Los Mets 3 Astros 0
Music superstars Tito “El Gallo Salsero” Rojas and Wason Brazoban excited the Shea Stadium crowd with a hot night of salsa and merengue in headlining a very special “Fiesta Latina” celebration hosted by Carolina Bermudez.
The opening act, led by Venezuelan-born Johan Santana, was nearly as thrilling. Los Mets scored three unanswered runs en route to their 11th win in the last dozen games.
Santana was magnificent, setting down the ‘stros through seven strong innings, scattering eight hits, striking out five and walking one. His season-high 121-pitch effort was surprisingly inefficient, and though he pitched through a few jams, never really struggled at any point in the game.
David Wright drove in Jose Reyes in the first frame to give Santana the only run he needed, and Brian “Power Surge” Schneider slugged a two-run homer to provide a cushion. Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Luis Ayala struck out two in the ninth to earn his first save as a Met.
As a team, the Mets managed only four hits and one walk in eight innings against Roy Oswalt, who finished what he started.
Ryan Church returned to the lineup and managed an infield hit in three tries, scoring a run on Schneider’s blast. Luis Castillo is scheduled to return from the DL and to the starting lineup on Saturday, which likely means the demotion of Argenis Reyes.
Schneider’s homer was his fifth of the year and third in the last ten days. Ron Darling commented that Schneider “has found his homerun stroke”. Who knew he had one to lose? Keep it going, Brian!
Ayala has now pitched three times without allowing a run. Based on that I’m guessing that he’s Jerry Manuel’s closer until further notice.
Hunter Pence remains an idiot. Standing on third base with one out, the score 1-0, the pitcher on deck, and the infield playing back, Pence froze on a grounder to deep short and remained on third. Oswalt struck out to end the inning.
It will be a Saturday night special, with the Mets and Astros playing again at 7:10 pm. John Maine goes to the mound against Brandon Backe. Astros manager might be tempted to bat Backe in the top half of lineup, as his .308 average is fourth on the team.
About the Author
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.