Game 126: Win
The Metropolitans completed their sweep of St. Louis, in the process cementing their reputation as king of the National League.
Once again Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado led the brigade, with some help from Paul LoDuca, David Wright, and newcomer Shawn Green.
In his Mets debut, Green was showered with both rain and adulation from the Shea Stadium crowd, who honored him with a standing ovation when he stepped into the batter’s box for the first time. Green responded by hitting a bullet toward right field, but it was speared by Ron Belliard, who then doubled Wright off first.
Green looks really good; he fits right in as a fine addition to the bottom end of the lineup, and he’s already on the right foot with the fans. Just before he was traded, Green was starting to come out of a lengthy slump, and from the swings he took this evening, it looks like he is back in the groove. Good timing!
Somewhat obscured by the excitement surrounding Green was the six+ inning performance by Dave Williams, who held the Cardinals to two runs before yielding to Roberto Hernandez. Williams also received a standing “O” when Willie removed him from the game. Bert proceeded to induce a popup and then strike out the side in a magnificent relief outing, leaving runners stranded on second and third.
Jose Valentin returned to the lineup and looked fine, both in the field and at-bat. Strange that he’d decide to come back on a wet field, but nothing happened to further injure his strained hammy.
Guillermo Mota pitched the ninth in a non-save situation and looked brilliant for the second time in three days. His fastball was cooking at 95 and his changeup was dropping off the table around 87. He struck out two and completed the inning in nine pitches. If he keeps this up, this acquisition will be the steal of the year, and the Mets won’t miss Duaner Sanchez nearly as much as they thought.
Jason Marquis was in trouble from the first inning on, was hit hard by nearly every Met batter, and was lucky to escape giving up only five runs in six innings; it easily could have been closer to seven or eight, but he was saved by some great defensive plays and a some lucky line drive double plays.
In an absolutely baffling move, the Mets DFA’s Ricky Ledee prior to the game to make room for Green. That wasn’t really the baffling part, as the Mets have no use for Ledee. What makes no sense was the DFA of Victor Diaz the day before, to make room for Green on the 40-man. You’re telling me that the Mets couldn’t DFA Ledee yesterday instead of Diaz? Did Willie really need to carry him an extra 24 hours at the expense of a 24-year-old prospect? Diaz might be batting only .220, but to dump him just to keep Ledee for a few extra hours was senseless. Someone explain, please!
Brian Bannister vs. Randy Wolf on Friday night in the opener of a three-game rematch with the Phils. Perhaps the batters will have the Phillie phenoms phigured out in the second time around.