Mets Game 101: Win Over Phillies

Mets 6 Phillies 3

What a difference Billy Wagner makes.

Armed with their closer, the Mets were able to hold a three-run lead in the final frame, moving back into a tie for first place with the Philadelphia Phillies.

John Maine re-filled his role of “stopper”, pitching seven strong innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks and striking out five. And he did it efficiently, expending 104 pitches. I still see issues with his mechanics, and his command wasn’t great, but he looked a lot better than his previous three starts.

The game was tied 3-3 until the sixth, when Ryan Madson came in relief of Philly starter Brett Myers. He was immediately greeted by an infield single off the bat of Damion Easley, followed by a Brian Schneider single. John Maine failed to get the bunt down and struck out, but Jose Reyes made that moot by blasting a homerun to the scoreboard, putting the Mets ahead to stay.

Scott Schoeneweis and Joe Smith combined to pitch a scoreless eighth, and Billy Wagner threw a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 25th save.


Easley had three hits on the day — all infield singles.

Carlos Delgado batted cleanup for the first time since 1942, and went 1-for-2 with two walks. David Wright also collected two walks, hitting in his usual third spot. Carlos Beltran was 1-for-3 with a walk, a hit, and an RBI from the five hole. After Beltran, the lineup was pretty scary.

In the third, Carlos Beltran hit a single up the middle with David Wright on second base and one out. Luis Aguayo held up Wright at third, despite the fact that the Mets had Marlon Anderson, Damion Easley, and Brian Schneider coming up. No offense to those three guys — I LOVE Easley and Marlon — but they’re not exactly the type of hitters who strike fear in a pitcher’s heart. I really wonder if Aguayo would have held Wright if not for his numbskull imitation of Don Quixote the previous evening, waving home Endy Chavez with no outs and the Mets’ best hitters coming up next. Third base coaching is not easy, and it’s not an exact science. But, the coach has to take into consideration the situation, and ignore the tabloids. Aguayo appeared to be coaching not to make a mistake, rather than to the benefit of the team. As it turned out, Damion Easley rapped an infield single to score Wright, so the point it moot.

In that same inning, Brian Schneider came up with two outs and the bases loaded, and swung at Myers’ first offering, slapping a grounder to Chase Utley to end the inning. Apparently, Schneider did not notice the 3-2 count Myers struggled through while Brian waited on deck, nor his plunking of Carlos Delgado. In other words: Myers was having control issues, and was not getting his fastball over. If this knowledge was used for Schneider’s at-bat, he either would have been looking for a hanging curveball, or at least making Myers throw a strike. Instead, he took the easy way out that most inferior hitters take — put the bat on the first pitch you can handle, to avoid the stress of a two-strike count. Good hitters zone in on a particular area or pitch, and are comfortable falling behind 0-1 if they don’t get it.

Next Game

The rubber match is an early one; a 12:10 pm start for the day camps. Oliver Perez pitches against Jamie Moyer. Whoever wins will have sole possession of first place, as the Marlins have already lost their 48th game and can’t be any better than second place tomorrow.

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. isuzudude July 24, 2008 at 6:04 am
    And exhale.

    This was a big win if for no other reason than to show that the team can get right back on its feet after a horrendous loss like Tuesday night’s. Nice to see Jose Reyes – or what Phillie fans refer to as “The Most Over-rated Player in Baseball” – play the hero in a big game. Over-rated my ass. Take a look at Chase Utley’s numbers May thru July (here’s a hint, they’re not that good) and tell me who’s more over-rated.

    Anyway, I don’t want to get all into it, but I know a few bloggers here were all up in arms during the Willie regime because the Mets seldom used “small ball” tactics. Well, I’ll tell ya, small ball did not help the Mets win last night, that’s for sure. And there are a ton of examples. Reyes “swings for the fences” and hits the go-ahead home run. Maine can’t get a bunt down and strikes out. Beltran, the #5 hitter with Robinson Cancel on deck, lays down a bunt with 0 out and runners on 1st and 2nd. Is it just me, or would anyone else rather see Beltran hit with runners on base than Cancel? What else? Tatis and Cancel both first pitch pinch hitting and grounding out with runners on third and less than 2 out, failing to get at least a sac fly. Yet, the Mets win anyway. Which probably tells you 2 things. 1) Small ball tactics have their place, but do not always determine who wins and who loses; and 2) if this were still Willie in charge he’d be getting blasted right now for incorrectly managing a “stagnant” offense (the Mets did leave 13 runners on base) despite a win. I don’t really want to be opening a whole can of worms here, but these are the double standards I’m noticing with Jerry Manuel now in charge. If Willie won despite making some mistakes in a game, he’d get criticized anyway. But with Jerry, all is forgiven as long as there’s an addition to the win column. Yeah, I know, I’m crying over spilt milk. It’s just something I had to get off my chest.

  2. Micalpalyn July 24, 2008 at 12:37 pm
    I am the opposite for record. I like that jerry straight up benched del, now he dropped CB in the order. Yes he does some things that are microscope analyzed such as the Wagner non appearance.

    The mets keep leaving men on base. Its inherent. Look at his face when Tatis goes after the first pitch when Madson was struggling? I do think that Jerry is blatantly less loyal and more proactive than willie.

    One thing i have NOT heard blogged is reaction to something i saw on Metsblog…To the effect that Jeery when asked how his team would react to the game 1 loss basically said he expected a blow out.