Mets Game 8: Win Over Padres
Mets 7 Padres 2
Dr. Perez showed up for this game instead of Mr. Hyde, and delivered six strong innings to deliver a much-needed victory for the New York Mets.
Though it’s early, it was nonetheless a must-win for the Mets and a must-win for Oliver Perez. A loss would have caused a devastating deluge of criticism, questions, and negativity from both fans and the media.
Fortunately, Ollie came up big, allowing only one run on three hits and two walks in six strong innings, temporarily winning back the hearts of the Flushing faithful and the confidence of the Mets coaching staff.
Offensively, the team continued to struggle to score runs, but scored enough to win on this night, and that’s all that matters.
Gary Sheffield, who was hitless with RISP in the game, grounded into a double play in the fourth to push home the go-ahead run. The tying run had scored moments before on an RBI single by Carlos Beltran.
That was the extent of the offense until the bottom of the seventh, when the Padres imploded and allowed four runs on three walks, two wild pitches, and an error. The only base hit of the inning was a bunt by Luis Castillo, which actually should have been a sacrifice bunt was botched by the pitcher.
Mets Game Notes
For a fleeting moment, I thought Mo Vaughn had come out of retirement, seeing all those #42s on the field. I’m a huge fan of honoring Jackie Robinson, though I hope MLB comes up with something more creative and fitting in the future. Speaking of, does MLB contribute anything to the Jackie Robinson Foundation for all the #42 jerseys it sells for each team? I hope so.
I haven’t checked the stats, but my eyes tell me that Carlos Beltran has been the hottest Mets hitter with runners in scoring position. Keep it up, ‘los.
Danny Murphy’s struggles in left field continue. He allowed Scott Hairston to tag up and take second base on a routine fly ball in the first inning, and then gave Hairston third base on a throwing error after catching a fly off the bat of Brian Giles. However, Ollie picked him up by striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning. Later in the game, Murphy made a terrible throw to Jose Reyes instead of cutoff man David Wright, allowing the Padres to score their first run. It’s debatable as to whether Wright would have cut down the runner, but nonetheless it was a mistake that can’t happen on a championship club. Danny did make up for his mistakes with a base hit, an RBI sac fly, and a run scored. Luckily, the Citi Field fans held their tongues and remain supportive of the young ballplayer. It’s hard to get down on a kid who works as hard as he does and is obviously out of position.
Gary Sheffield’s debut in right field was inconsequential. No news is good news.
Shame on Adrian Gonzalez, who was hanging around picking his nose while Jose Reyes was flying around third base on a wild pitch and throwing error by catcher Nick Hundley in that ugly seventh. Hundley had chased down the errant ball and threw wide to the pitcher covering home plate as Castillo ran in — right there, Gonzalez, who had nothing else to do, should have charged in to back up the play. By the time he picked up Hundley’s wide throw, Reyes was sliding in.
Not sure why, but Jeremy Reed sort of vaguely reminds me of Chase Utley. I wish he hit like him.
David Wright is now 6-for-8 with 2 HRs in his career against Padres starter Kevin Correia. Wright is 2-for-12 against Jake Peavy.
Next Mets Game
The rubber match will occur at 7:10 PM on Thursday night, with John Maine facing Jake Peavy. John Fitzgerald will be filling in this weekend as I’m fleeing the country and will have limited internet access until next Tuesday (no, nothing to do with taxes, the mob, nor a revolution). Please note, John can get surly and belligerent if necessary (and thus, is the ideal replacement!).