Archive: July 15th, 2007

Mets Game 91: Win Over Reds

Mets 5 Reds 2

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.

Web Gems

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.

Next Game

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.


Mets Game 90: Win Over Reds

Mets 2 Reds 1

There was no way Tom Glavine was losing this game.

Tom was terrific, pitching eight innings and allowing only one run — a solo homer by Brandon Phillips.

After allowing the Phillips homerun in the second, Glavine retired the next 16 batters in a row, before finally allowing a single to Ken Griffey Jr. in the top of the seventh. It would be the first and only time all night that Tom Glavine would throw from the stretch, and it would be the Reds’ last hit of the ballgame. Glavine smelled his 298th career victory and got it.

Meanwhile, he needed to pitch as well as he did, because once again the Mets batters were stymied by a mediocre pitcher. The Mets had Matt Belisle on the ropes in the first inning, as Ruben Gotay singled and Carlos Beltran walked to put runners on first and second with one out and the sluggers coming up. But David Wright struck out and Carlos Delgado flied out to center to let Belisle off the hook. Almost immediately after getting out of that jam, Brandon Phillips belted a homerun over centerfield to give Belisle a 1-0 lead and a jolt of motivation. That was all the momentum and confidence he needed to pitch over his head for the next five innings, as he shut out the Mets despite allowing the leadoff batter to reach base three times.

The fourth time that happened, however, turned out to be a charm. David Wright led off the sixth by hammering a single into left, then stole second after Delgado flied out. Paul LoDuca advanced him to third on a grounder to second, bringing Shawn Green up to the plate with two outs. Green took two pitches then fisted a fastball into short right field to score Wright and tie the game. It was Green’s first RBI in 16 games, and one he needed nearly as much as the Mets.

Two innings later, Green again came to bat with two outs, but this time with the bases cleared. He seared a line drive to leftfield that Adam Dunn could not catch despite a gloriously awkward, sliding-on-his-butt dive. The ground around Flushing shook with such force when Dunn came down that inspectors were sent to check the CitiField foundation later in the evening. Green wound up on second base with his 19th double of the season, and it was up to Lastings Milledge to drive him home. Reds interim manager had lefthanded specialist Mike Stanton pitch to Milledge despite his swinging a hot stick lately and despite Milledge being a righty and despite the fact the pitcher’s spot was up next. Naturally, Lastings bounced the first pitch he saw up the middle to score Green with the go-ahead (and winning) run.

Sandman entered to dispose of the Reds in short order and save Glavine’s game.


So far, Lastings Milledge is being everything the Mets need him to be in this young second half. If he can keep this up, we won’t need to worry about whether Moises Alou returns — though if Alou does return, Shawn Green may be the one to start worrying.

Green, by the way, was 2-for-4 for the second straight night. While his hot streaks no longer earn legendary status, we’ll be fine with his bloop singles and occasional doubles coming in clutch spots, as they did tonight.

Speaking of 2-for-4, Ruben Gotay did that too, and is now hitting .353. That Willie Randolph is one smart cookie, unearthing this gem of a ballplayer from the end of the bench and pressing him into starting duty. I don’t know how Willie is able to find these guys and know they’re going to do well — must be some kind of a sixth sense or something.

David Wright and Paul LoDuca were also part of the “dos en quatro club”. Tres of those were basura, however.

Gotay and Jose Reyes made splendid defensive plays on back-to-back pitches to end the sixth inning — Gotay a perfectly-timed dive on a popup behind him, Reyes a textbook backhand stab, turn and throw to nail the speedy Ryan Freel by a step. Glavine nearly sweat that inning, throwing nine pitches.

Next Game

Oliver Perez comes off the DL to face Kyle Lohse in a 1:10 PM start for the series finale. It would sure be nice to take three out of four.