Mets Game 120: Win Over Nationals

Mets 12 Nationals 0

For once, the game was in the bag — from beginning, through the middle, and at the end.

It was only yesterday I suggested that the best solution for the Mets bullpen was to score more runs. Today was an excellent example of what I was talking about.

See, when you’re ahead by a dozen runs going into the sixth and seventh innings, it doesn’t matter whether you have a LOOGY to face a lefty, and you don’t have to pull your “interim closer” because he just loaded the bases.

And it doesn’t matter if John Maine can go only five innings, which he did in this game.

In his first start since coming off the DL, Maine pitched five scoreless frames, allowing one hit and four walks, striking out six. He wasn’t spectacular, but he was plenty good. Having a 12-run cushion made it very easy to pull John after 90 pitches, despite the fact he hadn’t let in a run. That big lead also made it easy to bring in Brian Stokes, effectively putting the rest of the game in cruise control.

The Mets scored in the first and second innings, then absolutely pummeled Nationals starter Jason Bergmann for 8 runs in the third. Bergmann looked terrible, and possibly injured, but was getting no relief — Manny Acta refused to get anyone warmed in the bullpen during the outburst, which bordered on painful even from a Mets fan’s standpoint.

Interestingly, there was only one extra-base hit in that explosive third, a two-out, two-run double by Carlos Beltran that closed the scoring. All the other runs and baserunners came via singles and walks — in fact, Bergmann walked five in the frame.


Fernando Tatis blasted his tenth homer of the season to lead off the second inning.

Daniel Murphy kept his hot hitting going with a 3-for-6 day. Did you order your Murphy’s Law T-Shirt yet?

Next Game

The Mets go for the sweep in another 7:10 pm start in DC. Oliver Perez goes to the mound against Colin Balester. I fear that Ollie will pitch “down” to the competition … perhaps someone should show him the standings prior to the game.

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. JIMMYJ723 August 14, 2008 at 12:04 am

    What did you think of Maine’s mechanics tonight? Do you think hes fixed the flaw in his delivery?

  2. joe August 14, 2008 at 12:11 am
    Jimmy, I didn’t love Maine’s mechanics. They were OK, but far from corrected. I believe his shoulder could be a chronic issue going forward.

    However, I’m going to watch the game again and in more detail (i.e., slow motion) before I form a solid opinion.

  3. sincekindergarten August 14, 2008 at 4:53 am
    And the Phillthies’ use of their vaunted bullpen has come back to haunt them. No-mar! No-mar! No-mar!

    It’s gonna be a wild ride . . . did you see what Rollins said about Phillthy fans? He basically called them fair-weather fans . . . “front-runners” was the term he used. Naturally, the fans in the “City of Brotherly Love” weren’t happy with his comment.

    Speaking of comments, didn’t JRol guarantee 100 wins this year? 🙂

  4. isuzudude August 14, 2008 at 6:12 am
    The Phillies appear ready to self-destruct and the Mets would do themselves a big favor if they can keep the pressure on them and keep piling up the W’s against baseball’s bottom-feeders. I’m talking finish the deal against the Nationals tonight, and then go to Pittsburgh and slap them around, using Monday’s game as motivation.
  5. Micalpalyn August 14, 2008 at 9:56 am
    Yes Joe: The other inhabitants of the forum have given you a bye.
    The 12-0 score was overdue!! But as you state this was not so much a blow out as a Bergmann self destruct. As such The Mets did not crush the Nats.

    WHAT I SAW (thankfully) was something I alluded to and that was the missing bullpen arm and that BRIAN STOKES numbers suggested he was that missing component. In a week…(or 10) in which Heilman and Sho were featured as potential 2inning stoppers, Brian went 4. He got 12 outs were our ‘specialists’ could often not get 1. If the 12 runs were a statement …think of the ripples THAT sends when the teams around the league are just waiting toi get our starters out of the game?..

    Oh and add to that, we still have Murphy, Nises, Evans and Parnall potentially the 4 guys it would have cost to get Luis Ayala or Huston Street.

    Another thought. Detroit: After adding Willis and Cabrera everyone all but mailed in the AL pennant. while obviously they are still well built, that trade sooo illustrates overhyping. Cabrera is hardly destroying the AL, and where is Willis?

  6. joe August 14, 2008 at 10:16 am
    Mic, while I love your enthusiasm, let’s not get too excited about Brian Stokes as a reliever just yet. As mentioned before, Stokes was a career starter who when put in the ‘pen last season, was abysmal.

    This appearance was more of a “Darren Oliver” stint; i.e., long relief in a non-pressure situation. We don’t yet know if Stokes is capable of pitching effectively several times a week — or if he has the stomach for 7th / 8th inning, close-score situations.

    Though, I’m sure we’ll find out soon.

  7. JIMMYJ723 August 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm
    I agree. Stokes looks good but it’s still very, very early. It was nice to see Jerry Manuel finally do what he said he was going to do when he first took over. Letting his relievers pitcher longer, so the others can have a day or two to rest up. I loved hearing it when he first said it but hes done the exact opposite. His bullpen management has been worse than Willie’s. Hopefully having a decent long-reliever like Stokes will end the carousel of relievers entering (or warming up) every game.