Mets Game 45: Win Over Nationals

Mets 6 Nationals 1

After watching two games with the Nationals, it’s clear the Mets have no fear of falling into the NL East cellar — even if all eight of their regulars go on the 60-day disabled list. Because for the second time in as many games, it wasn’t even close.

Livan Hernandez rode the Enterprise like Captain Kirk, going where no other Met starter has gone before — the ninth inning. (Heck, no Mets starter has pitched through the 8th!) Livan scattered nine hits and one walk, struck out six, and induced three double plays — all with an efficient 127 pitches. For the youngins’, this is how Major League starters used to navigate ballgames, back in the day.

On the offense, the orange and blue scored six times, but it didn’t seem like that many — it was a rather lazy, mostly uneventful game. The first three were scored on a Ramon “Don’t Send Me Down” Martinez double, a Fernando Tatis single, and a groundout by 20-year-old phenom Fernando Martinez. The final three scored on Gary Sheffield’s second three-run homerun into the left field stands in as many days (no review needed). By the way, are we still concerned about Sheff’s “poisonous” personality in the clubhouse?

The Nats’ only score came on a solo shot by Adam Dunn.

Notes

No doubt someone will be aghast by Livan’s pitch count, but it’s high time that MLB turns a blind eye to the sabermaniacs, the ASMI, and other nincompoops who preach the 100-pitch count as a blanket absolute. Every individual is different, and has unique limits. Based on their mechanics and volume of stressful pitches per outing (read: sliders) I’d let Livan go to 140 pitches before I’d let John Maine go to 100.

In the seventh inning, Nats reliever Jason Bergmann threw an awful 75-MPH curveball that hung up and in to Fernando Tatis, immediately after Gary Sheffield’s homer. Home plate umpire Dan Iassogna immediately, and inexplicably, issued warnings to both teams. Moments later, Tatis was hit with a fastball that looked a heckuva lot more like a purpose pitch than the hanging deuce, but was not ejected (he did, however, leave due to a pitching change). An inning later, Livan Hernandez plunked Justin Maxwell. In other words, the situation, if there was one, was handled as it’s supposed to be, by the players. But, can someone please explain the purpose of the “warning”? How does it make baseball a better game to change the strike zone and put the game in the hands of the umpires? Oh yeah … Bud “MCP” Selig perpetuated this blasphemy to protect the million-dollar assets of his owners’ club.

Fernando Martinez made his MLB debut and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and an RBI. He looks good in the uniform and has some serious wheels.

Adam Dunn collected his 1000th career hit in the second inning, a line drive to left field.

Next Game

The series finale begins at 7:10 PM on Wednesday. Johan Santana faces Jordan Zimmerman. I’ll be at the game, so send me an email if you’re there as well and I’ll buy you a domestic non-specialty beverage.

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. Eli From Brooklyn May 26, 2009 at 11:12 pm
    3-0 or 6-1, a win is a win!
  2. upson May 27, 2009 at 2:56 am
    … especially with 2 (two!) players from the opening day lineup!
  3. joe May 27, 2009 at 7:54 am
    Thx Eli!
  4. CatchDog May 27, 2009 at 7:54 am
    We also had another bat inhibiting the runner from scoring. Only this time, it was the Nat’s Christian Guzman not picking up the stick. Talk about deja vu all over again. Great call by the ump.
  5. isuzudude May 27, 2009 at 9:58 am
    I remain in bewilderment over how the Mets are still winning. Even against the Nationals. Gary Sheffield? Livan Hernandez? Ramon Martinez? Are you kidding?

    Speaking of Sheffield…
    “By the way, are we still concerned about Sheff’s “poisonous” personality in the clubhouse?”
    Who, me? Apparently I had this guy all wrong…as did many others in the past. Perhaps at 40 he has a new outlook on life. Perhaps no longer being viewed as the focal point of the offense he no longer feels as much pressure as in the past. Perhaps he’s finally 100% healthy. Perhaps he’s the type of player that can only produce when he’s playing both offense and defense (see: not DHing). Whatever the case, Shef has been just what the doctor ordered. He has shown no malcontent. No temper. No sulking. No lack of hustle. No sign of advanced age. I’m still skeptical that he can remain this productive playing practically full-time over the duration of 162 games, but as of now I’m extremely happy over Shef’s contribution, as well as 100% wrong over him being a distraction on the team. Guilty as charged!

  6. wlaadair May 27, 2009 at 11:21 am
    its incredible the way everyone is pitching in and getting these wins as a team,no one is sitting back and letting the others do everything.

    Wright and Castillo are the only regulars from Opening Day who are in there, but Castillo does need his rest from time to time.

    Wright is a machine, but he seems to be very fatigued at times the past few days, i think he needs to be rested once Beltran comes back this weekend.

  7. The Coop May 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm
    I remember how a few weeks (days, even) ago some fans were still down on Sheff. I think playing every day is what the doctor ordered. In fact, I think if Omar were to play his cards right, trade Daniel Murphy. He’s good but replaceable.