Mets Game 100: Win Over Rockies
Mets 7 Rockies 0
Break up the Mets!
The steamrolling juggernaut known as the New York Mets flattened the Rockies for their fifth consecutive victory.
The Mets’ offense singled Jason Hammel to death in the second inning, giving ace Johan Santana an early five-nothing lead. They tacked on another two, but Santana needed only one, as he shut out Colorado through seven strong innings. Bobby Parnell and Tim Redding hurled scoreless frames to complete the victory.
Meanwhile, it was Cory Sullivan day at Citi Field. Sullivan played spectacular defense in left field and went 2-for-4 with a triple, a run, and one driven in — the first of the ballgame.
Every Met other than Santana collected at least one hit, and the team totaled 11 — 5 of them for extra bases.
Santana allowed only 4 hits and one walk in his 7 scoreless innings.
The Rockies had one chance to get back in the game, in the top of the fourth. With the score still 5-zip, they loaded the bases against Santana with two outs and slugger Ian Stewart at the plate. Santana got ahead 0-2, but Stewart tied into a changeup and drove it deep down the rightfield line, just foul. After a several more fouls and a few balls, Stewart finally went down swinging to end the threat and the inning.
What happened to Jason Hammel? Truth is, his location wasn’t all that bad — most of the hits against him came on pitches low and possibly out of the strike zone. But the Mets came out swinging aggressively and “hitting them where they ain’t”. It was borderline bizarre to see so many hits in such a short amount of time — a nightmare for the young righthander.
Jerry Manuel continues to play down the idea of “momentum” — he dismissed the idea during the postgame interview. I don’t get it, especially since he is a self-proclaimed old-school, “feel” guy who eschews modern stats and sabermetrics. Every other experienced, old-school baseball man will tell you that momentum is a major factor, both in a ballgame and over the course of a season. I would argue, in fact, that his negativity from a month ago sparked inverse momentum to depress the club. It’s very simple: winning breeds confidence and confidence leads to better performance, which leads to more wins — and that cycle is defined as momentum. And as Yogi Berra said, “90% of baseball is half-mental”.
Strangely enough, Manuel will talk about “going on a roll” or a “hot streak” when the “cavalry” returns. Don’t those terms relate to “momentum”?
Next Mets Game
The second game of the doubleheader and the final game of the series occurs tonight at 7:10 PM. Jonathan Niese faces Jorge De La Rosa. If Niese continues to pitch like Jerry Koosman, this game is in the bag. If not, I blame Jerry Manuel for poo-poohing the concept of momentum.