Mets Game 105: Win Over Cardinals

Mets 9 Cardinals 1

Jerry Manuel said he needed Johan Santana to pitch deep into the game. Johan did one better — he finished it.

Santana allowed just one run on six hits in nine innings — a complete game, I think they call it. He walked one and struck out five, throwing an extremely efficient 118 pitches (about 13 pitches per inning). And finally, Santana was supported by the offense.

The Mets exploded for 17 hits and 9 runs, with homeruns from David Wright, Fernando Tatis, and Ramon Castro. Jose Reyes and Tatis each swatted two doubles, as the Mets collected 7 extra-base hits on the day.

It was a much-needed effort from Johan after that 14-inning marathon the night before, and a refreshing outburst from the bats, which had previously been stingy about giving Santana run support.

Notes

Wright and Tatis each had three hits, as six Mets had a multiple-hit game. Even Santana went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Heck, let’s point out one further — Carlos “The Phantom” Beltran had two hits in five turns at bat. Hopefully he’s out of his funk.

Beltran, in fact, finally drove in a run, though whether you’d call it “clutch” is debatable. He drove in th second run of the game to put the Mets ahead 2-0. He also made a spectacular catch in the seventh, jumping over the centerfield wall at the 410 sign to steal a homerun from Ryan Ludwick. A few pitches later, Albert Pujols hit a homer over the left-center wall.

In the sixth, Johan hit a booming, high fly ball down the right field line that he assumed was going to go foul into the stands. So instead of busting it out of the box, Santana watched it for a moment, then kind of accepted that it would go foul. However, the ball bounced off the wall in fair territory, and Johan suddenly realized he had to at least jog to first. Had he run right away, he would have had a double easily, even running half-speed. This scene was EXACTLY the same as the one that occurred last year, near this time, with Jose Reyes. You remember — Jose hit a grounder, thought it was going foul, and didn’t run. The ball bounced fair, with Reyes standing in the box, and he was benched for “loafing”. I wonder … would Willie Randolph have benched Santana for doing the exact same thing that Reyes did? If he didn’t, would that be right? Let’s take it a step further — if a non-pitcher does what Santana did, will Jerry Manuel reprimand that player? And will it be OK to be inconsistent? I guess my point is, does Santana get a free pass because a) he’s a pitcher; and/or b) he is someone above everyone else on the roster?

I’m not nitpicking or being critical here — I’m curious to know YOUR thoughts on managerial consistency.

Tough day for Kyle Lohse, who entered the game with a 12-2 record and 3.35 ERA. He allowed 7 runs on 11 hits in 5 innings, watching his ERA balloon to 3.68.

As expected, Brandon Knight was DFA’d so he could join Team USA in preparation for the Olympics. In his place comes little lefty Willie Collazo, who was 4-6 with a 4.08 ERA in 31 appearances for the New Orleans Zephyrs. Collazo has split his time between starting and relief (11 games started).

Next Game

The Mets travel south to Florida to begin a three-game set with the Marlins. John Maine takes the mound against Ricky Nolasco at 7:10 pm on Monday night.

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 28, 2008 at 6:01 am
    I would say that Johan gets a pass because he’s a pitcher. Pitchers rarely “bust it” out of the box on a ground ball. They never slide hard into second trying to break up a double play. And with the exception of Mr Koo a few years ago, they hardly ever go full speed around the bases or slide into home. So if you’re not going to hold pitchers accountable on the base paths in those instances, then I don’t think you make a big fuss over not running out a ball that barely lands fair.

    And to be frank, I don’t think now is the time to be benching anyone for disciplinary reasons, unless a rule was purposely and blatantly broken. The Mets are arguably one of the hottest teams in baseball and their team chemistry is the best it’s been since 2006. Why mess with that? You saw in Philly that the Phils were goin good and then Rollins was benched for not legging out a grounder. Next thing you know, Rollins slumps and the Phillies find themselves in second place. Coincidence? Maybe. But if I’m Jerry and one of my players pulls a stunt like that now, instead of discplining him for the whole world to see and embarassing him, I wait until the game is over, pull him into my office, tell him that shit don’t fly and that he’s watching the next game next to me on the bench. That should work just as effectively.

  2. sincekindergarten July 28, 2008 at 7:29 am
    The catch by Beltran on Ludwick’s near HR was easily the best catch that’s been made in a Mets’ uniform since Endy’s catch in Game 7 of the ’06 LCS. Thing is, Fernando Tatis almost made as good a catch in foul ground a short time later.

    Speaking of Tatis . . . where the Hell was he for the past few years? I’m very glad he’s at Shea now.