Mets Game 131: Loss to Astros
Astros 6 Mets 4
A tough loss to swallow.
As usual, the Mets scored first, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run homer by Carlos Beltran in the initial inning. Fernando Tatis drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to make it 3-zip, but Oliver Perez allowed the Astros to tie it up in the fourth. Beltran blasted another homer, this time a solo shot in the fifth, to put the Mets back ahead. However, in the seventh, Perez was removed after a one-out walk and replaced with Aaron Heilman, who gave up a double and a single to once again make the game a tie.
It remained 4-4 through the ninth, and Pedro Feliciano was brought in to pitch the top of the tenth. Feliciano gave up a leadoff homer to light-hitting catcher Brad Ausmus and another solo shot to Darin Erstad to make the game, and final score, 6-4.
Feliciano’s slider looked flat, moving sideways and with little to no bite downward. I don’t know if that’s due to a bad day or fatigue.
So, in Jerry Manuel’s scheme it appears that Luis Ayala is the current closer. What exactly, though, is Heilman’s role? A few nights ago, it appeared he was the 8th inning setup man, but today he was the 7th inning cleanup guy. If Heilman had gotten through the seventh without damage, who would have pitched the eighth — and why? I’m assuming Jerry’s playing the good ‘ol matchup game — but that strategy quickly fails when the other team uses the counter-strategy of the “pinch-hitter” (a novel idea, I know, but a lot of opposing managers employ it).
John Maine’s issues are worse than we thought — he admitted to having a bone spur at the back of his shoulder. No word yet on what that means to the rest of his season. We’ll cover him in more detail on Monday morning.
The Mets and Astros conclude their season series on Monday with a 7:10 pm contest. Mike Pelfrey takes the hill against Brian Moehler.