Mets Game 124: Win Over Padres

Mets 7 Padres 6

Ladies and gentlemen, Carlos Beltran has entered the building.

Continuing the hot hitting on the road that made him the NL player of the week, Beltran was a one-man wrecking crew, driving in five runs with three hits, including a laser-beam double and an opposite-field homerun, to lead the Mets over the Padres.

Though starter John Maine struggled with his command, he left the game with two outs in the sixth with a 4-3 lead, preserved brilliantly by Scott Schoeneweis. The Show struck out Brian Giles looking to end the inning, stranding the other Giles (Marcus) on third. However, the bullpen gave away the lead in the seventh. After getting two groundouts to start the inning, Schoeneweis allowed a single to Adrian Gonzalez, who trotted into second base after his grounder skipped under the legs of Lastings Milledge in rightfield. At that point, The Show was removed in favor of righthander Jorge Sosa to face the righty hitting Mike Cameron. The strategy did not pay off, however, as Cameron doubled to drive in Gonzalez with the tying run. Sosa then gave up a single to Khalil Greene, scoring Cameron with the go-ahead, before striking out Kevin Kouzmanoff to end the inning.

The score remained 5-4 Padres until the bottom of the eighth, when former Met Heath Bell came on to set up Trevor Hoffman — but failed in his mission. You just knew things wouldn’t go well for Heath when Jose Reyes led off with an infield single off the glove of Greene. Within minutes, Reyes had stolen second and was advanced to third on a groundout by small-ball master Luis Castillo. David Wright walked, bringing up Beltran — who had already driven in all four of the Mets runs. Suffice to say, he singled in the fifth as well, stroking a 1-2 pitch into left.

Billy Wagner came on to preserve the tie, but his command was off as well — perhaps due to the wet weather. He allowed a leadoff single to Milton Bradley, struck out Gonzalez, but then walked Cameron on four pitches and hit Greene to load the bases. Kouzmanoff then lifted a fly to shallow rightfield that scored Bradley and put the Padres up 6-5. Wagner then settled down to strike out Josh Bard to end the ninth.

However, it was a bad night for both closers. Trevor Hoffman came in to save the game, but like his predecessor Bell, failed to fulfill his assignment. Second-half sparkplug Lastings Milledge started things off with a single to left, and was sacrificed to second by Mike DiFelice. Pinch-hitter Marlon “Mr. Clutch” Anderson then rapped a base hit up the middle to score Milledge with the tying run. Hoffman then got ahead of Reyes 0-2, but Jose dropped a flare in front of Cameron to put runners on first and second. Castillo then jumped on the first pitch he saw and dumped a 22-bouncer into center, and Anderson beat the throw home from Cameron to score the winning run.


John Maine had more issues with pitch count, tallying 118 pitches in his five and two-thirds. He seemed to go full count on every other batter — though some of it could have been attributed to the combined factors of the wet weather and Angel Hernandez’s tight strike zone.

Speaking of the wetness, what in the world is Carlos Delgado doing on the field in his first game back from a hyperextended knee? I was at Shea for the game, and can say for certain that the infield was slick. I’m not sure what the logic was behind getting Delgado out there on wet ground with a bum knee — why not wait one more day, and play Shawn Green at first? Luckily, Delgado didn’t further damage the joint, but that was mostly due to his refusal to move. There was one ground ball toward him, in the third inning, that looked like it might be a routine double play. Instead the ball skipped about a foot past Delgado, who I believe was downloading new ringtones on his cell phone rather than reaching over to make a swipe at the ball. Instead of a double play, Milton Bradley had himself an RBI single.

As much as we like to denigrate The Show, he pitched pretty well — despite being charged with one run in one inning of work. His strikeout to end the sixth was key, and there’s a chance his runner in the seventh — Gonzalez — doesn’t score from first on the Cameron double. However, the Milledge error put him on second, and he thus scored easily.

I was quite surprised to see David Wells enter the game in the bottom of the eighth, as I thought he had been released by the Padres a few weeks ago. I was even more surprised to see him pitching with his right rather than left hand — but figured he couldn’t do any worse than he’d been doing previously. Then I realized it was not Wells on the mound but “Boomer” Bell. Hey Heath, either lay off the Big Macs, or talk to the equipment manager about a more billowy uniform — your weekly increase in girth is publicly embarrassing.

Next Game

Brian Lawrence faces Jake Peavy in another 7:10 PM start at Shea. Let’s hope Lawrence has a bit more black magic left in his travel bag from his time in N’Awlins.

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. isuzudude August 22, 2007 at 12:42 am
    I like this matchup for us in the playoffs. Something about Chris Young doesn’t intimidate the Mets. We knocked around Maddux in last year’s NLDS. Plus their bullpen is shotty. Heath Bell would never be able to pitch in a big postseason spot at Shea. And Hoffman just doesn’t scare me anymore. Give them a win with Peavy on the mound, but the rest of the series should belong to the Mets.

    I’m guilty of thinking way ahead of ourselves, but if it boiled down to Arizona, Chicago, Milwaukee, St Louis, or San Diego, who would you pick?

  2. sincekindergarten August 22, 2007 at 4:34 am
    As the wild card? I’d like to see Chicago, but it won’t happen. As the four teams in October? My gut feeling is NL West–Arizona, NL Central–Chicago, NL East–Mets, Wild Card–something keeps saying Los Angeles.
  3. joe August 22, 2007 at 8:27 am
    Too hard for me to see a wild card yet. There’s too much baseball left, and it seems like no one is taking the bull by the horns — teams are staying in the race in spite of themselves.

    However, it should make for exciting baseball, in all three divisions, right to the end.

  4. Walnutz15 August 22, 2007 at 9:03 am
    Love the Heath Bell-reference — just goes to show you we’re noticing the same things when watching the game, Joe.

    I likened him to a Butterball Turkey, in that tight shrink-wrap. Only it shrunk nothing….

    Glad to see Beltran stepping up his game. Wonder if he gets it now….in that the “warrior” role is appreciated by the fans, but he’s still gonna get ripped by them when he plays hurt and doesn’t produce.

    Take the time you need to get back to full-strength! We’re seeing how he plays when he’s completely healthy. It’s crazy that injuries that should take a week or two to heal, result in 2-3 months of zero productivity.

    It’d be nice if this Sleeping Giant of an offense woke up right now….an absolute thing of beauty to see Beltran hitting at home. We ALL want to root for him, he just hasn’t consistently done it at Shea.

  5. isuzudude August 22, 2007 at 10:22 am
    Actually, my question was more designed to get a feel of who you think the Mets would have a better chance of winning against in the playoffs. What team , of the ones mentioned above, wold provide the best matchup for the Mets to win?
  6. joe August 22, 2007 at 12:55 pm
    I gave up on trying to figure out who would be the ideal opponent after the 2006 NLCS. Even w/o Pedro and Duque, the Mets should have spanked the Cards up and down last October. That said, I personally don’t like to think about matchups — let’s just get in and see what happens. But that’s just me … don’t let my view spoil your fun.
  7. Micalpalyn August 22, 2007 at 3:17 pm
    1. Carlos Beltran: I dont post as much lately but given the theme today I could not resist. CB LAST YEAR posted the best allround season of any Met CF ever and probably best all round season period. (maybe Piazza in 2000). the I cant let it rest that CB just had a 2 week break he has BEEN craving. His knees,arms legs, quads, obliques have all been falling of but he could not groan enuff for a day off. Finally he does crash after being a DP candidate for a couple of weeksd and the media/fanbase insist he is fragile. My contention to this group is that given a periodic 2-3 day
    break to keep CB fresh and we might have the CB (post DL) version we are currently enjoying.

    2. Ditto for Moises.

    3. Could apply to Jose and DW.

  8. Micalpalyn August 22, 2007 at 3:20 pm
    Isu: The candidates are Rockies, Dbacks, Padres, Dodgers, Cubs, Cards, Brews, Atl, and Philly.

    Bottomline we can beat any of this group. But its too much at this point to think of match ups. If Pedro were to make it back it changes alot.

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