Mets Game 142: Win Over Astros
Mets 4 Astros 1
Mets sweep !
Of course, we wanted the Mets to sweep, wanted to see them win, wanted to see that magic number dwindle to 15. But above all three of those wishes, we wanted to see how Pedro would pitch with five days’ rest, how many pitches he could throw, and where his velocity would top out.
After five scoreless innings, we found out.
Pedro threw an inefficient but strong 92 pitches in the five frames, allowing 6 hits and one walk, and striking out 4. He topped out around 87 MPH, and his overhand curveball looked pretty good — especially mixed in with the fastball, sinking fastball, change-up, and cutter. He had to pitch out of trouble in every inning but the fourth, doing a great job of keeping the Astros hitters off balance with his array of speeds. Overall, it was an encouraging outing.
In support of Pedro, the Mets offense — sans David Wright — provided four runs on nine hits, including a two-run homer by Moises Alou. Alou’s blast into the bleachers came right after Pedro worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth, and put the game out of Houston’s reach. The Mets’ first two runs were driven in by Carlos Beltran, who is suddenly heating up. Beltran drove in Luis Castillo with an RBI single in the first, and chased home Pedro with a sacrifice fly in the third (Pedro had doubled to lead off the inning, and took third on a Jose Reyes bunt).
The lone Astros run came in the sixth off Guillermo Mota, in the first non-Pedro pitch of the afternoon, when Luke Scott sat dead-red on a first-pitch fastball and sent it soaring over the rightfield fence. Mota did everything he could to spoil Pedro’s outing, but the Astros refused to take the bait, stranding the bases loaded for the umpteenth time in the series.
Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, and Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless inning apiece to close out the victory.
Beltran was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and 1 run scored; one of his hits was his 31st double of the season.
Shawn Green was 2-for-4 with his 30th double of the year.
Ruben Gotay started at third to give D-Wright a rest, and though he was hitless, he made several fine plays in the field — his first-ever Major League start at the hot corner.
The Shea Stadium crowd honored Craig Biggio with a standing ovation after he grounded out in the 8th, his last at-bat in New York.
The same crowd pummeled Guillermo Mota with boos after he gave up the homer to Scott, and was clearly shaken afterward. One must wonder if he was more upset with the bad pitch or the outpouring of negativity. Whichever it was, he tried to make up for everything by attempting an impossible play on a bunt — which turned out very badly and put himself in a deeper hole. Luckily, he found a way out of the inning without more damage, but as I’ve mentioned before, his performance is directly related to his confidence level — something I’m not sure can return in the few weeks left before the postseason.
The Braves come to Shea for a three-game set. Monday’s night’s game begins at 7:10 PM, with Oliver Perez taking the mound against Tim Hudson.