Mets Game 91: Win Over Reds

Mets 5 Reds 2

This was a series the Mets really had to take 3 out of 4 — partially because as a first-place team they need to dominate last-place teams, and also to give them some momentum and confidence going into their West Coast trip against some very tough competition in the Padres and Dodgers.

Oliver Perez did not have his best stuff, and struggled a bit with his command, but stayed focused, worked with what he had, and turned out his eighth win of the season. Ollie pitched six innings and gave up two runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out six.

The Mets bullpen was nearly perfect, with Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, and Billy Wagner spinning three shutout innings and allowing just one hit. Remarkably, Feliciano gave up the only hit despite pitching the shortest inning — six pitches total.

On the offensive side, Lastings Milledge once again was a hero, driving in two runs in the second with a double — only moments after Ramon Castro hit a run-scoring double of his own. That three-run third was all the Mets needed to win the game, though they did add two insurance runs on a Jose Reyes homer in the sixth.

Notes

Reyes and Castro were the only Mets with more than one hit, both going 2-for-3.

Ruben Gotay finally stopped hitting, going 0-for-4 and dropping his average to under .340. I will take complete responsibility — I added him to my fantasy team on Saturday night, which is pretty much the kiss of death.


Web Gems

Perez didn’t pitch well, but got by on guts and was the recipient of a few outstanding defensive plays.

Milledge made a great catch in the first inning on a fly ball off the bat of Jeff Conine that may have saved a run. Norris Hopper, a quick runner, was on first and had the ball fallen in, Hopper might have scored or at least made it to third. Hopper was erased only moments later on a pickoff play.

Wright, Gotay, and Carlos Delgado pulled off a fantastic double play in the fourth. After Jeff Conine walked, Brandon Phillips hit a sizzler down the third base line that Wright backhanded, got to Gotay, who made an acrobatic turn while getting dumped by Phillips. Delgado smoothly handled Gotay’s throw on the short hop to complete the DP. The next batter, Adam Dunn, nearly knocked down the scoreboard with solo homer that would have otherwise been a three-run shot.

Huh?

Gary Cohen made a bizarre statement in the first inning, wondering aloud if Ruben Gotay would be able to take enough pitches to allow Reyes to steal second base. Apparently he hadn’t noticed that Gotay has been taking more pitches and getting into deeper counts than anyone on the Mets this year. As it was, Gotay struck out looking — mainly because he took strike one and strike two waiting for Reyes to steal (he didn’t go until Beltran was up).

Too Sexy for His Shoes

David Wright is a fashion disaster combining those Todd Zeile high socks with the spikes that look like bowling shoe rentals.

Next Game

The Mets travel to San Diego to start a one week West Coast swing. Jorge Sosa comes off the DL to face David Wells of the Padres in a 10:05 PM EST start.

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. sincekindergarten July 15, 2007 at 3:44 pm
    Not bad today. Heilman looked pretty good in his inning, and Wags was his dominating self again. Nice to see Castro make the most of his opportunity, and Milledge came through with a big hit–again. We’ll see how he does in PETCO . . .
  2. sincekindergarten July 16, 2007 at 4:40 am
    Another thing–who gets the bill for the four lights Dunn knocked out on the scoreboard–Dunn?

    Sosa up now (Thank God!), Pelfrey down to AAA. I see Pelfrey improving, but it’s taking a while. Not every great pitcher was great right out of being signed. How many bad years did Glavine have before hitting his stride? Same for Nolan Ryan, or Tom Seaver. Pelfrey was throwing his fastball back in the mid-90s, his slider is improving, but I’d have him throwing his curveball again. Give opposing hitters something else to worry about.

  3. JIMMYJ723 July 16, 2007 at 5:58 am
    I keep hearing that Pelfery might be moved to the bullpen and take over Sele’s long reliever role.
  4. JIMMYJ723 July 16, 2007 at 6:04 am
    Trade deadline is 2 weeks away. Anyone know what the asking price for Javier Vazquez is? He didn’t have a good outing his last time out but he’s been looking great for about a month now. Our pitching is decent but I would love to see us add a top-of-the-rotation type of pitcher and move El Duque to the pen.
  5. sincekindergarten July 16, 2007 at 7:43 am
    Jimmy, seeing that Kenny Williams wanted our top two prospects for Mark Buehrle, I’d think that he’d be asking a similar price for Vazquez (now that Vazquez is pitching well).
  6. sincekindergarten July 16, 2007 at 10:01 am
    Also, Buster Olney (according to MLB Trade Rumors) is saying that the best Fpitcher on the market right now is Jose Contreras (sp?), which would seem to indicate that Vazquez is not on the market.
  7. joe July 16, 2007 at 10:34 am
    I don’t think the Mets would use Pelfrey for long relief … if they can get him used to middle relief, then he’ll join the bullpen. We’ll have to see if indeed he returns to a starting role in N’Awlins.

    BTW, Seaver was SPECTACULAR from the moment he stepped on an MLB mound. Check the record book.

    Vazquez would be a nice pickup, and I don’t think the price has to be too high. It all depends on the market and how desperate Kenny W is to trade him. After locking up Buehrle, they may very well decide to keep everyone for 2008.

    Buster’s not the most reliable source IMHO

  8. Micalpalyn July 16, 2007 at 11:50 am
    I dont see the CWS keeping BOTH buerle AND Vaz. Contreras SUCKs right now so they WANT someone to take him. but realistically they could have Buerle, gavin floyd, Danks, et al in the rotation.

    I think they would happily take Pel and another prospect (or 2). I think Pel, Heilman and Johnson( a temp sub for Dye) might do it. But right now Buster and the agents of the baseball apocalypse are driving up market values.

  9. sincekindergarten July 16, 2007 at 12:07 pm
    Joe, my bad on Seaver. I’m using a new blend of coffee–one that’s not supposed to eat holes in my stomach.
  10. joe July 16, 2007 at 12:20 pm
    Erik – no biggie, even I make mistakes once in a while (not really). Other than Seaver, you’re right, most pitchers aren’t awesome off the bat. Which is exactly why Pelf needs to be in AAA.

    Ed – I don’t know about that. The ChiSox signed Vazquez to a 3-year extension, so why get rid of him if you think you can compete next year?

  11. Micalpalyn July 16, 2007 at 12:43 pm
    When did they sign him? The CWS expected to compete(?), but right now they appear to be re-tooling. They have a core and I dont see Vaz as that core. Buerle and Garland are. Next they need OFers and Rowand is talked about profusely as returning ….but boy has he hit stride (literally).

    As we fuss. lots take a moment to note we are 11 games over.

    Now, I’d like to rant for a moment.

    a. watching the braves game yesterday, Skip mentioned a tit-4-tat, with Omar saying down goes but Willie said then Julio goes. Makes sense as Julio goes back with Omar to his Rangers (George Jr ERA) days (& maybe to the Dominican), Then made the remark…’it was their decision’.

    b. Beltran is upset at something/someone. Again he and DW need rest. I agree with the above that Newhan needs o be DFA and Negron added to the roster (not Chip) so Beltran can get two days off. Dw also needs a break. I am lobbying for Lamb, but NOTE Eric Hinske, Kev Millar (?), Chris Woodward, chone Figgins , Wilson Betemit, (miguel cairo (ouch)), could do the same… (availability not withstanding).

    c. after the atrocious display by DP-LoDuca this past month, both on and off field, I think the catching position is AT least a platoon. as much as you note the close scores, note the HUGE difference Castro’s bat and ARM are when he plays.

    d. Alou: I dont know what to think anymore.

    e. Williams DFA’ed. If you said something I missed it.

  12. joe July 16, 2007 at 1:35 pm
    Vazquez signed back in March — http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2789635

    He’s signed through 2010 for $11.5 per year. He’s 30. Why in the world would a team NOT consider him part of their core at those numbers?

    a. Interesting insight — I never thought about that being a tit-for-tat. Is that true or a speculation? Somehow I don’t see Omar giving in to anyone below him, though he did need to dump Franco.

    b. Didn’t Milledge play CF before Gomez went to AAA? I think as long as LM is hitting, none of those other names join the roster. Though it would make sense to find a RH bat (I like Hinske, and still like Conine)

    c. LoDuca is a tired dog, but Willie may not notice until late September — if his recognition of Gotay is any indication.

    d. that makes two of us

    e. i think i did, somewhere in the comments. that’s no biggie, as it’s doubtful anyone is going to claim him. He’ll go back to AAA, finish getting up to strength, and come back to be the mopup man/ spot starter come late August.