Mets Game 40: Win Over Astros

Mets 7 Astros 4

The Mets win the weekend and head home with their heads held high, finishing their quick road trip 4-2.

Mets Game Notes

Chris Capuano allowed only two runs, but allowed a number of hard-hit, long-distance drives — some of which turned into outs and others that didn’t result in runs scored. He likely would not fare well in a small park — which is something opposing teams may take into consideration if he’s put on the trading block in July. When it was all said and done his line looked like this: 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 6 K.

Justin Turner drove in a career-high 5 runs, blasting a double and a home run.

In the 5th inning, down by two with none out and men on first and second, #7 hitter Justin Turner was ordered by Terry Collins to sacrifice bunt. No idea why. If anyone can offer an explanation that makes sense, please do so in the comments. Luckily, Turner missed two attempts and was “forced” to swing away — he hit a two-run double to tie the ballgame. Jason Pridie followed with a single to score Turner and put the Mets ahead. Later that inning, Pridie stole home on the front end of a double steal with Jose Reyes.

That rally (and inning) began with first baseman Carlos Lee dropping a popup on the pitcher’s mound to allow Jason Bay to reach safely. Little things mean a lot.

Dan Murphy managed to draw a walk on only three balls in the fifth. Nick trick.

The Mets had a comfy 7-2 lead going into the sixth, but the ‘stros chipped away with a run in the bottom of the sixth and another in the eighth, prompting Collins to call on his closer K-Rod once again. Francisco Rodriguez notched his 12th save and 15th finish of the year. Forty more finishes and he gets the pot of gold.

Food for thought: the Mets have nearly an identical record to the Boston Red Sox right now. Unfortunately, their record is also identical to their NL East basement roommates, the Washington Nationals.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Marlins in Flushing on Monday night at 7:10 PM. Aces Mike Pelfrey and Josh Johnson go head to head.

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. Joe May 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm
    “In the 5th inning, down by two with none out and men on first and second, #7 hitter Justin Turner was ordered by Terry Collins to sacrifice bunt. No idea why.”

    Capauno was struggling & they planned to take him out. A bunt there would make it second and third with one out. Not sure if it was a good idea, but it wasn’t really mysterious.

    • Joe Janish May 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm
      Joe, I know WHY Terry Collins had him bunt — I just don’t know WHY he had him bunt. You know what I mean?

      I understand bunting guys to second and third when you have either the pitcher or a feeble hitter (i.e., Rey Ordonez, Doug Flynn, etc.) at the plate. I don’t understand throwing away an out when you have a guy like Turner at the plate — someone who can drive the ball. And I’ve thought this way even before Bill James discovered that there were only 27 outs in a ballgame.

      Moving runners around with the bunt makes sense in many situations, and particularly when your lineup is weak. But the Mets have some decent hitters with occasional pop from 1 thru 8.

      • Joe May 16, 2011 at 8:31 am
        Thanks. I wasn’t aware that you were using “no idea” in that fashion. Still, the Mets weren’t hitting the starter and Turner is still not someone like Beltran or Davis, but a relatively young hitter. A conservative move, but not simply inane.
  2. gary s. May 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm
    Joe, you have been saying that turner should get a chance to play second for the last year or so nd so far, turner is making u look good. If the mets are smart they would leave him there and only play murphy against some tough righties to spell turner at second base when davis returns.We might have to platoon wright soon (.226 ba), so murphy could play some third base also.
    • Joe Janish May 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm
      I’m not the only one who was screaming for Turner, but thanks for remembering.

      I like the idea of installing Turner at 2B for, say, 30-40 games as the regular to see what happens.

      Wright has to figure out what’s going on with his swing. I saw today that he was going back to his short stride instead of that ridiculous high kick. Hopefully he can get back on track.

      • Gavin May 16, 2011 at 5:40 am
        Wright’s actually been doing that since the Colorado series.
  3. SiddFinch May 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    After cratering out of the gate the Metsies have played decent ball. Hovering around .500 at the first quarter mark of season isn’t too bad. I believe to have a realistic shot at WC they’d need to win 65-70 of their remaining games.

    Can they win 54% + of the remaining schedule? It’s possible. But they need to play a helluva lot better against the Braves and Phils for starters and need to add another arm for rotation.

    Even then the fate of the ’11 Mets might rest (literally) on the repaired left shoulder of Johan Santana.

    Exactly when he returns and how he pitches when he does will have a lot to do with how realistic the Mets chances are in the WC race.

    • Joe May 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm
      Many things are “possible,” but the games against the Astros and others don’t really convince me that when they have a month or so of 2/3 of the games against superior competition that they will similarly win series.

      And, the Phillies and Braves alone suggest the WC will be as easy as in the past. I think around 70 more wins would be necessary I don’t see them going 70-52 the rest of the way. I don’t see that as “realistic.”

      Hopefully the Yanks continue their suspect play for at least another week or so.

      • SiddFinch May 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm
        I don’t know if they’ll win 70 either but even with their thin starting rotation this year’s team has the potential to be on par with the ’07 or ’08 teams.

        Turner and Pridie are playing over their heads and I wonder how they’ll fair once teams make adjustments against them. But this is a strong offensive team regardless and underperformance. 10th R-21st BA-13 OBP-17th SLG isn’t impressive and are all numbers which is below the talent level of the starting 9. Wright and Bay are well below their career avgs and unless they both got old over night each will rebound. Though Bay in particular looks lost at the plate.

        Their starters aside from Dickey have held their own over the past month. The bullpen will regress but they have a supply of good-decent relief arms to shuffle around in case of injuries or slumps to keep it from blowing up completely.

        This isn’t an aging team nor one lacking talent. There’s for once some nice depth all around the diamond. I don’t know if 70 is achievable but they’re not nearly as bad as you imply. I said 80-85 wins (give or take 2 or 3) coming into the season and I’ll stick by that prediction.

        I don’t think the Yankees suspect play is temporary. That seems to be a team that age has caught up to quickly and after CC that rotation is an accident waiting to happen. The most impressive part of that team is on the right side of the diamond and CF. There’s a fairly steep decline in performance after that. I think ARod will have a decent season but that’s about it. It could be a long summer in the Bronx.

        Of course, watch they’ll go out and sweep the Mets this weekend. I shouldn’t say that but there’s a certain fatalism inherent in being a Mets fan.