Game 139: Win
When was the last time the Mets pitching staff threw consecutive shutouts? Surely Elias knows, I’m guessing it was back in the Seaver – Koosman days.
Tommy Glavine threw six and one-third marvelous innings, giving up five hits, no walks, and striking out five on 101 pitches (62 strikes). On at least two occasions he started a batter off 3-0 but ended up retiring the hitter; vintage Glavine.
In relief, Guillermo Mota continued his dominance. Though he gave up a walk, he still finished off a scoreless two-thirds of an inning on a mere nine pitches. Roberto Hernandez was not quite as efficient, throwing 19 pitches in the eighth, but nontheless preserved the shutout in bridging the gap to Aaron Heilman, who looked great in a “keep sharp” appearance.
The Mets batters had their way with Dodger ace Brad Penny from the first inning, as they opened the game with four consecutive hits — including a beautiful hit-and-run executed by Jose Reyes and Paul LoDuca. Reyes finished the day 2-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, all driven in on a bases-clearing, inside-the-park homerun in the sixth.
But Reyes wasn’t the only Met battering Brad Penny; in fact, it’s hard to find someone in the lineup who wasn’t smacking him around. Shawn Green remained hot, hitting two more doubles, while David Wright went 2-2 and Carlos Beltran 2-4. Jose Valentin had the Mets’ lone home run that went over the fence, and Carlos Delgado crushed a double to the centerfield wall that looked like it would go over. The only player not to get a hit was Cliff Floyd, but he was swinging the bat well and scorched a few foul line drives. This lineup is scary.
Jose Reyes looked to be running only around half-speed on his way to second base on his homer — and there still wasn’t even a throw to the plate. If he ran full-force from get-go, he would have been sitting in the dugout drinking Gatorade before the ball made it in to the catcher. Watching him being interviewed after the game, he could barely contain his exuberance, as usual. His kidlike enthusiasm and the pure happiness that bursts from his face is truly refreshing … you can’t help but smile while watching and listening to him.
What once seemed to be a weakness — the Mets pitching staff — is now looking like a formidable strength. If the starters and relievers continue to mow down hitters, it is going to be extremely difficult to decide who goes on the playoff roster. The next three weeks should be very interesting as the “postseason trials” are underway.
Speaking of those fighting for playoff duty, John Maine pitches Friday night vs. Hong-Chih Kuo. Interesting that, other than Penny, the Mets will not see any of the Dodgers’ playoff pitchers.