This was a series the Mets really had to take 3 out of 4 — partially because as a first-place team they need to dominate last-place teams, and also to give them some momentum and confidence going into their West Coast trip against some very tough competition in the Padres and Dodgers.
Oliver Perez did not have his best stuff, and struggled a bit with his command, but stayed focused, worked with what he had, and turned out his eighth win of the season. Ollie pitched six innings and gave up two runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out six.
The Mets bullpen was nearly perfect, with Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, and Billy Wagner spinning three shutout innings and allowing just one hit. Remarkably, Feliciano gave up the only hit despite pitching the shortest inning — six pitches total.
On the offensive side, Lastings Milledge once again was a hero, driving in two runs in the second with a double — only moments after Ramon Castro hit a run-scoring double of his own. That three-run third was all the Mets needed to win the game, though they did add two insurance runs on a Jose Reyes homer in the sixth.
Reyes and Castro were the only Mets with more than one hit, both going 2-for-3.
Ruben Gotay finally stopped hitting, going 0-for-4 and dropping his average to under .340. I will take complete responsibility — I added him to my fantasy team on Saturday night, which is pretty much the kiss of death.
Perez didn’t pitch well, but got by on guts and was the recipient of a few outstanding defensive plays.
Milledge made a great catch in the first inning on a fly ball off the bat of Jeff Conine that may have saved a run. Norris Hopper, a quick runner, was on first and had the ball fallen in, Hopper might have scored or at least made it to third. Hopper was erased only moments later on a pickoff play.
Wright, Gotay, and Carlos Delgado pulled off a fantastic double play in the fourth. After Jeff Conine walked, Brandon Phillips hit a sizzler down the third base line that Wright backhanded, got to Gotay, who made an acrobatic turn while getting dumped by Phillips. Delgado smoothly handled Gotay’s throw on the short hop to complete the DP. The next batter, Adam Dunn, nearly knocked down the scoreboard with solo homer that would have otherwise been a three-run shot.
Gary Cohen made a bizarre statement in the first inning, wondering aloud if Ruben Gotay would be able to take enough pitches to allow Reyes to steal second base. Apparently he hadn’t noticed that Gotay has been taking more pitches and getting into deeper counts than anyone on the Mets this year. As it was, Gotay struck out looking — mainly because he took strike one and strike two waiting for Reyes to steal (he didn’t go until Beltran was up).
Too Sexy for His Shoes
David Wright is a fashion disaster combining those Todd Zeile high socks with the spikes that look like bowling shoe rentals.
The Mets travel to San Diego to start a one week West Coast swing. Jorge Sosa comes off the DL to face David Wells of the Padres in a 10:05 PM EST start.