Mets Game 140: Win Over Astros
Mets 11 Astros 3
Ah, yes … that’s how we roll around here …
After falling behind 2-0, the Mets rallied for three runs in the third, highlighted by a game-tying two-run double by David Wright (who received MVP! chants upon stepping on second base) and capped by a run-scoring, go-ahead single by Carlos Beltran. They tacked on another two in the fifth via a Beltran blast far beyond the leftfield wall and an opposite-field RBI single by Jeff Conine that scored Moises Alou (who had doubled).
Their 5-2 lead wasn’t enough, though, so the Mets offense exploded for six runs in the sixth. It all started with a leadoff triple by Jose Reyes, who appeared a step faster after two days of rest. Reyes came home when Luis Castillo blistered a ball through the drawn-in infield, and D-Wright walked to put runners on first and second. After Beltran struck out, Alou hit his second double in two innings, scoring Castillo. Conine was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Paul LoDuca lifted a 2-0 pitch into right field to score Wright with a sac fly. With men on second and third, “Blastings” Milledge drilled the first pitch he saw into the leftfield seats. I had a view from the loge section in shallow left, and can tell you that thing went out like a bullet — it was a clothesline drive that left the park so quickly it didn’t have time to elevate. The three-run blast put the Mets up 11-2, and came a half inning after Milledge made a miraculous diving catch in right with the bases loaded to save at least one run (a play which earned him a standing ovation). He was clearly the hero of the inning — both halves.
Meantime, Mike Pelfrey pitched a second straight solid start. He went five and a third, and though he allowed ten hits and two walks, only two runners came around to score. The Astros loaded the bases twice in the first three innings, then again in the sixth, but each time were foiled by defensive wizardry. An unusual double play thwarted the Astros’ second-inning rally (Reyes booted the ball, but it landed right in Castillo’s glove), Pelfrey squirmed out of the jam in the third, and Milledge and Jorge Sosa bailed Pelfrey out in the sixth.
Sosa gave up a run-scoring double to former Met and fan favorite Ty Wigginton in the seventh, but by that time it hardly mattered. Guillermo Mota pitched a perfect eighth using only ten pitches, and Willie Collazo finished up with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros’ first run came on a ball off the bat of Lance Berkman that just barely made it over the centerfield wall. However, Beltran made a leaping grab and snowconed the ball, but couldn’t hold on. That’s why they call it a game of inches.
Strangely enough, the Astros out-hit the Mets, 13-12.
If David Eckstein were 6′ 4″ tall, he’d be Hunter Pence.
Beltran, Alou, and Milledge were all 2-for-4, and Castillo, Alou, and Wright scored three times each.
Ruben Gotay came into the game late for David Wright and made two fine plays at the hot corner. He also hit a double in his only at-bat — hitting from the right side.
Carlos Gomez replaced Beltran in center, his first MLB game since breaking his hand on July 5th.
Endy Chavez, who came in for Alou in the top of the seventh, made a great running catch of a hard liner to rob Carlos Lee of a double. Hard night for the ‘stros … if I’m Lee, behind by nine, hitting the ball on the screws like that and having Endy come out of nowhere to make a web gem … I dunno, I might just pack it in for the evening.
In the second inning, Astros catcher Humberto Quintero was hit by a pitch that he was taking a swing at, and was awarded first base. I was stunned from the stands, and further stunned watching the DVR replay when no one in the booth even suggested that he remain in the batter’s box. Since when is an HBP awarded to a hitter who swings into the pitch? I keep reading the MLB rule book, over and over, and the words remain the same:
MLB Rule 6.08(b) The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when — He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;
In Quintero’s case, he began to take a swing, held up, was hit in the elbow by the ball. Why bother printing the rule if no umpire will ever adhere to it?
People wonder why there are so many HBPs these days … it’s because NO ONE learns to get out of the way, and ALL umpires give them first despite breaking the rules and not getting out of the way.
Hmm … 3 runs in the 3rd … 5-2 score in the 5th … 6 runs in the 6th … is there a pattern here?
The Phillies lost to the Marlins, and their hopes are fading fast. Their loss plus the Mets’ win drops the magic number to 17 with 22 games to play.
Bring your AARP card to Shea, as it’s Oldtimers Day (how come they don’t do that anymore?). The Mets’ 41-year-old Tom Glavine drags his bones up on the hill (the mound’s uphill both ways, FYI) against 41-year-old Woody Williams in a 1:10 PM start.