Mets Game 80: Win Over Nationals
Mets 5 Nationals 3
The Mets picked one off.
Seemingly safe and secure with a 5-1 lead going into the ninth, Jerry Manuel put the final three outs in the hands of LOOGY Pedro Feliciano and ROOGY Elmer Dessens — while Francisco Rodriguez warmed up in the ‘pen.
As everyone expected, Feliciano enticed Adam Dunn to swing and miss three times, and Dessens took care of the “One Out” part of his “Righthanded One Out GuY” role. Unfortunately, Dessens could not get that second out, so K-Rod was brought in for (comic) relief.
And again, as expected, K-Rod caused every Mets fan’s heart to race as he struggled with the tying run on base. With a full count on Willie Harris, Rodriguez spun toward second and picked off a napping Roger Bernadina to end the ballgame.
Jon Niese assembled another masterpiece, hurling seven innings of 6-hit, 1-run ball. He struck out 8 and walked none. By now I should be convinced that he’s the real deal … but I’m still holding some reservations, considering my disrespect for the Nationals hitters. But he has proven he can beat the lesser lineups, and that’s all you want from a #4 starter. Oh wait, he’s a #3, isn’t he? Eh, details, details.
David Wright went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Did you know he’s now hitting .312?
Alex Cora had only one hit but it was a three-run triple. His batting average is .229 and his OBP is .290, but he has 17 RBI in 126 plate appearances and via 27 hits. That’s not a superstar rate but it is a remarkably high number for someone who makes so many outs … isn’t it? He’s hitting well over .300 with RISP.
Francisco Rodriguez answered the trivia question, “how does a reliever earn a save by allowing two hits and not retiring a batter?”. K-Rod gave up two hits and recorded his only out of the game by picking off Bernadina. Had Bernadina not been sleeping, who knows how this might’ve turned out?
Jerry Manuel’s bullpen “management”, as usual, was suspicious. Why in the world did he use Pedro Feliciano to get one out in a four-run ballgame? And why in the world did he bother using Dessens when he had K-Rod getting warmed up? If you are so worried about holding a 4-run lead for the three final outs of the game that you feel the need to use specialists, why aren’t you just putting your closer in — who is warming up anyway? The wear and tear of warming up cannot be underestimated. It may not be as high intensity an effort as being in the game, but the arm and body are still being used when they’re propelling a baseball on the sidelines. If you get your closer up, you use him — end of story.
Feliciano, by the way, appeared in his 46th game. Again: why?
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Nats get together in the nation’s capital for the third game of this four-game set at 4:10 PM on Saturday afternoon. R.A. Dickey looks to bounce back against some rookie flamethrower by the name of Stras-something. As you might’ve guessed from the time slot, the St. Louis Cardinals announcers will be calling the game on FOX. What a coincidence … how lucky was FOX that their Saturday game of the week just happens to feature Dickey the knuckleballer?