Mets 9 Giants 6
The Mets made a mockery of million-dollar man Barry Zito, knocking him out of the game with only one out in the fifth — and he was lucky to get that far. By the time the dust cleared, the Mets had put eight runs on the board in the fifth frame, helped in part by terrible defense and lucky bloop hits. Considering how the first two months of the season went, it’s about time karma came around for our orange and blue boys, so I’m not feeling guilty about, for example, Pedro Martinez’s “excuse me” single that drove in a run.
Speaking of Pedro, he was throwing on 60 days’ rest and the time off showed. He wasn’t awful, but he wasn’t Pedro, either. On the bright side, his velocity was as high as it’s ever been, if we’re to believe the radar gun at AT&T Park. He was clocked as high as 93 MPH, and was getting there effortlessly. His curveball had occasional bite, and he threw some nice changeups. Overall though, he looked rusty and a little unsure — both of which were completely expected. Most importantly, he looked healthy. Once he gets his control back, the Mets will have two stoppers at the top of the rotation.
Though the final score was a three-run differential, and the win required Billy Wagner to come in and notch his 12th save, the game was never that close. However, you have to give credit to the Giants, who never gave up after falling behind by eight runs. They moved within three when Scott Schoeneweis crapped the bed in what should have been an easy ninth inning. However, I’m willing to give Scho a pass this time, since he’s been fairly effective thus far this season. I’d much rather he allow three runs when working with a six-run cushion, than when it’s a closer contest.
Barry Zito doesn’t have nearly the bite he used to on his signature overhand curve. His motion and arm angle looks different as well. I remember him being more up and down, enabling him to get really on top of the curve. Now he’s more side to side on all of his pitches, more three-quarter on his release point, and as a result his pitches are flat. He also doesn’t get his weight back during his leg lift, and as a result has no lower body power going into the pitch — it looks like he’s rushing forward and pushing the ball. (Don’t worry, he doesn’t read this blog, and even if he did, why would he listen to a schmuck blogger such as me?)
Pedro Martinez had his first two-hit game in over ten years, and drove in a run to boot.
Slightly surprising that Pedro stayed in for the sixth inning, with a six-run lead and approaching 90 pitches. However, I imagine it was completely up to Martinez as to how far he’d go. He probably wanted to stretch out as far as possible, with the idea of getting himself back into shape. And with a big lead, he had the luxury of going further at the cost of allowing a few runs. Interestingly, though his fastball lagged in that sixth inning — going down to 88 MPH — his curveball became sharper.
My favorite Met Damion Easley was unconscious in this game. He had three hits in his first three at-bats, including a bases-clearing double in that famous fifth frame.
The final game in ‘frisco begins at 3:45 EST on Wednesday. John Maine goes to the hill against Matt Cain. You can watch the game on SNY or listen to it on either WFAN or XM 186