Archive: May 29th, 2007

Mets Game 50: Win over Giants

Mets 5 Giants 4

New York Mets Carlos Delgado scores after hitting the game-winning homerun against the San Francisco GiantsOliver Perez pitched seven solid innings, and gave up three solo homers. Looking at it, it was a very good performance — he gave up only five hits total, walked none, and struck out 8 in throwing 98 pitches over the 7 frames. It’s safe to say that Ollie has regained the form that made him one of the most coveted young lefties in MLB in 2004.

The three Giant dingers were answered by Carlos X two production: a two-run homer by Carlos Delgado and a one-run double by Carlos Beltran. The score remained that way through 12 innings, when San Francisco broke through with a run against Mighty Joe Smith on a groundout to untie the game. However, Giants manager Bruce Bochy thought it appropriate to give the Mets a fair chance in the bottom of the inning, and sent Armando Benitez to the mound.

Predictably, Benitez had a meltdown. It began with a walk to Jose Reyes, who was balked to second base and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Endy Chavez. Benitez balked for the second time in the inning to score Reyes with the tying run. Five pitches later, Carlos Delgado mashed his second homerun of the game to win the contest for the Mets, 5-4.


Reyes and Delgado scored two runs each, and Beltran scored the other Met run.

Aaron Heilman pitched one and a third innings of perfect relief before allowing Smith to scavenge the victory. Heilman squeaked the Mets out of tough spot in the 10th, getting Rich Aurilia to line out with Barry Bonds standing on third base with the go-ahead run.

The Mets had only six hits on the night, and the suddenly hot Delgado had two of them (plus 3 RBI).

Ruben Gotay had a pinch-hit in the eleventh, his third pinch-hit of the year (he’s 3-for-8, .375 in that role).

Carlos Gomez started in rightfield and was hitless with two strikeouts, and Ben Johnson took over and went 0-for-2. Johnson was added to the roster when Shawn Green was put on the DL for the first time in his 15-year career.

Next Game

Tom Glavine (5-2, 3.39) faces Barry Zito (4-5, 4.70) in an epic battle of soft-tossers. Game time is 7:35 PM.


Preview: Mets vs. Giants II

San Francisco Giants baseball logoThe Mets are riding high, coming off a 3-game sweep of the Florida Marlins and ahead of the second-place Braves by 4 full games. Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants come into Shea Stadium for a three game set.

Game One: Oliver Perez vs. Tim Lincecum

Lincecum, a draft-eligible sophmore, was not supposed to still be available when the Giants took him with the tenth overall pick in the 2006 draft. His undersized body, unusual delivery, and bargaining power let him slip that far, as most scouts projected him to be ready for the big leagues within a year. They were right; Lincecum throws a fastball that gets into the mid-90s and the best curveball of an amateur pitcher since Kerry Wood. This spring he blew through five starts at AAA Fresno in the PCL — a hitter’s league — posting a 4-0 record, striking out 46 and allowing only 12 hits in 31 innings. He’s made four Major League starts thus far, and is 2-0 with 25 Ks in 26 IP and a 1.03 WHIP. Batters are hitting .208 against him.

Ollie Perez is stepping into the role of stopper, with a 3-0 record and 1.17 ERA in his last three starts. While the meltdowns are not necessarily a thing of the past, they seem to be more affected by biorhythms rather than anything tangible — and he’s on a rhythmic high right now.

Game Two: Barry Zito vs. Tom Glavine

What an ideal matchup: pussballer present vs. pussballer past. The Mets had a bit of trouble with Zito in his debut appearance against them, but did manage to score three runs in his six innings of work. If his curveball is on — the Mets’ kryptonite — it could be difficult for the Flushing Fabulosos. Glavine was stellar in his May 8th start against the Giants, allowing only one run in seven innings. This could be a pitcher’s duel.

Game Three: Orlando Hernandez vs. Matt Cain

El Duque was magnificent in his first start since coming off the DL last Friday, and hopes to build off that. Meanwhile, Matt Cain has pitched in tough luck all year, with a 2-4 record despite a sparkling 3.32 ERA. The Mets had their way with Cain in their previous meeting, pounding him for 10 hits and 4 runs in seven innings. However, he’s no walk in the park when he’s on. Another potential pitcher’s duel.

Mets Bats

Nearly everyone is hitting, with Carlos Delgado finally finding his homerun stroke over the weekend. The only question mark is rightfield, where Shawn Green is not expected to play due to a fractured foot. Carlos Gomez is day-to-day with a strained hamstring, and word is that Ben Johnson is on his way to New York. It’s possible that we’ll see Damion Easley in the outfield again, with Ruben Gotay at second base.

Giants Bats

Barry Bonds will not play on Tuesday, and it is not known if he will play against Tom Glavine in game two. He’s been struggling a bit lately, plus the Giants want to make sure he hits numbers 755 and 756 in San Francisco. The rest of the Giants’ lineup remains dubious, though Bengie Molina has been swinging a hot stick lately. Ryan Klesko is likely their best hitter next to Bonds, but he never plays — especially not against lefties — so no need to worry about him until the Giants need to pinch-hit.

Bottom Line

This series has some very interesting, potentially exciting pitcher’s matchups. However, the Giants’ offense is currently reminiscent of the 1974 Mets, so there isn’t too much to fear. Chances are, these games will become a battle of the setup relievers, and with Guillermo Mota back for the second two games, and Armando Benitez still closing for San Francisco, I’m liking the Mets chances.