Mets Game 17: Win Over Marlins
Mets 2 Marlins 1
Seems we’re still traveling in a time machine and emerging from it to watch pitcher-dominated baseball from the 1970s — and I’m loving every minute of it.
Mets Game Notes
Fresh off the worst start of his career and filled up to his forehead with pride, Johan Santana threw his heart to the plate on every one of his 105 pitches, magically confusing the Marlins hitters and inducing 11 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings of work. He allowed but 3 hits, 2 walks, and 1 run before exiting.
It looked to me like Johan was pitching almost completely on adrenalin, forcing himself to throw a perfect pitch on every pitch, and I really wonder if he can keep up this grueling effort through another five months of baseball.
Despite the spectacular performance, Santana walked away with another no-decision. Here’s something crazy: the Mets have yet to score a run while Santana is on the mound. He’s pitched 17 innings without one run of support.
Meanwhile, Josh Johnson was dealing for the Fish, matching Johan pitch for pitch — literally; their final lines were almost identical. In other words, it was every bit the pitchers’ duel that it was billed to be.
It could be argued, though, that both pitchers enjoyed a very liberal strike zone interpretation by home plate umpire Dan Iassogna
The lone run scored by the Fish came on a drive to left by Gaby Sanchez (who else?) that scored Giancarlo Stanton. Mike Baxter made a poor throw to cutoff man Ruben Tejada so there was no chance to get Stanton at home. Though, it looked to me as if Baxter had conceded the run and intended to throw to second base. I’m not sure if that was a bad decision by Baxter or some kind of miscommunication, but either way, it was a fundamental mistake that a team like the Mets cannot afford to make. Considering that Baxter hasn’t played too frequently in the field, and spent most of his spring training reps in center, it’s not a shocking mistake.
The Citi Field crowd was quite excited with the first batter of the game — some guy named “Reyes.” Purportedly, this Reyes person is an “exciting” ballplayer. True to form, the leadoff Fish hit a blast to deep center that was dramatically caught by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, moving the crowd to react with exuberance. Even in an opposing uniform, Jose Reyes evokes excitement in Mets fans.
Just curious: was anyone else waiting for Frank Francisco to blow the game in the ninth? Is it bad that such thoughts run through my head?