Mets Game 121: Win Over Nationals

Mets 9 Nationals 3

What’s that sound? It’s kind of like corduroy pants … a “ffft ffft” sound … ah yes! it’s the sound of a broom … the Mets sweep!

Yeah … shouldn’t be THAT big a deal when you sweep the worst team in baseball. But the Mets haven’t enjoyed too many of these, outside of their 10-game winning streak. So we’ll savor it.

Oliver Perez pitched deep into the seventh, finally exiting after 6 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and three walks, striking out eight, in yet another strong performance. Ollie has been a revelation since Dan Warthen took over the pitching staff — and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

And once again, the Mets took my advice in regard to fixing their bullpen — by scoring a bunch of runs.

The Mets had a 5-0 lead going into the seventh, so it wasn’t a big deal when Ollie finally cracked and allowed a three-spot. The two-run lead was slim, so the offense turned it up again, scoring four insurance runs in the top of the ninth to make the “closer” irrelevant. Up by six, it was no problem to bring in the much-maligned Aaron Heilman to finish the game — he could’ve given up a grand slam and the Mets still would have had a two-run cushion. See how nice this strategy works?


Daniel Murphy had only one hit, as he watched his average plummet to .441. I imagine Jerry Manuel will bat him in the second spot next game to get his bat going again.

Fernando Tatis had one official at-bat, collected a double during it, walked the three other times he came to the plate, and scored twice.

Surprisingly enough, the biggest blast of the game came off the bat of Brian Schneider — remember him? He’s the guy you keep seeing come to the plate, right before the pitcher, and ground out to first base. Schneider slugged his third homer of the season (and second against the Nats), which also accounted for his ninth extra-base hit in over 250 at-bats. Talk about a strange stat line — his slugging percentage is 35 points below his OBP (which is actually quite good).

Carlos Delgado also went deep, with a sweet opposite-field line drive that just made it over the left field wall. He’s looking like he did in his Toronto days, when he sprayed the ball all over the place with effortless power. I’m happy to heap on another healthy portion of humble pie.

For the second straight game, the Mets’ boxscore didn’t look like a team that scored nine runs. No one in the lineup collected more than one hit, and the five walks they drew was one less than Mets’ pitching allowed. Further, the Mets scored seven runs before the Nats committed an error (two, in fact, and both in the last frame). Even with the two dingers, it was hardly a slugfest. But I’m happy to take it!

Next Game

The Mets begin a threefour-game series in Pittsburgh, with the opener pitting Mike Pelfrey against Jason Davis in a 7:05 pm start on Friday night. With Doug Mintkiewicz one of their leading hitters, you’d think this weekend would be a cakewalk — but we saw what happened on Monday. Let’s hope the Mets play up to their capability, and not down to their competition.

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 August 15, 2008 at 4:24 am
    To top it all off, Wifebeater got beat by the Dodgers! It may be only a one-game lead, but I’ll take it.

    Wags pitched an effective seventh inning for Binghamton, so Eddie Kunz will be getting the ticket out, probably. Hopefully, he’ll be back in two and a half weeks, and bring FMart, Jon Niese, and Bobby Parnell along with him.

  2. isuzudude August 15, 2008 at 6:11 am
    Sorry to always be the one to point out your inaccuracies, Joe, but the upcoming series with the Pirates is actually four games, not three. But I do agree with you – the perception that the trip to Pittsburgh will mean 4 easy wins for the Mets needs to be corrected. First of all, I’m pretty sure the Pirates have given the Mets fits so far this season, even if for only 3 games. We’ve been outscored 24-11, and are still dealing with that nasty aftertaste of Monday’s come-from-behind loss. Also, for a team 11 games under .500 and all but eliminated from contention, they still have 5 more wins than losses while playing at home. And they are getting Adam LaRoche back for this series, who we all know from his Atlanta days can hit plenty of moonshots. Meanwhile, the Phillies go to San Diego for 3, which should be a much easier task than playing the red-hot Dodgers. I’m not holding my breath expecting to see the Mets emerge from the weekend still holding on to sole possession of 1st place, but we shall see…

    And, on a final note, can we please demote Joe Smith already? Outside of his good outing on Tuesday, this dude is making every trip to the mound way too adventurous for my liking. Give him the rest of August to rest up in AAA, call up Muniz or Figueroa to take his spot in the interim, and plop him back into his ROOGY role in September. Because if you don’t, he’s only going to be an even bigger liability when the pennant race is really on.

  3. joe August 15, 2008 at 8:42 am
    Those 4-game sets get me every time! I swear I double-checked the schedule and didn’t see that Monday game … sheesh … from now on I’m just writing “beginning a series” … LOL … thanks ‘dude!

    As for demoting someone, how about Jerry Manuel, who clearly has no idea how to manage a bullpen? To run the same four guys out there day in and day out, and then be confused when those four have a meltdown, speaks volumes.

    For the second year in a row, the Mets are at least one reliever short. I have to stop now …. a post is brewing …. more to come later.

  4. isuzudude August 15, 2008 at 9:22 am
    Well, Joe, Jerry Manuel needs to be criticized by somebody, because the SNY crew sure as hell ain’t gonna do it. They’re so far in the tank for the Mets’ manager it’s sickening. If I have to hear Keith say “Jose Reyes has been busting ever since Jerry took over” one more time I’m going to vomit. What is Keith really implying? That Reyes purposely dogged it under Willie’s watch to get the man fired? That Jerry has some sort of heavenly motivational skills that get his players to fire on all cylinders 100% of the time? It’s such utter garbage to preach that Jerry has done absolutely everything right since taking over the team. He’s done A LOT of things right – as evidenced by the Mets’ turnaround this season. But to credit Jerry for every little damn thing, but then completely ignore all of his shortfalls, is irresponsible and way too subjective for my liking. There’s no need to shove Jerry down our throats if he’s doing a good job. The perceptive fans will pick up on that easy enough and make their own conclusions.
  5. murph August 15, 2008 at 9:26 am
    I agree with sending Eddie Kunz down because if you are not going to use him with a 6-run cushion and an over-worked pen, when are you going to use him? He has pitched only 3 times in the 11 days since he was called up. Either use him, or send him down to get the kid some work.

    Here’s a question for you guys regarding official scoring:
    Delgado reached on an error in the ninth. His hit went passed a diving first baseman into right field. Because of the shift, second baseman Bonifacio fielded it in right field and threw wide to the pitcher covering.
    What is the ruling on whether a ball is a hit or an error?
    Is a throw from rightfield to a pitcher covering first considered a routine play?

  6. joe August 15, 2008 at 9:36 am
    Murph, as Jerry Manuel might say, “that’s a good question”.

    A case like that, it’s a judgment call obviously, and up to the official scorer. I would guess that for every person who would rule it an error, just as many would score it a hit.