Mets Game 41: Win Over Red Sox

Mets 5 Red Sox 3

For the first time in five tries, the Mets won a ballgame.

Ace Johan Santana gave the Mets seven strong innings, allowing only three hits, and the offense gave him sufficient support for the second time in as many starts.

This is why the Mets broke the bank to pay for a “stopper” last February.

Offensively, it was a team effort, with runs driven in by Angel Pagan, Gary Sheffield, David Wright, Omir Santos, and, unbelievably, Ramon Martinez.

Francisco Rodriguez came on in the ninth to earn his 12th save in a dozen tries.


Sheffield’s RBI was the Mets’ first homerun since May 13. Sheffield also hit the Mets last homerun.

The home plate umpire had a huge strike zone, for both sides.

The Mets made three errors behind Santana — two were by Ramon Martinez.

In the fifth inning, Angel Pagan sacrificed Danny Murphy to second, and Murphy inexplicably tried to continue on to third base. First baseman Kevin Youkilis TOOK HIS TIME throwing the ball across the diamond and still pegged Murphy by ten feet. Apparently, hitting in the leadoff spot confused Daniel into thinking he has Reyes-like running speed.

In the sixth inning, Santana plugged Youkilis with a fastball on the middle part of the plate. Youkilis crowds the plate and had he not been hit by the pitch, it might’ve been a strike. In any case, Youkilis took his time walking to first and Santana told him (in so many words) to move his keister. The two exchanged words but nothing came of it.

Several times during the broadcast, Ron Darling pointed out Dice-K’s “gyro ball”. Just for the record, the “gyro ball” is a myth, and Matsuzaka himself denied that he threw such a pitch several years ago. Here in the USA, we call that particular pitch a “hanging slider”.

Speaking of Matsuzaka, I was extremely pleased to see him leave the game after the fifth. His methodical rhythm and laborious attempt to make batters swing and miss at every single pitch drive me crazy. It’s like watching Steve Trachsel all over again — except, Trax rarely caused hitters to miss.

Bobby “Don’t Call Me Mel” Parnell was clocked at 100 MPH on the SNY radar gun for one pitch against J.D. Drew. Where did that come from? Parnell threw a perfect 8th frame to set up the save for K-Rod.

K-Rod was clocked at 95, which is a speed he hadn’t reached earlier. I wonder if the gun was on the fast side, or if the pitchers were emotionally hopped up for the ballgame.

Gary Sheffield did a pretty nice job dealing with the Green Monster in left field. Originally slated to be the DH, he went to left and Jeremy Reed to center so that Carlos Beltran, who is suffering from a sore knee, could be the designated hitter.

Reed didn’t have too many chances in center, but he made a fantastic running catch in the ninth on a Jason Varitek line drive, jumping at the last moment and slamming into the outfield wall with an impressive “thud”.

Ryan Church left the game early with a sore right hamstring. The infirmary is getting crowded.

Julio Lugo reminds me of those logic / IQ test questions … you know, “which of these does not belong?” Can’t put my finger on it, but he just doesn’t “fit” into the mold that all the other Red Sox players seem to be cut from.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Red Sox do it again in Fenway on Saturday at 7:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey goes to the hill against Josh Beckett.

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. gary s May 23, 2009 at 12:06 am
    after watching ramon martinez play short this week, any met fan who says he wants to trade reyes, should have his head examined
  2. isuzudude May 23, 2009 at 9:22 am
    At the start of the season, if someone was to tell me the Mets would beat the Red Sox at Fenway with Dan Murphy leading off at 1B, Jeremy Reed in CF, Sheffield in LF, Angel Pagan in RF, Omir Santos behind the dish, and Ramon Martinez at SS, while committing 3 errors in the game, I would have died laughing.

    I love Johan Santana. I’m a man and I’m not afraid to say it. He probably could have gone 7 innings using just 98 pitches if it weren’t for those 3 errors, but he preservered and dogged out a 118-pitch gem. Maybe in a game against the Nationals he would have been pulled earlier, but against the Red Sox, after a 4-game losing streak, he needed to give the Mets those 7 innings last night. Standing ovation.

    Meanwhile, David Wright almost got clocked by 3 straight Daisuke pitches, but didn’t even look slightly miffed. Youkilis hangs over the plate and barely gets nipped on his back elbow on a 2-2 pitch, and barks at Santana. And then wasn’t it great watching Johan strike out Youkilis on 4 pitches in the 7th? Still, I wonder what a bench clearing brawl against the Red Sox would do for the Mets’ psyche. It would certainly be the talk of the town…especially with the way the Yankees are laying eggs against the Phillies.

  3. sincekindergarten May 23, 2009 at 10:07 am
    ID, right with ya about Santana. I think there was something in the comments section of that said something to the effect that Santana needs to be the Mets’ captain, not Wright.
  4. nwaldrop May 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm
    This was a very nice win for the Mets. Martinez needs to be replaced by someone that can actually play short stop. Either Jose Reyes needs to come back or if Argenis Reyes can play short stop at all he needs to be out there because those errors Martinez made were MAJOR errors that could’ve cost us the game.
    Joe: I have the MLB extra innings so I was forced to watch the Boston Broadcast and the Boston radar had Bobby Parnell clocked at 100 for one pitch and 99 on a couple of others. The broadcasters were amazed.
    Are there usually that many Mets fans at Fenway? Several times “Let’s go Met’s” chants were started VERY loudly and it looked like there were a sizable amount of Mets fans in the stands.

    Are the Red Sox “gamers” or just cry babies? After watching Ortiz whine at the umpire after EVERY at bat and Youklis leaning into the pitch and then looking like a little kid trying to mess with Santana made me appreciate the classier approach most of the Mets have to the game. But I’d trade Pedroia for Castillo in a heart beat.

  5. Eli From Brooklyn May 24, 2009 at 1:27 am
    Where’s my beloved update on the big win tonight? 3-2!
  6. isuzudude May 24, 2009 at 10:46 am
    Like the rest of us, Joe must still be in a state of shock. If anyone knows Joe’s phone# give him a call to make sure he didn’t swallow his tongue or hit his head on his ceiling after jumping around watching last night’s game.