Mets 4 Braves 3
Tim Hudson imploded in the third inning, allowing the Mets to score four runs, and the Sheasters held on to beat the Braves by one.
After Jose Reyes popped out to start the third, Endy Chavez and David Wright hit back-to-back singles, setting the table for Carlos Beltran, who hit a booming double to score them both. Ryan Church followed with a triple to score Beltran, then scored himself when Carlos Delgado blasted a ground ball to first base. OK, maybe Delgado didn’t “blast” it, but at least he got the bat on the ball and hit it slowly enough to get Church home. Great RBI collector, that Delgado.
That was the extent of the offensive excitement from the Mets, so if you missed the final six innings, no biggie.
John Maine was strong through five, but inefficient with his pitches (as Willie Randolph might say) and had to leave before the sixth. He allowed three hits, three walks, and two earned runs, and struck out seven in his abbreviated stint. Aaron Heilman was brought in to make the game close (he gave up yet another run in his one inning of work), and Scott Schoeneweis, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez, and Billy Wagner shut out the Braves the rest of the way to preserve Maine’s second victory of the season.
Can we send Heilman down to AAA and stretch him out for starting? Surely at this point he’s no longer “too important in the bullpen” to be moved back to the rotation. And by now it can be Omar’s idea, not mine, so all the more reason for it to happen.
Good to see D-Wright snap his temporary cold streak with a 2-for-4 day. Damion Easley also had two hits subbing for Luis Castillo. On the other hand, Jose Reyes had another oh-fer, and is now down to .237. It would be nice to see him sit back, let the ball get deep, take some pitches, and slap the ball the other way. He’s over-zealous at the plate, jumping out at everything right now.
Gustavo Molina made his first start behind the dish, and looked pretty good back there. He also collected his first hit as a Met, a nice opposite-field drive in the second.
John Maine left after the fifth because of “tightness” in his shoulder. I don’t like to hear that … it usually is a first symptom of tendinitis. Way too early in the season for that. Let’s hope it was just a matter of the temperature dropping (though, I don’t think it did).
Billy Wagner has pitched a no-hitter so far this season: nine innings, no hits. He has five saves, nine strikeouts and a 0.22 WHIP.
The rubber match pits Nelson Figueroa against John Smoltz. Figgy’s fan club will be in full force, and I’m confident he’ll come up with a big performance.