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.

Next Game

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.

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. RockStar78 September 10, 2007 at 9:23 am
    Man, it’s amazing to hear the polar opposites of Willie when he talks about Pedro vs talking about someone with minimal service time.
  2. Micalpalyn September 10, 2007 at 1:15 pm
    Beltran and Alou have all rested, CB’s break was particularly timely, now there heating up? Of course they are.

    Wright: Looks like an MVP.

    Maine and Ollie: both are tired, mentally and physically. Neither are battle tested, both have already had the best seasons of their careers in many regards. If anyone said you would get a full season with 13+ wins and a sub 3.50 ERA from eeither you ‘d have found few beleivers. me I was looking for a 12-10 record from Ollie.

    Now both have logged alot of innings and considering neither have done that consistently no one wonder focus and mechanics are off center.

  3. joe September 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm
    Excellent point on Maine and Perez. Though Ollie hurled 196 innings in 2004, he hasn’t even broken 115 at MLB level since (he’s currently over 150). And at 163 IP, Maine is already about 20 innings further than he was last year — with the most he’s ever pitched being 168 innings between MLB and minors in 2005.

    Both need to find their focus. Hopefully, the Mets can ram through the Braves and Phillies this week and let both of them skip a start at the end of the month (and perhaps we’ll see Humber and Mulvey? … nah).

  4. sincekindergarten September 10, 2007 at 5:15 pm
    “Neither are battle tested,” eh? I’m sure, then, that you can explain both of them doing as well as they did in pitching in the NLCS last year . . .
  5. Micalpalyn September 10, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Sk; to revise my position: I am HUGE on Ollie and maine and blogged that both SHOULD start in the NLCS (with El duque in the pen). With El Duques injury and Traxx’s meltdown that was moot. I love Maine. to make a comparison…how about Bob Ojeda…not flashy but gets W’s, but Ollie is really special…I am glued to every pitch.

    Last yrs NLCS was great as much for Ollie and Maine, but maybe ‘Yes’ last yr was their battle christening, but the point remains they exhibit fatigue. (War injury) But like last yr I expect the rush of the playoffs to fix their arm slots. Also, prediction we use a 5 man playoff rotation. I would not be suprised to see El duque and Sosa in the pen.

    Green: He may not be back but he has been really enjoying a renaissance now that he fills in at 1st.

  6. sincekindergarten September 10, 2007 at 6:20 pm
    I will give you the “fatigue” point. Though, I wonder if that’s more a function of his not pitching a large number of innings last year, and ’05, because he pitched a lot (195?) in ’04. Ollie’s always been a “‘walk’ on the wild side” (pun intended after I wrote it) where his performance has been concerned. But, something that I brought up last week needs to be mentioned here. St. Pedro of the Mound’s return (resurrection?) to the Mets will benefit Ollie more than anyone else on the staff, if only because the two have similar emotional makeups. (Being able to converse in two different languages can’t hurt, either.)
  7. joe September 10, 2007 at 8:18 pm
    I’m not sure about a five-man rotation in the postseason, but I can definitely see five starters being used — for example, matching up Ollie against a lefty-dominant lineup (Phillthies?) but not using him in a subsequent series.

    Nice point on Shawn Green. He seems to have accepted the fact he’s not going deep, and looking to punch the ball to right. You know what? That’s fine with me coming from the 6th or 7th spot. And as soon as the scouting reports say “Green’s going the other way, bust him inside”, he can once in a while guess in and jack one.

    SK – good point on Pedro/Ollie. I’d like to see Pedro tell Ollie to stop messing with the various arm angles, since what the Jacket tells him ain’t sinking in.