Game 29: Win

Mets 8 Braves 7

This was a huge win, for several reasons. Mostly, the win exemplified the 2006 Mets’ level of gumption and intestinal fortitude: this is a team that does not quit.

The Metropolitans had no business winning this game; they were down 6-2 in the seventh inning. However, they fought back, not only once, but five times over the course of 14 innings, never having the lead in the game until the bottom of the 14th — which was when it meant the most.

Carlos Beltran hit a bomb early in the game, and both Kaz Matsui and Cliff Floyd had major clutch hits. The biggest hit of all, of course, was the last one, by none other than David Wright, whose ground-rule single ended and won the game.

After a so-so performance by Steve Trachsel, the Mets’ bullpen was nearly perfect, giving up only three earned runs over eight innings. Billy Wagner was touched again, as Wilson Betemit hit an 11th-inning homer. However, Cliff Floyd answered with an absolute blast of his own in the bottom of the inning, and Duaner “Senor Perfecto” Sanchez and Jorge Julio shutout the Braves through the remainder of the game. Julio earned his first win of the year, as he put together another scoreless inning. With every outing, Julio seems to build a bit more confidence.

I stated in an earlier post that the Mets would be lucky to get one win out of this series, and that it wouldn’t be a big deal if they were swept. Now that they have won the opener, the pressure is on the Braves to dig out of the hole. However, even if the Braves take the final two games, I still see the Mets as having won this series mentally, as they conquered this grueling test of will. With this game, the Mets have established themselves as the team to beat in the NL East.

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.