Mets Game 155: Win Over Marlins
Mets 7 Marlins 6
John Maine was downright dominating, but couldn’t hang around long enough to pitch the team to victory. Riding a hard (94-95 MPH) fastball with a lot of life and movement, Maine struck out nine and allowed three runs through five, but all those strikeouts took a toll on his pitch count, and he was out after the fifth.
Remarkably, Pedro Feliciano, Jorge Sosa, and yes Guillermo Mota combined for TWO scoreless innings to keep the Mets in the game.
Meantime, the ghost of Wandy Rodriguez was living in young lefty Chris Seddon, who despite a near-nine ERA against everyone else, was able to hold the Mets to a measly two runs on three hits in five innings. Those two runs came on a Paul LoDuca two-run homer to left in the fourth.
Seddon was removed from the game after five frames and 74 pitches, and the Marlins bullpen held the Mets scoreless for two more innings.
With the Mets down by one, David Wright drew a walk leading off the eighth. Marlon Anderson followed with ANOTHER pinch-hit, chasing Wright to third. Moises Alou then drove in Wright and simultaneously extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a game-tying single.
Then Carlos Delgado reminded everyone why he’s in the lineup.
Delgado sent a pitch to the moon (though it eventually dropped into the stands behind the right-center fence) — a three-run blast to make the score 6-3.
However, Aaron Heilman couldn’t make it easy. With a three-run lead, Heilman walked the first two batters and then gave up a two-run double to Todd Linden. He threw two straight balls to Miguel “I’ll Swing If I Can Reach It” Olivo before inducing a harmless groundout. Heilman was insistent on blowing the game, however, and allowed a base hit to the next batter, nearly blowing the lead — except Alou threw out Linden at the plate for the second out.
Billy Wagner must have taken his Doan’s pills, because he came on in the ninth. Unfortunately, Dan Uggla was sitting on a full-count fastball and may have busted a seat in the upper deck stands above left field to tie the game. He finished the inning without further incident, taking the game into extra innings.
Alou and Delgado led off the tenth with singles, and LoDuca dropped a beauty of a bunt to move them (interesting call, I would have let Dukey hit). Carlos Gomez then popped up the first pitch to him into short right field, and Alou had to stay on third. Endy Chavez flied out to center to end the top of the tenth.
Joe Smith pitched a perfect bottom of the frame to send the game to the eleventh.
The Mets started another rally in the 11th, beginning with a leadoff walk by Jose Reyes. Strangely, Reyes didn’t attempt to steal second — and it appeared that Luis Castillo may have purposely taken a perfect strike two thinking he’d be running. No matter, he slapped the next pitch into leftfield to set the table for the meat of the order. David Wright responded with a two-strike basehit to left to score Reyes and send Castillo to third. David Newhan worked the count full before striking out, but Wright took second on strike three. Alou then ripped a shot right at Miguel Cabrera, who stepped on third for a quick double play.
Aaron Sele entered the game in the bottom of the inning, looking for his first career save. Hanley Ramirez helped him out by swinging at the first pitch he saw — a fastball at his eyes — and tomahawking it to Reyes for the first out. Endy Chavez made a nice running catch on a liner by Uggla for the second out, and it looked as though Sele might just notch career save #1. But, Willie Randolph decided to bring in Scott Schoeneweis to face hot-hitting lefty Jeremy Hermida. The Show earned his dough (and got the save), getting Hermida to ground out to Delgado to end the game.
The Marlins’ organist played Green Acres, The Mexican Hat Dance, and the theme to the Addams Family (among other ditties) — none of which have anything to do with baseball.
I’d like someone to check out Heilman’s career numbers when pitching in the latter of back-to-back games. My eyes over the last three years have told me he’s not effective on that second day, but would like to see the numbers supporting that “hunch”.
I am SO SO tired of the ridiculousness of Willie, Keith Hernandez, and every other baseball fogey who thinks it’s smarter to leave in a veteran pitcher who is obviously having a terrible day, and has no command, rather than bring in a rookie pitcher because the rookie “hasn’t been in this situation before”. It’s absolute nonsense — and even more ludicrous playing in front of a stadium crowd of barely four digits. Heilman (and Randolph) was damn lucky to get out of that 8th inning situation down by only one run. And in the end, they had to go to Smith anyway, in the tenth. It boggles the mind as to why a three-run lead has to be protected by Heilman — he should never have even began the inning.
Luis Castillo’s wheels are really trudging these days. He’s pretty tough, though, witnessed by his attempting a bunt for a hit in the ninth. His range, however, is greatly diminished, as evidenced by a grounder in the eighth that got past him but probably would have been eaten up a couple years ago.
Gratefully, the Nationals were able to hold on and beat the Phillies.
The Mets begin a three-game series against the Nationals at Shea, to start their last regular-season homestand. Mike Pelfrey takes the hill against Matt Chico.