Mets 6 Marlins 2
It was a close ballgame until the seventh, and then the “offensive closer” came on to give the Mets enough cushion to make the bullpen relatively irrelevant.
With men on first and second and one out in the seventh, Jose Reyes smacked an opposite field RBI single that chased starter and loser Scott Olsen and ignited a three-run outburst that gave the Mets a comfortable four-run lead that they never relinquished.
Pedro Martinez pitched six strong innings, allowing only two runs on seven hits and a walk, to earn the win. After Pedro, the Mets required only five relievers to protect the lead over the final three innings. Good thing the cavalry is coming tomorrow (five pitchers from AAA).
Gary Cohen used the word “meritocracy” to describe the Mets’ bullpen. I believe that is the first time in 35 years I have ever heard the word “meritocracy” used in a baseball broadcast. In fact it may be the first time I’ve heard or seen the word since my SAT test.
There was talk from the SNY announcers that Fernando Tatis may start against the righthanded Ben Sheets on Monday — which means either Ryan Church or Daniel Murphy would not play. The way Murphy’s been hitting, I don’t see how you can sit him. Although Church has struggled since coming off the DL, I think you have to keep putting him in there until he gets his timing back — the way he swung the bat in the first two months of the season, you have to give him every opportunity to “get right”. We’ll see what happens.
Nick Evans hit his first big-league homer, a powerful blast into the left field seats. It was the second solo shot of the day for the Mets, and immediately preceded a dinger by David Wright. Evans hit a few homeruns in the minors, and many internal people believe he will develop legitimate big-league power as he gains experience. Four baggers would be a nice addition to his already sound, if slightly overmatched, offensive game.
Wright was 3-for-5, and Carlos Beltran hit the first dinger of the day, though didn’t do anything afterward. Beltran, though, has been either hitting laser beams or squibs, and I still think he’s on the verge of going ballistic.
Endy Chavez stroked a nice opposite-field single as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. It was a great thing to see, as he’s seen his playing time dwindle to nothing with the emergence of Evans/Murphy and the return of Church. Endy is no superstar but when kept sharp is a vital component — offensively and defensively — off the bench.
The Mets travel to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in a 2:05 pm game on Monday. Aces Johan Santana and Ben Sheets will do battle.