Mets Game 67: Win Over Yankees
Mets 4 Yankees 0
Many criticize Jerry Manuel’s in-game management. But those are the people who are living in the moment, and seeing only the immediate results.
To be a great, brilliant manager like Jerry Manuel, one must have a keen understanding of the rhythm of a game, and to anticipate events far in the future.
For example, with the Mets up by four entering the ninth, many were up in arms when Raul Valdes stepped to the mound. Clearly, they did not have the foresight to envision exactly the matchup that Jerry did, which was K-Rod vs. Derek Jeter with the bases loaded.
A light bulb just went on in your head, didn’t it? Admit it, you just had one of those “ah-ha!” moments.
It’s OK … you and I and many others are mere mortals. It is why we are where we are, and Jerry Manuel earns three-quarters of a million dollars a year toiling in a Major League dugout.
You would think, though, that Jerry would yearn to use his rare intellect for tasks of more import to the human race, such as cancer research, or peace talks. Perhaps some day. Until then, cherish the time we have with him as manager of the New York Mets.
Who does Hisanori Takahashi think he is? He continued his domination of the mighty Yankees for another six innings, allowing no runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. The Bronx Bombers flailed, reached, and whiffed, only rarely hitting a ball squarely. If this were a World — rather than Subway — Series, I might consider bringing Takahashi back on Sunday for a few innings.
Similarly, LOOGY-no-more Pedro Feliciano spun two shutout innings of relief in his MLB-leading 40th appearance, retiring both lefties and righties. The only concern is that he expended 29 pitches in the process. In the past 8 days, Feliciano has thrown 98 pitches — not counting the inexplicable dozen or so warmups in the bullpen on Wednesday. Is that too much work? Will he be available on Saturday, and/or Sunday? Somewhere Fernando Nieve is attempting to scream through a cleave gag.
Jose Reyes and Jeff Francoeur each had two hits including a double.
Ike Davis drove in the Mets’ first run with a single in the first frame.
Angel “Carlos Who?” Pagan drove in two insurance runs with a clutch double in the 8th.
Fernando Rodriguez did an admirable job of keeping fannies in the seats in the 9th, walking slugger Brett Gardner to load the bases before striking out Jeter and getting a popup from Nick Swisher to end the game.
Luis Castillo remained on the DL and nowhere near Yankee Stadium, so he had no chance of botching this game.
Beyond the decision to bring in Valdes in the 9th, another glaring move by Manuel was his choice of Fernando Tatis to pinch-hit for Chris Carter in the 8th, with two men on and two out and LHP Boone Logan on the mound. First off, Tatis hadn’t been to bat in five days. Second, lefthanders are hitting almost 30 points higher (.278 to .250) vs. Logan this year. Third, Carter is hitting .500 (3-for-6) vs. LHP in MLB this year, and was hitting .370 (10-for-27) with a .915 OPS vs. LHP in AAA. But I guess Manuel had a good idea about the matchup, or saw something in BP that we didn’t. As it turned out, Tatis flied out to end the inning.
Thanks mainly to Manuel’s brilliance, the Mets are 19-5 over their last 24 games — best in baseball.
Next Mets Game
The Subway Series continues on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 PM in the Bronx. Mike Pelfrey and Phil Hughes go head to head in a matchup of 9-game winners.