Mets Game 92: Win Over Nationals

Mets 6 Nationals 2

The Comeback has begun.

On the shoulders of Livan Hernandez and behind the bat of Jeff Francoeur, the new new new Mets started their second-half assault on the rest of the NL East by beating the cellar-dwelling Nationals.

Hernandez threw seven stellar innings, allowing only two runs on five hits and two walks against the mighty Nats. Hernandez kept the DC sluggers guessing by mixing a variety of pitches, speeds, and angles in a performance that guaranteed his spot in the rotation for at least another five days.

Meantime, Jeff Francoeur showed the world why Omar Minaya was right and the rest of MLB wrong, blasting an RBI double in the second and a solo homer in the ninth, powering a Mets offense that pummeled Washington pitching for nine hits. Similarly, Dan Murphy rewarded the patience of Jerry Manuel and solidified his spot as the #3 hitter with a two-hit, two-RBI evening. Shame on all of you who wondered why the .238-hitting Murphy was penciled into the three-hole … he’s Daniel Murphy, and He Hits Third!

In addition to Livan’s high-quality start, the bullpen was stupendous, capped by Frankie Rodriguez’s 12-pitch, perfect ninth in a non-save situation.

Notes

Francoeur was 3-for-4 on the day and saw 18 pitches — more than any other Met. Now that he’s gotten over the emotional hump of returning to his hometown, there’s no stopping “Jeff the Juggernaut”.

Francoeur became the third Met to hit a homerun this month! The last time the Mets had three different players hit a four-bagger in a single month was May of 1906, when Roland Agni, Luke Gofannon, and John Baal each pulled the trick. Of course, back then the Mets played in parks three times the size of Citi Field and the ball was “dead”, so I imagine all three of those “quadruples” were inside-the-park jobs, the result of line drives sneaking between the outfielders and rolling a quarter-mile to the fence.

Angel Pagan continues to blister the ball, burn up the basepaths, and sweep up centerfield — he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI from the leadoff spot. I can’t decide whether he’s making me forget Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, or both.

Jeremy Reed went 0-for-4, sinking his average to a season-low .250, and I imagine the newly promoted Cory Sullivan will be given a shot to take away his half of the LF platoon. After all, Reed is no Danny Murphy.

Since the Phillies routed the Cubs 10-1, the Mets didn’t gain any ground in the standings. But that’s neither here nor there — the turning point we’ve been waiting for all season has finally occurred. I can taste it! (Or is that whiskey on my lips?)

Next Mets Game

The Mets demolish the Nationals on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Oliver Perez hurls for the Metropolitans while John Lannan plays the role of sacrificial lamb for the Nationals. Be sure to tune in early or you may miss the game-winning hit.

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. Stephen Greene July 21, 2009 at 5:36 am
    New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel’s job is safe.

    Mets general manager Omar Minaya gave the vote of confidence during the fourth inning of New York’s game against the Washington Nationals on Monday night. Minaya said that he recently spoke with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, and Wilpon was supportive.

    “I want you to be our general manager, and I want Jerry to be our manager,” Minaya said he was told by Wilpon.

    Minaya, who’s in his fifth season as the Mets’ GM, said the conversation occurred “a couple of weeks ago.”

    Minaya said he told Wilpon: “Jeff, thank you for that vote. I don’t think about those things, and Jerry [doesn’t] either.”

    Minaya said he understood there would be talk about firings since the injury-ravaged Mets entered Monday five games under .500 (43-48) and nine games back of Philadelphia in the NL East.

    The team with the second-highest payroll in the majors was expected to compete for a division title in the first year of their new ballpark.

    “When you lose, people are going to come up with those things,” Minaya said.
    —————————————–

    Its good to know that nobody will get fired!

  2. nwaldrop July 21, 2009 at 7:29 am
    I think this is what Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya envisioned when this season began. Mets fans thrilling to the epic battle between the mighty junk ball pitcher against an experienced career minor leaguer like, whoever pitched the first four innings for the Nats.
    Look at those singles! The Nats were so scared they gave Ryan Zimmerman the night off because they knew the emotional trauma the Mets wrecking crew can cause to his fragile psyche.
    The new Mets slogan: “The Mets! Even when we win, you lose!”
    But WOW! the Nats bullpen is good! They only gave up one hit after the fourth inning. If they can do that against the Mets, the nats just might be a playoff team.
    It’s going to be a tight race this year between these two teams, for fourth place.
  3. Stephen Greene July 21, 2009 at 8:17 am
    WFAN says Mets had first crack at Halladay and they said no. Why? They are not trying to win this year so why go to Citi Field except of course for the food!
  4. isuzudude July 21, 2009 at 10:10 am
    Stephen – I’ve seen the “proposed” deal that would have sent FMart, Parnell, Niese, and Tejada to Toronto for Halladay, too. I have to suspect that rumor is nothing but hogwash, though. I mean, it’s ridiculous enough for the Mets to have rejected that offer, but even if they did, I can’t believe the Jays would have been dumb enough to ask for that type of package in return. Are you kidding? They don’t want Pelfrey. They don’t want Holt. They don’t want Mejia. They don’t want Flores. But they want 3 nominal prospects and a 20 year old? I highly doubt that. This sounds more like something the Mets offered the Jays and had it rejected, not the other way around. It sounds like Jon Heyman has his facts crossed up.