Mets Game 60: Win Over Yankees

Mets 6 Yankees 2

There’s no better way to put a catastrophe in the rearview mirror, than to win handily the very next day.

The Mets picked up their second baseman and beat the Yankees easily in one of the most boring Subway Series games in baseball history. The three-hour, 11-minute affair felt much longer than that, and I’ll place equal blame on the poor performance of Andy Pettitte and the insipid commentary of Joe “Velvet” Buck and Tim “Sinatra” McCarver.

From the initial inning, Pettitte was laboring, something of a cross between a typical John Maine start and Friday night’s performance by Joba Chamberlain. He was up to 75 pitches by the fourth inning, yet somehow walked only one batter. The Mets took advantage of his nitpicking and inability to put away hitters by singling him to death — except for Omir Santos, who took him deep once and lashed a double in a subsequent at-bat.

Meantime, as bad as Pettitte was, Fernando Nieve was contrastingly good, allowing only two runs on four hits in six and two-thirds innings. Fernando fired 95-MPH fastball after 95-MPH fastball, pounding all locations of the strike zone with pinpoint accuracy. If he can pitch like this every time out, we won’t need to worry about Maine coming off the DL.


It’s clear that Omir Santos should be playing in the AL East. He may just create a bidding war for his services between the Red Sox and Yanks this winter.

Gary Sheffield blasted his seventh homer of the year, a soaring, majestic fly into the left field stands. Sheff is the only hitter I know who can hit a high fly that leaves the park as quickly as a line drive. That thing singed through the heavy, misty air.

Frankie Rodriguez finished the game in a non-save situation. Jerry Manuel had no choice but to use him after Friday night’s debacle — you can’t take any chances, even with a four-run lead.

Seven Mets had two hits or more. Fernando Martinez very quietly went 3-for-4 in the nine spot.

Lost in the excitement of scoring six runs and beating the mighty Yanks, the Mets left 11 runners on base.

Also lost was Luis Castillo trotting for the first few steps off first base in the top of the eighth with two outs on the Carlos Beltran liner that fell safely when Brett Gardner slipped and fell. He turned it on after he saw Gardner drop, though — and that’s pretty much what the Mets expect from the players (as F-Mart learned on a certain popup). But hey, the Mets were up by four, so who cares, right? And the Mets won, so why nitpick, right? We only care about selective hustling and poor fundamentals in games they lose, and specifically when we see they directly lead to the winning run, right? Yeah … that’s right!

Sean Green pitched an inning and a third of scoreless ball. And just like that, he’s anointed the setup man. Will it last?

Late in the game, Brian Stokes was seen in the players’ parking lot outside the Stadium, washing cars. The Mets figured he should be doing something.

What ever motivated Tim McCarver to record a CD? One where he sings? My best guess is it was not unlike the plot of “The Whistler” episode from 10 Items or Less (a show I recommend highly for laughs — and you can watch episodes for free!).

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:05 PM in the Bronx. Ace Johan Santana faces bust A.J. Burnett. I’m liking the Mets chances — and wouldn’t it be sweet justice if the Mets won this series, after the way it started? Then again, the majority of Mets fans would be whining “it shoulda been a sweep!”.

If you’ve given up on the Mets, but not on baseball, head down to Riverbank Park in Newark (not to be confused with RiverFRONT Park) to jeer and heckle yours truly as I partake in a doubleheader (hardball, wood bats). First game begins at 10 AM, and I’ll be catching a kid half my age. If you get bored, you can leave the park and enjoy the Portuguese Festival, which is sure to be chock full of shellfish, garlic, and brandy. Public transportation is highly recommended.

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. isuzudude June 14, 2009 at 8:33 am
    As the latest Gary Sheffield home run continues to prove me wrong about his contribution this year, Fernando Nieve has also decided to make me look the fool. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, but I didn’t see this performance coming at all and figured Niese or Figgy would have been more appropriate for the assignment. Though, for whatever it means, I was totally on board with the Nieve signing this spring, and hypothesized he could be a real diamond in the rough find for the Mets.

    Nieve didn’t just look good – he looked great. Crisp 95 MPH fastballs, with sharp sliders and tantalizing changeups being thrown for strikes. He certainly earned another start subbing for the mending John Maine. Although, I’m afraid this start may provoke the Mets to do something crazy when/if Maine comes back, and that is to keep Nieve in the rotation and send Tim Redding to the bullpen. For the record, I think that would be a bad idea, not only because I think Redding’s stuff and mentality would be ill-suited for relief work, but because Nieve’s value may be even higher as a reliever than as a starter – especially due to the loss of JJ Putz. Redding would really be nothing more than a long-relieving mopup man if banished to the pen – something the Mets already have two of in Brian Stokes and Ken Takahashi, as long as Jerry is the manager and continues to operate with a 4-man bullpen. And though Nieve may have more potential in the rotation than Redding, Nieve certainly has far more potential in the bullpen than Redding. He’d have the ability to “max out” in relief, a la Bobby Parnell, while taking the load off of the increasing overused triumverate of Parnell-Green-Feliciano-Krod. Likewise, though Redding got off to a slow start, his last 2 outings have been very promising, so I’d say he’s earned his rotation spot with the way he’s pitched as of late. That’s my opinion and I’m stickin to it.

    Are the Mets not the most bipolar team in baseball?

    Good luck in the games today, old timer. You better be hustling out those popups!

  2. sincekindergarten June 14, 2009 at 10:04 am
    If I could get there in, say, the next five minutes or so, I would, Joe.

    Anyway, Nieve really looked good yesterday. I thought that Pettitte would eat his lunch yesterday, so much so that I considered adding Pettitte to my fantasy team. I’m glad that I didn’t do that.

    Sheffield’s HRs look as if the guy should be launching satelites for NASA.

    Burnett is 2-6 lifetime against the Mets–and Johan is 4-1 lifetime against the Yankees. Should be a decent game.

  3. mic June 14, 2009 at 11:36 am
    Well, this certainly might be a watershed event similar to last yr…(with the no call HR) against the Yanks.

    – I think i had Nieve making the team out of spring and i did have him as a sleeper to be a difference maker…we had that debate. But like u dude i had him as a reliever. I too agree that Redding has been better than i anticipated as a starter.

    – I hope this level of focus continues.

  4. gary s June 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm
    13-0 yanks in 6th.the only watershed event for this team will be when the owners unload the gm, the manager and most of the worthless players they have assembled.till that happens, don’t expect too much.i don’ the way, if i hear or read one more story about castillo standing up to the press after his debacle, i’m going to throw up.i’d rather see my players make routine plays and not have to “standup” to the press the next day.
  5. mic June 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm
    question: if the Mets win Friday, does this loss feel better?

    -how many ‘moratal’ starts in a row is this for Santana?