Game 115: Win
Mets 6 Nationals 4
Last night, the Mets lost but it was a positive game because Tom Glavine pitched so well. Tonight, the Mets won but it was a somewhat negative game because John Maine fell down to earth.
Maine’s chase of Don Drysdale’s consecutive scoreless innings record fell woefully short … he didn’t even get halfway to the Don’s 59. However, he didn’t pitch a horrible game. It was, in fact, very Traxlike: 5 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 4 hits, 6 Ks. The only thing that made it less Traxlike — for 2006 anyway — was that he left the game with a no-decision.
As it was, he did a commendable fifth-starter’s job of keeping the game within winning distance before handing it over to the bullpen. Which is fine, but we were really hoping he’d continue to pitch like a playoff-worthy third or fourth starter. Of course, there are still quite a few games left, but it was kind of sad to see young John become human again.
The Mets bullpen did their usual outstanding job, with perfect innings thrown by Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, and Billy Wagner. Well, almost. Feliciano, who was awarded the win, actually allowed the fourth Nats run to score. Since the runner was put on by Maine, it went against John’s ERA, and since it was a tying run, Maine was left with the no-decision. Felicano has now allowed 8 of 14 inherited runners to score … which is pretty damn crappy. He also allows his first batter to reach base nearly 40% of the time … that’s pretty crappy too, and especially significant considering that he is by and large a LOOGY (Lefthanded One-Out GuY), and therefore summoned to retire his first and sometimes only batter. One would hope that Mr. Willie will start to use Royce Ring in more of the LOOGY situations; unfortunately, Ring’s 2006 debut was less than outstanding, so he’s likely already been tossed to the side a’ la Heath Bell.
MVP candidate Carlos Beltran nearly did it all for the Mets, going 3 for 5 with a double, a triple, a single, an RBI, and a run scored. Jose Reyes also tripled, and both scored a run and drove one in. Jose Valentin drove in the go-ahead run in the 7th, plating Beltran after his double. Newcomer Michael Tucker made the most of his plate appearances, with two walks and a sac fly in the seventh that provided an insurance run. Nearly everyone in the lineup contributed to this win, as the RBI and runs scored were sprinkled up and down; six different Mets drove in a run and only David Wright (who had no RBI) scored more than once. A great team effort.