Mets Game 34: Win over Brewers

Mets 5 Brewers 4

This was a big win for two reasons. One, the monkey named Jeff Suppan is off the Mets’ back. Two, the Mets are one win away from winning the series.

The Suppan thing was especially irritating, considering that he is the epitome of “average”. A lineup like the Mets is not supposed to be dumbfounded by someone like Suppan, even on his best day — and certainly not in their own house. By beating Suppan on this Friday evening, there is little chance of a Mike Scott-like mental issue entering the picture. With the Brewers looking as good as they are in this young season, it’s less than a longshot that these teams will meet again in the postseason.

As far as the series goes, this was the game the Mets were supposed to win, and it was important from the standpoint of re-establishing home field advantage. During their last homestand, the Mets were “supposed” to take two of three from the Marlins — and in particular game two against Ricky Nolasco. Instead, they lost two of three, just as they had in the previous week at Shea against the Braves. The habit of losing at home has to stop if the Mets are to contend for the NL East crown — especially with the Braves back to their winning ways. A team must be comfortable and confident in their own house, especially when the postseason starts. What? May is too early to be thinking about the postseason? Peeshaw!

About the game …

Jorge Sosa had another surprisingly effective outing, though he still likes to give up the gopher ball. Sosa nearly finished seven full innings, giving up 4 hits, 3 walks, and only 2 earned runs. The only negative was that half the hits were homeruns. After throwing his 100th pitch, he walked off the mound to a standing ovation and a 5-2 lead. Pedro Feliciano came on to strike out pinch-hitter Corey Hart to end the inning. Lucky for Feliciano, Hart was wearing his Sunglasses at Night

Aaron Heilman chose to make the game interesting by giving up an infield hit and a two-run homer to the first two batters he faced in the eighth, then rebounded to retire the next three and setup a tight save opp for Billy Wagner. Wagner, who appreciates tight games, obliged by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth — in an efficient 6 pitches, 5 for strikes — to earn his 9th save.

Four of the the Mets’ five runs came via the longball, beginning with a solo shot by David Wright to left-center in the fourth. Carlos Beltran followed with an infield single, then Carlos Delgado went a yard to the opposite field to put the Mets ahead 3-zip. Moises Alou continued the brigade with a near homer off the centerfield fence that resulted in a double, and two batters later was driven in on a single by Paul LoDuca to make the score 4-0. Damion “Dr. Dramatic” Easley added an insurance run on a solo homer into his favorite spot — in the vicinity of the leftfield bleachers — in the seventh. As it turned out, the insurance was a sound investment, as his blast was the decisive blow.

Similarly, the Brew Crew scored all their runs on homers, as Geoff Jenkins and Prince Fielder touched Sosa for solos before J.J. Hardy got to Heilman in the 8th. Fielder’s shot was a line-drive missile; Shawn Green and Carlos Beltran did not even move, they just turned and watched it fly just below Citi.com sign beyond the rightfield fence. It was a hanging 0-2 slider.

Notes

Jose Reyes swiped his 20th stolen base. He’s on a pace to steal 95 for the season.

Paul LoDuca continues to stop the running game. He threw out Rickie Weeks on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out DP in the first. He’s now nailed 10-of-16.

We’ve been waiting for Wright and Delgado to get hot, and what do you know? Great timing, since Moises Alou has been cold and it appears Shawn Green is cooling off as well. Wright’s homer was the first hit of the game for the Mets, and followed a long fly to the right-center wall in his first at-bat. Both shots began as line drives, so maybe he really is on his way back.

Similarly, Delgado’s homer went over the leftfield fence, and when Carlos is hitting well, he’s waiting well. A great sign to see him driving the ball to the opposite field, especially after hitting his last homer off his front foot. Beltran, by the way, might have been out preceding Delgado’s blast. Prince Fielder ranged far to the left to nab a grounder, whirled and threw a perfect strike to Suppan, who seemed to beat Beltran to the bag by a half step. However, the first base umpire ruled that he was off the bag. It was an extremely close play that could have gone either way, and in the end turned out to be much larger than it was at the time.

Alou missed the third homerun of the fourth inning by about six feet; it bounced a little higher than halfway up the centerfield wall.

Not sure how Sosa is doing it, but I’ll take it. Eventually, the fact that he doesn’t throw a true offspeed pitch, and often throws the slider for a strike (meaning, it stays flat), will catch up to him. Hopefully, he can continue the magic until El Duque comes back.

Next Game

Mike Pelfrey vs. Ben Sheets at 1:10 PM. By winning the opener, some pressure is removed from Pelfrey to keep a series win alive. A win would sure be a nice shot in the arm for the 0-4 Pelfrey — and might be necessary to extend his stay on the 25-man roster.

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. Coop May 12, 2007 at 6:00 am
    I predict a huge outing from Pelf today. I was of the camp to give him five tries before sending him back down to the minors. The problem was – the last two games, he was pretty decent but the bats fell asleep. I say – wake up bats! And make those Pelfrey outings 100% more decent to get some victory parties around here!!
  2. joe May 12, 2007 at 10:04 am
    I’d have to agree in that he seems to show a bit of improvement — maturity wise — with each start. But what happened to the biting sinker? Do they use different balls in spring training? Was it the humidity?

    He needs to keep showing improvement. A step backward in this start vs. the Brewers would not bode well for his confidence nor his chances of sticking.