Mets Game 114: Win Over Diamondbacks
Mets 6 Diamondbacks 4
For once, the Mets were on the right side of a poorly played baseball game.
The Diamondbacks gave the Mets several runs by way of 3 passed balls, 2 wild pitches, 2 errors, and 4 bases on balls. In addition, Arizona was unable to make the most of prime scoring opportunities, leaving over a dozen runners on base (14 to be exact).
Oliver Perez followed up his best start of the year with a more typical Ollie outing — 5 1/3 IP, 7 K, 6 BB, 6 H. Miraculously, he allowed only one run. Was that the product of good pitching, poor hitting, or dumb luck? You decide. In any case it was far from impressive, as Ollie was in constant trouble.
The Mets offense, though, made the most of every opportunity handed to them. They scored three runs on balls that escaped the catcher, and came through with three clutch hits in RBI situations — and that was the difference in the ballgame.
Pedro Feliciano, in the right place at the right time, scooped up his fourth win of the year despite allowing two hits that scored two runners inherited from Sean Green.
Frankie Fantastic was no more effective than Ollie and Feliciano, but somehow muddled his way to his second save of the second half and 25th of the season.
K-Rod was a Cory Sullivan misstep away from blowing yet another save. Stephen Drew hit a low liner in the left-center gap that Sullivan speared just before it hit the ground. Had he missed that ball it might’ve gone past him to the wall, and possibly led to more than just one run in the final frame.
David Wright was 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored, though he might have mildly injured himself during the contest. Cory Sullivan was 2-for-4 with two triples, a walk, and an RBI from the leadoff spot. Fernando Tatis went 3-for-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI — just when you think he’s played his way out of a job, he pulls out a game like this to keep himself in the mix.
Today’s Baseball Lesson
Arizona catcher Chris Snyder had a tough time behind the plate, particularly in the 6th inning, when he committed one passed ball and allowed two wild pitches to give the Mets free bases. The passed ball was tough: Snyder was set up inside for a fastball, and pitcher Jon Garland threw the ball several inches outside. In addition to reaching across his body, David Wright swung at the pitch, which may have distracted Snyder. Fastballs are the toughest to block, because you don’t expect them to go in the dirt and they move the fastest. Snyder experienced a similar issue on one of the other wild pitches — it looked like it was a fastball in the dirt.
There were two things wrong with Snyder’s approach toward the balls in the dirt. First, he tried to catch them with his glove. Bad idea — it’s always best to send the glove directly to the ground, between the knees, and try to absorb the ball with the body. Second, his feet behind him were apart instead of together, so when the ball when “through the wickets”, it continued to roll to the backstop. These techniques can be learned with proper practice, just like any other defensive position.
Next Mets Game
The Mets can’t lose on Thursday as they have a day off. They return to Flushing on Friday to face the Giants. First pitch will be thrown by Bobby Parnell at 7:10 PM. Barry Zito starts for San Francisco.