Mets Game 105: Win Over Nationals
Mets 5 Nationals 0
The Mets won behind a one-hit shutout by John Maine … albeit, it was a five-inning game called by rain.
In the five innings, Maine gave up one hit, walked none, and struck out five en route to his 12th victory. A Ron Belliard single in the first inning prevented the first no-hitter in Mets history.
As is their modus operandi, the Mets took the lead early in the game via a first-inning run started by — surprise — Jose Reyes. Reyes doubled to start off the inning, and was promptly singled home by Lastings Milledge. They scored again in the third when Reyes led off the inning with another double, stole third, and scored on a David Wright base hit.
In the fourth, Damion Easley had a leadoff single and Ramon Castro blasted a 440-foot homerun through the rain and over the centerfield fence to put the Mets ahead 4-0. Ruben Gotay followed with a single and was sacrificed to second by John Maine. Nats starter Billy Traber then retired Reyes but walked Milledge and was removed in favor of Chris Schroder, who couldn’t stop the bleeding, as David Wright rapped a single on a hit-and-run to score Gotay, making the score five-zip.
Meantime, John Maine was cruising, oblivious to the rainfall.
One part of Maine’s maturation that gets overlooked is his effectiveness as a batter. Last year, he looked a lot like Mike Pelfrey at the plate — completely lost, frightened, and hopeless. This year, however, he has 11 sacrifice bunts, three walks, four hits, and a homerun. OK, he’s no Rick Rhoden but is miles away from the .036 batter of last year. Little things like getting on base and moving runners along often make a difference in ballgames, and can help get a pitcher an extra win or two every season — just ask Tommy Glavine.
Too bad Willie didn’t use the hot-hitting Ramon Blastro on Saturday night as a pinch-hitter, instead of playing a “hunch” on Marlon Anderson. Who knows what might have happened.
Castro by the way was 2-for-2 with both the homer and a double. He now has 7 homeruns and 6 doubles in 101 at-bats. That works out to an extra-base hit every 7.8 at-bats.
The Mets have a travel day on Monday and will fly out to Milwaukee to face the Brewers on Tuesday in a 8:05 PM start. Tom Glavine goes for win #300 against Jeff Suppan. No word on whether MLB commissioner Bud Selig will be in his hometown to see Glavine’s 300th or watching the steroid monster’s chase of 755.