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.
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.