Mets 8 Nationals 6
The last time the Mets brought up a lefthanded-hitting slugger from AAA, they went on a 10-1 run.
Tonight, lefthanded-hitting slugger Chris Carter — fresh up from AAA — ripped a double to drive in the go-ahead run and give the Mets a stunning, come-from-behind victory over the Washington Nationals.
And that “other” lefthanded-hitting slugger — Ike Davis — sealed the victory with yet another one of his thrilling dive-into-the-dugout fly ball catches to end the game.
If you didn’t enjoy watching this game, you ain’t a Mets fan.
Jon Niese was awful, channeling his inner Ollie Perez by walking 5 batters and allowing 6 hits in only 4 1/3 innings. He looked like he had more of a clue than Ollie ever does, though. His main problem is the same that occurs at least once out of every three starts: his release point drops ever so slightly, his fingers slide to to the side or under the ball at release, and as a result the ball can only move laterally and remain flat (and fat). Flat, fat pitches get hit hard. Niese’s curveball — his best weapon — is rendered useless if he can’t get his fingers on top of the baseball at release.
Scott Olsen, on the other hand, was pretty good for the Nationals, despite allowing 10 baserunners in 5 1/3 innings. Somehow he wiggled his way out of trouble in every inning, and was inexplicably removed by manager Jim Riggleman after throwing only 82 pitches. Seeing Olsen exit was the best thing that could happen to the Mets, who finally scored their second run when Tyler Walker allowed an inherited runner to score, and then pounded the Washington bullpen for 6 runs in the fateful eighth frame.
Rod Barajas once again delivered in the clutch, hitting a sky-high fly to left that got caught in the wind and carried into the wall for a 2-run double. My new nickname for Barajas is “Lord of the (High) Flies”, for obvious reasons.
Both David Wright and Jason Bay went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored, but for whatever reason it still feels like they are in slumps. Wright, though, lashed two doubles to right field, which is highly encouraging. If he keeps letting the ball get deep, he’ll be back to the old David Wright we know and love.
Jose Reyes was 0-for-4 and is now hitting .231 in the three-hole. However, he also hit .231 in the leadoff spot — though, that was only in his first 11 games and after not being in a game in almost a year.
Next Mets Game
The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Wednesday afternoon. Mike Pelfrey faces Craig Stammen. The postgame here will come later in the evening as I’ll be on the road for work all afternoon.
About the Author
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.