Mets Game 103: Win Over Cardinals

Mets 7 Cardinals 1

Mike Pelfrey did it again, with seven the lucky number.

Big Pelf won his seventh straight decision, pitching seven spectacular innings in which he allowed one run on seven hits, striking out 5 and walking none.

As usual, Pelfrey was given plenty of offensive support. The Mets scored one in the third, two in the fourth, and three in the fifth off starter and loser Mitchell Boggs. The firepower came from several sources, with Argenis Reyes, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Delgado driving in two runs apiece. Argenis Reyes capped off the scoring by slamming a solo homer for the seventh Mets run in the seventh inning off reliever Brad Thompson.


Carlos Delgado’s hot stick is showing no signs of cooling. He hit his 20th homer of the season, a prodigious blast that nearly bounced off the scoreboard.

Endy Chavez was 4-for-5 hitting in the two hole, but scored only one run.

Jose Reyes hit his 12th triple of the season, and Wright ripped his 27th double.

Strange that Wright seems to get a hit just about every night, yet is hitting only .289. It feels like he should be around .300.

The Mets nearly re-created the ninth inning debacle of last Tuesday in their opener against the Phillies. Duaner Sanchez came on in relief with a six-run lead, and proceeded to load the bases without retiring a batter. Jerry Manuel was quick to remove him from the game, which to me was the wrong move. How now, after being pulled from two blowouts, will Sanchez have enough confidence to pitch in a tight situation? Unless there is something physically wrong with him — and there might be — he should have been given a chance to work his way out of the mess. The worst that could have happened was a grand slam, but the Mets still would have been up by two with Billy Wagner available. Had Dirty worked his way out, he would have built some confidence. Instead, Manuel managed the game like it was a one-run contest, using Pedro Feliciano to match up against the lefthanded-hitting Skip Schumaker and then bringing in Aaron Heilman to get righties Ryan Ludwick and Albert Pujols. Call me crazy, but doesn’t it seem a little nutty to have to use four relievers — and have your closer warming up at the end — in a game that your starter went seven innings and handed off a six-run lead?

I’m just waiting to hear someone else mention the “bullpen roles” that Manuel “established”. Where did those roles go in this game? Why is the setup man being used to close games you’re winning by large margins? Aren’t those situations for Carlos Muniz or Scott Schoeneweis?

If you would have done the same — burned through four of your top relievers with a six-run lead — then we’ve learned nothing from the bullpen collapse of last September. Don’t be surprised if it’s “deja vu all over again” when the worn-out relievers can’t buy an out down the stretch.

Enough of my negativity … the Phillies lost a laugher to the Braves, so the Mets now lead the NL East by two games!

Next Game

The Mets host the Cardinals again at 7:10 pm on Saturday evening. Almost Olympian Brandon Knight will make his first-ever MLB start — and first MLB appearance since wearing a Yankee uniform in 2002 — against Joel Pineiro.

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. sincekindergarten July 26, 2008 at 7:03 am
    I want to meet the space aliens who kidnapped Carlos Delgado and replaced him with a perfect clone–but one with a slight modification to his swing. If these ETs can do that, they can solve gas prices . . .

    Anyway, let’s think about something–we ccan trace Big Pelf’s maturation to a little talk with Pedro. We can also trace Ollie’s maturation to his talk with Pedro. John Maine needs to continue talking to Pedro. Duaner Sanchez needs to talk to Pedro. Anyone else?

  2. isuzudude July 26, 2008 at 7:30 am
    In regards to the bullpen management: I agree 100% percent. I could partially understand bringing in Sanchez to close out a 6-run game, mostly because he was facing the Cardinals’ 7-8-9 hitters (Kennedy, Ryan, Mather), and that it appeared to be a good spot to let Duaner regain his composure after Tuesday’s debacle. He left the game w/o giving up a run, so I agree – the hook shouldn’t have come until Sanchez had allowed the Cardinals to inch closer on the scoreboard. I know Jerry was being proactive instead of reactive and opted to bring in Feliciano before things spiraled out of control, but in retrospect the right decision probably would have been to bring in Muniz – who, by the way, hasn’t seen any game action since last Saturday. And I thought Willie was the only manager to neglect his 25th man. Unless Jerry’s holding on to Muniz in case Brendan Knight falls on his face today, if there ever was a situation to bring in Muniz it was last night.

    And that’s a segue into another point regarding Sanchez. Now sporting a 4.15 ERA, and perhaps feeling a bit of fatigue from not having pitched since mid-2006, it’s completely possible Sanchez needs a good month’s worth of rest. More ammunition in the chamber for why the Mets should target someone of the Huston Street caliber (boy, enough firearms references in that sentence?). This bullpen is bound to break down again, and if Omar learned anything from last year, it’s that you can never have enough arms in the pen. Again, it’s better to be proactive in July and get a high quality arm for the stretch run, than to be reactive in September and have no other options than to grab someone else’s junk that was DFA’d because of ineffectiveness or injury.

    Joe, I also share your thoughts on Wright’s average. The way he’s been swinging it in July you would think he’d be more up around .310 or something. Well, here’s the good news. Wright’s July average is .316, while his average has jumped 20 points since June 15th. If history is any indication, Wright is destined to continue his hot streak. His career average is .308, so he still has another 19 points to go before he reaches that, and his career average after the allstar break is .326. All good signs that point to Wright having a huge 2nd half.