Mets Game 160: Win Over Astros
Mets 7 Astros 1
A chance to go out with a bang.
After getting swept four times in their seven September series, the Mets won the opener of their final series of the season — guaranteeing, at least, they won’t go oh-fer-October.
John Maine was brilliant, pitching perhaps his best game all season. Maine went a full seven frames, allowing only one run on five hits, walking none and striking out seven.
Meantime Wandy Rodriguez’s magic against the Mets continues to occur only in Houston — though his six-inning, 3-runs-allowed effort was respectable. It was reliever Doug Brocail who got whacked for four runs in the ninth inning and swelled the final score — making the game seem less close than it really was. (Was that a Yogi-ism?)
For one of the few times since 2007, Maine had sharp command of his fastball. His velocity was encouraging, as well, reaching 93 on occasion. He had the ‘stros batters jumping out of their shoes on his slider, as well, which he mixed in expertly. Though, I’d still like to see him throw his change-up more often, especially early in counts, rather than use the slider as his change of pace.
If nothing else, this outing pretty much cemented a 2010 contract for Maine.
Both David Wright and Jeff Francoeur went 3-for-4, Frenchy with 2 RBI.
Daniel Murphy hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer, his 12th of the season.
Nick Evans shook off the mothballs and appeared as a pinch-hitter as well — and blasted a triple.
What in the world was Michael Bourn doing attempting to steal third in the first inning with none out and Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman, and Carlos Lee following him in the lineup? I haven’t watched enough of the ‘stros to know what went wrong for them this year, but boneheaded decisions like that are a clue.
Equally strange, in the fifth frame, Wandy Rodriguez sacrifice bunted with a man on second and one out.
Nice conversation among Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ralph Kiner about the enormous number of strikeouts in this day and age. The idea of cutting down the swing and protecting the plate with two strikes has completely left the game since teams pay more millions for more homeruns and Beanehead math said that the risk of swinging for homers and missing on strike three outweighed the negatives. But now that steroids are less prevalent — and in turn homerun totals are dropping — I wonder if two-strike strategy will go back to the old-school philosophy.
Next Mets Game
The next-to-last game of the season occurs on Saturday afternoon at 1 PM. Pat Misch faces Yorman Bazardo.