Braves 7 Mets 6
Anyone else get the feeling of deja vu during this game?
The Mets jump out with an early lead, the starting pitcher mows down the opposition, meantime the offense goes to sleep, the bullpen blows the lead, and the Mets lose the game. It’s as if the Mets were following a script.
Mike Pelfrey pitched well, allowing only three runs on six hits in six innings. However, the bullpen was not so good. Jerry Manuel once again went to the “bullpen carousel” strategy, sending in a new arm for each individual Braves batter. The last time Manuel pulled this insanity, it worked, and he was lauded for his great managing. Today, it didn’t work, so I suppose we’ll blame it on Aaron Heilman. Sound good? (Yeah, I want Jerry’s job too.)
In truth, the Mets would not even have been in the game if not for Carlos Delgado, who continues to carry this team on his shoulders. Delgado went 4-for-5 with 2 runs and 3 RBI, and collected both his 2000th hit and his 37th homer of the season. David Wright played a supporting role, scoring 3 runs and collecting two hits, including a two-run homerun (his 32nd of the year). Wright and Delgado, in fact, combined for 6 of the Mets’ 8 hits and 5 of thier runs, and for those keeping score, Luis Castillo drove in the sixth Mets run.
Manuel used six relievers for innings seven and eight. The only one whose performance could be described as effective was Ricardo Rincon, who retired the one batter he faced.
Despite this game, I’m still not worried about the Mets’ chances for the playoffs. The Brewers won, yes, putting them only a game and a half behind the Mets in the wild card standings. And though Milwaukee has three games coming up against Pittsburgh, they finish with a three-game set against the Cubs — a team they have had trouble with all year. Not to mention that they don’t have Ben Sheets and their bullpen is in worse shape than the Mets, if you can believe that. The Brewers have earned exactly one save this month.
The Mets begin the final homestand in the history of Shea tomorrow night, opening a four-game series with the Cubs at 7:10 pm. Rookie Jonathan Niese faces Jason Marquis.