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.