Mets Game 43: Loss to Red Sox
Red Sox 12 Mets 5
A sweep would’ve been nice, but beating the Red Sox in Boston two out of three is nothing to sneeze at — particularly the way the Mets took their two.
As it was, a sweep looked like a real possibility in the early innings, as Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball was flat and Tim Redding was doing a decent if inefficient job of setting down the Bosox sluggers. Through the first four innings, the Mets enjoyed a 4-3 lead and looked like they would be tacking on more, as Wakefield had walked four and wasn’t fooling anyone with his knuckler. Then, in the fifth frame, the floater started fluttering, Redding faltered, and before you could blink the Bosox blasted nine runs in three innings to salvage one win from the series.
Redding left the game in the fifth with two outs and a 5-4 lead, but one pitch from reliever Sean Green turned him from potential victor to loser, as non-brother Nick Green ripped a two-run single. Nick Green was caught in a rundown between first and second to end the inning, but not before the go-ahead run scored. From there, the Mets’ bullpen was battered for six runs and the Omir Santosless lineup never had a chance to make up that kind of deficit against the likes of Manny Delcarmen and Takashi Saito.
Danny Murphy played another sharp game at first base, but was 1-for-4. His average has now dipped below .250, to .248. Perhaps as he gets more comfortable (i.e., can think less) at the position, he can get his “hitting mind” back on track. And, facing a knuckleballer is rarely a way to work out of a slump.
Fernando Tatis played the last inning of the game at shortstop and successfully handled one ground ball. Since Jose Reyes is expected to start in the opener against the Nationals, the experiment of Tatis at SS may be an indication that Ramon Martinez’s days are numbered. After a week of watching him, I can’t believe the Mets think Martinez is a better option for the Alex Cora role than picking up Alex Cintron, or making a deal for a minor leaguer such as Chris Woodward or Angel Berroa. Easier said than done, of course, but you don’t necessarily have to give up a prospect for a veteran like that — sometimes you can outright purchase a player (as the Mets did with Trot Nixon a few years back) or pull the old “player to be named later” out of your hat.
Curious, would Andy Green have been given this much of an opportunity in the Reyes / bench role? Meaning, would he still be on the 25-man roster after going 2-for-23 with four errors in five games? I realize he’s not really a shortstop and he’s hitting under .200 in AAA, but he was super in spring training — doesn’t that count for something? I know Martinez has hundreds of games of experience at the position, but gee whiz, you promote a 36-year-old like him after appearing in only 9 minor league games? Why not hunt down Jose Valentin if you’re that desperate? I’ll take him after nine fungoes in his backyard.
Next Mets Game
Mets come home to play the Nationals for a three-game set beginning on Memorial Day at 7:10 PM. John Maine faces John Lannan.