX. Put the TV on mute and listen on WFAN or XM 188.

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. murph July 12, 2008 at 12:05 am
    Way to go, fellas!
    The Mets “juggernaut” keeps rolling along.

    I have to say, it has been a pleasure being a Mets fan THIS MONTH.

    I don’t understand the Aguila for Cancel swap. Seldom used player for seldom used player. But you would think that with Church, Alou, (and Nixon & Pagan) out, they would need an outfielder off the bench more than a 3rd catcher. But who knows…

    …The Mets know!

  2. joe July 12, 2008 at 12:22 am
    Have to agree, on all counts … particularly the Aguila / Cancel transactions. I guess Aguila was redundant with Nick Evans around, but if I’m the manager I’m not so excited about having Evans, Cancel and A. Reyes as my top RH choices off the bench for pinch-hitting situations. Get me Richie Sexson or Tony Clark to pop one over the fence.

    Whatever … it’s hard to criticize when the team is on a 7-game roll …

  3. isuzudude July 12, 2008 at 7:28 am
    “She was sniffing her butt.” Nice.

    Awesome win. Too bad Arizona’s bullpen blows and couldn’t stop the Phillies from winning, too. I hate to say it, only because there is still SO much of the season yet to be played and it would be bad if the Mets are peaking now instead of in September, but how about giving a gold star to SK for being Mr. Level-Headed while the world collapsed around him. He’s been preaching the “pendulum always swings back” philosophy since April, and now it appears it’s finally coming to fruition. Just look at all the things that could have gone wrong last night but didn’t:
    – Mets pitchers walk 9 batters, but none of them came around to score
    – The Rockies load the bases in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, but fail to score each time
    – Taylor Buchholz’s bread and butter pitch is is curve, but chose to throw a meaty fastball with a 2-strike count to the fastball hitting Easley, and Damion deposited the pitch over the left-center field wall
    Since when did the Mets start getting all the beneficial breaks? And how in the world have the Mets become a better team substituting Tatis/Chavez/Easley into the lineup for Alou/Church/Castillo? Crazy.

    My rationale behind the Cancel call-up is this: the Mets only have 2 games until the all-star break. Tatis and Chavez have been playing well enough to get those remaining starts, and still have ample backup in Evans, Anderson, and Easley (in a pinch, with Argenis playing 2nd). Cancel’s addition allows the Mets to use Castro as their #1 righty off the bench, and also gives Manuel room to pinch-run for Schneider (like he did last night). However, what’s most likely to happen is that Cancel will be DFA’d after the break, creating room for either Nixon or Pagan to be activated, as both are projected to be ready to come off the DL by then. The reason it’s Cancel up with the team and not Casanova or Molina is because the Mets value those 2 more and don’t want to chance losing them thru waivers like they will with Cancel. That’s the plan that makes sense to me. It’s also not as if Aguila was tearing the cover off the ball or starting 5 out fo 7 games a week. I agree his absense depletes our OF reserves, but it should only be a temporary loss until the break is over.

    Finally, for the record, even though he wouldn’t cost any players to acquire, I do not want Sexson. The Mets are finally finding that ideal chemistry mix in the clubhouse, I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that by bringing in a guy who wasn’t known as the most popular player in Seattle, and who probably wouldn’t get much playing time at all with Delgado currently weilding a hot bat. Also, career pinch hitting, Sexson is .190. Please pass.

  4. sincekindergarten July 12, 2008 at 7:38 pm
    ID, do not ask that question . . . “Since when do the Mets start getting all the beneficial breaks?” We don’t want to jinx anything.

    With the Mets winning today and Pedro only going four innings, if the Phillthies lost tomorrow and the Mets win, the Mets will be in first at the ASB. Just three weeks ago, whoda thunk it?

  5. Micalpalyn July 14, 2008 at 1:04 pm
    Isu: hey I want some of that pie too….hopefully there is more pie handed out later.

    Notably Manuel is now 17-9. The Mets just completed back to back sweeps …which could have been THREE but for a close loss in Philly.

    What a difference a pitching coach makes: Pel & Ollie r pitching better, the defense is better (without Castillo). The OF defense is among the best in baseball especially if Endy and CB are together with Church in RF. The won loss records are not great but Santana has a sub 3.00 ERA.

    Agree with Isuzu: I dont think any knee jerk reactions are required. Nixon and Pagan are as good as anyone we could trade for. The key is to get Church back.