Mets Game 96: Win Over Reds

Mets 10 Reds 8

The Mets won their 10th in the row — the first time they’ve done that since 1991 — and pulled into a tie for first place.

Their “ace” shat the bed, but the Reds starter was one run worse. In the end, it was a battle of the bullpens.

Johan Santana allowed five runs in four innings in the Cincinnati bandbox, and was gone from the game before the fifth frame began. However, the Mets’ offense stormed back with six scores against Cincy starter Johnny Cueto, and made a game of it.

It was all about the long ball in this contest, with the Reds scoring 5 runs in the fourth on homeruns, a double, and a triple, and the Mets gaining six of their ten runs via the homerun stroke.

Fernando Tatis dropped an opposite field fly ball just beyond the right-center wall, driving in himself and Carlos Delgado to give the Mets a 6-5 advantage in the top of the sixth. From there it was up to the bullpen to hold the slim lead.

Carlos Muniz did his job through an inning and a third, and Pedro Feliciano was equally effective in his 2/3 of an inning. Aaron Heilman got two quick outs, and seemed poised to keep the scoreless streak going, then lost his command and loaded the bases. Scott Schoeneweis, who has been “tremendous this year” (per Gary Cohen), came on to put out the fire but used gasoline instead of water. Schoeneweis kept his ERA tidy, but allowed Javier Valentin to clear the bases of all three inherited runners to give the Reds an 8-6 lead.

The score stayed that way until the ninth, when Reds closer Francisco Cordero came on and started things off by striking out Jose Reyes. Pinch-hitter Argenis Reyes stroked a single up the middle, and David Wright followed with another huge, clutch hit — a two-run, opposite field homer to tie up the score.

But the Mets weren’t done there. Carlos Beltran re-started things with a single to right, and was chased to third on another single to right by Damion Easley. Beltran scored the go-ahead run on a bloop single by Carlos Delgado — who spoiled a great two-strike pitch by Cordero. I swear that splitter was an inch off the ground when Delgado stuck out his bat and just met it — outstanding job by Delgado. Red-hot Fernando Tatis then mashed a double down the left field line to score Easley and chase Cordero from the game.

Billy Wagner made up for his forgettable All-Star appearance by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth in notching his 23rd save.

Notes

Santana’s line: 4 IP | 6 H | 5 ER | 3 BB | 2 K | 92 pitches. Ouch.

Schoeneweis has now allowed 14 of 29 inherited runners to score. For those who aren’t aware, that is horrendous.

The Reds were 34-1 this season when leading after the 7th inning.

Carlos Delgado finally reached .250 (.254 in fact), with three hits including a monster two-run homerun that gave the Mets their first lead of the game. Tatis also had three hits, pushing his average to .304.

Two seconds after Keith Hernandez claims “Carlos Delgado has not lost any bat speed, when he keeps his hands back he has extremely fast hands”, Delgado gets beat by an 89-MPH fastball by David Weathers. Whatever you say, Mex.

Speaking of, I love watching David Weathers — always did, since he was a Met. The guy had absolutely nothing and somehow got three tough outs after putting men on first and second. All guts. And one ugly dude, too. Mets should have held on to both him and Dan Wheeler (and Chad Bradford).

David Wright hit a clutch two-out single in the fifth to score Nick Evans and Brian Schneider and pull within one run — making the score 5-4 and setting the stage for Tatis in the next frame.

Nice to see Marlon Anderson stroke a line-drive base hit to the opposite field in his pinch-hitting appearance. If Marlon doesn’t hit, he doesn’t have much value to the club.

Also nice to see Aaron Heilman throwing lots of fastballs, but not nice to see his release point, which again has dropped to a dangerous level. He’s too far down around sidearm, which is causing his fastball to go up. He needs to get closer to 3/4 and keep his fingers on top of the ball at release, so that his pitches go down / sink. When his throwing motion can’t be differentiated from Joe Smith’s, Heilman will have command problems. This has been an issue since 2005.

Jeff Keppinger continued his personal assault on the Metropolitans. He had two hits and nearly a third, but his line drive in the eighth was speared by David Wright.

It wasn’t long ago that I would drop everything and stare at the TV screen when Ken Griffey, Jr. came to bat. Now when he’s hitting, I get up and go to the kitchen for a beer.

From my angle, it looked like Jose Reyes got jobbed on strikes one and two in the ninth against Francisco Cordero. Both pitches looked outside, and Jose had no choice but to protect against a third outside pitch, which turned out to be a nasty splitter.

The Mets used 7 pitchers in the game, and 8 names appeared in the box score in the second slot in the order.

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. harveybee July 17, 2008 at 11:54 pm
    with david wright hitting clutch, and to the opposite field, this team is dangerous…
  2. murph July 18, 2008 at 12:18 am
    Way to go, fellas!
    congrats on 10 in a row.
  3. julie July 18, 2008 at 3:59 am
    Gary, Ron and Keith are jinxes. The minute they point something out, it’s over!
  4. isuzudude July 18, 2008 at 6:11 am
    Holy Shnikees, what a win! Johan really needs to get his act together and be the 2nd half dominator we all thought he’d be…but WOW was it great to see this from the offense. I’m a little worried about Jerry Manuel’s extremely liberal use of the bullpen, but his hands get tied when starters need 92 pitches to get thru 4 innings. I’m wondering outloud if Cincy will make Jeremy Affeldt available in a trade before the deadline. He’s a free agent at year’s end, so the Reds may look to cut bait and get something in return without losing him for nothing. And I can see Affeldt doing admirably in our long relief/situational lefty role, helping take the pressure off of Schoeneweis.

    And yes, Joe, Delgado is finally over .250. He’s also batting close to .500 in July, and shares the team lead in HR with 18. Now hear me out. This is a big “if,” but if Delgado manages to finish out the season between .250-.260 and belts somewhere around 30 HR, is there a chance he’s worth re-signing? Let’s face it, aside from Mark Teixeira there is nobody available this winter who is worth chasing after at 1B (see for yourself http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/12/2009-mlb-free-a.html). There’s also no prospects in the system ready to take over 1B on a full-time basis starting in ’09. Delgado has a club option for next season that’s going to be worth in the neighborhood of $12-mil, which shouldn’t break the bank by any stretch. I’m just thinking, since there seems to be so few “better options,” maybe we should just concede to keeping Delgado around for one more year and focus our free agency energy on going after another stud pitcher, like Sheets, Sabathia, Burnett, or Lowe. Again, this rationale is contingent on Delgado keeping his statistics respectable over the course of the rest of the season, but with the way he’s swinging it right now, I’d say the arguement for keeping Delgado is getting stronger and stronger every day.

    Oh, and by the way, WE’RE IN FIRST PLACE!

  5. isuzudude July 18, 2008 at 6:12 am
    And by the way Julie, the crew has been pointing out the Mets winning streak numerous times and that has yet to end, so your jinx theory goes out the window. Do you always have to be so negative?
  6. sincekindergarten July 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm
    Ya know what needs “jinxing,” ID? The fact that John Maine is 0-2 lifetime against the Reds, with a 10 ERA! That little snippet screams for jinxing.
  7. joe July 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm
    Hey someone needs to point out the negatives to keep this thing balanced. Remember sincekindergarten’s optimism while the rest of us were giving up on the season (me included) ?

    As for Delgado, this has been the great dilemma from February. If he’s good, the Mets win but may have to pick up his obnoxious option. If he’s not good, the Mets won’t win but they can cut him loose.

  8. Micalpalyn July 18, 2008 at 1:20 pm
    I’m on that too. I also said the Mets would stabilize at .500 then go on a run. The proponent (similarity i saw was to Detroit who also sucked early then went on a 17/21 run. Ditto the CWS who after Ozzie went on a tirade (telling Williams he better do something) ..the CWS got incredibily hot.

    In Isuzu corner: Isuzu’s preseason prediction for Del is right on. BUT Del is looking good for my prediction too which was closer to .265-270 and 35HR (i think). Del is making 17mil this yr. Next yr he makes about 12 (or 16). BUT there is a 4Mil buyout.

    I think Isuzu is on to something. Del and Jerry are a good match so far and Jerry’s lack of loyalty seems to have focused alot of players. Also he preaches you perform u play. If Jerry harnesses Del and as Isuzu says it allows Omar to focus elsewhere i think Del comes back.

    Yeah Isuzu: I like your Affeldt idea too.

    Carlos muniz’s work is also deserves praise.

    Joe Blanton: Is not an upgrade. I think he might be a .500 pitcher. I think Maine is a better pitcher right now. Pelfrey better yet.
    I like also that Omar is basically saying my 1-4 pitchers are sound if i need a starter i have options. And he does. Vargas, Figs and Niese are available. Parnall too. I’d like to see what he does with LF. But Tatis is not embarrasing himself.

  9. isuzudude July 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm
    Fantastic post, Mic…and I’m not just saying that because you’re agreeing with me. The Manuel/Delgado relationship escaped me until you mentioned it, and perhaps that’s the driving force behind Delgado’s resurgence. Maybe that – along with a combination of getting healthy, warmer weather, and proper motivation (both contractual and playing-time) – have gotten him going again. Agree, too, that Muniz deserves praise, and that the Phils did little to help themselves by adding Blanton. His biggest asset is that he’s an “innings-eater,” but now pitching his home games at the hitter friendly CBP in Philly rather than at the cavernous Coliseum in Oakland, it’s anyone’s guess if he can keep it up. Everyone knew the Phils needed to improve on Adam Eaton, and Blanton most likely will, but I don’t think there’s anything Brett Myers, JA Happ, Chad Durbin, or Carlos Carrasco couldn’t do that Blanton can. Over at http://www.philliesnation.com, some boneheads think Blanton is hands-down better than anyone the Mets have other than Johan, which is crazy. I guess they haven’t been paying attention to or pitching staff during this 10 game winning streak. We’ll just have to show them whose pitching really is best when we play again next week.

    Also over at the enemies’ blog, they’ve drafted a plan to acquire Matt Holliday – for Myers, Werth, and Carrasco. Sound off: is that enough to get a deal done, if Pat Gillick chose to go that route?

  10. Micalpalyn July 18, 2008 at 6:10 pm
    Actually i do think that should be enough if Vitorino is in the mix. But again the subtraction would make it moot because Werth, Vitorino have been good for them and i doubt Matt Holiday makes them better plus, Matt holiday would mean bye-bye Ryan Howard who figures to be more expensive than delgado next yr.

    having said Sho was our weakest link he confirms my thougghts yesterday. As such the emergence of Muniz, re-emergence of Aaron and Sanchez and I think the Mets will inquire on fuentes, Damaso marte and Affeldt.