Reds 8 Mets 6
You can’t win ’em all …
Not a good day for Oliver Perez, who was charged with 8 runs in less than five innings of work — though he wasn’t helped by Darren O’Day, who allowed two inherited runners to score.
Ollie cruised through the first two innings, then allowed four runs in the third and fell apart in the fifth. Other than O’Day, the bullpen did its job in holding the Reds scoreless, and the offense tried to chip away, but fell short.
If nothing else, it was interesting to see that the Mets would in fact play all nine innings when behind. There was some speculation that they would concede the contest after the seventh, since JJ Putz and K-Rod were acquired with the intention of shortening the game by two innings.
Sure, you don’t like to see the Mets lose, but look at it this way — they took two out of three, and won their first series.
Mets Game Notes
Prior to Opening Day, the Reds were my sleeper pick for the Cinderella team of 2009. If these first three games are any indication, I’m WAY off. Their pitching is thinner than it appears on paper, and their young hitters may still be a year away. Mostly, though, they look sloppy in the field, reminiscent of the Marlins of the past few seasons. If they don’t find another quality starting pitcher and tighten up the defense, they’re headed for another dismal season.
Before the game, Jerry Manuel told reporters that “if you can get six good innings out of Ollie, that’ll be great”. No kidding. That’s pretty much the hope for every starting pitcher, isn’t it? For example, wouldn’t it have been “great” if Johan Santana could have given the Mets six good innings on Opening Day? I can’t believe they cut away from the game action to show us that pearl of wisdom.
Ryan Church is starting out similarly to last April, mashing line drives to all fields.
I seem to remember the Mets having a hard time winning the final game of a series when it was a weekday, day game. I can’t find the numbers anywhere to support that assumption, but it sure felt that way.
Keith Hernandez likes the new SNY graphics. I don’t, since they remove about one-fifth of my TV screen real estate. Andrew Vazzano of TheRopolitans agrees.
Keith and I do agree on one thing though — Joey Votto is the real deal. I’m sticking by my outrageous MVP prediction.
A number of missed hit-and-runs from both sides in this series, yet nearly all of them resulted in a stolen base.
Gary Sheffield made his Mets debut in this game, appearing as a pinch-hitter to lead off the ninth (he struck out looking). Strange move, since high-OBP man Luis Castillo was available on the bench. Maybe Jerry Manuel promised Castillo a full day off — I’m sure he was absolutely exhausted after playing two full games over the previous three days.
Ramon Castro remains a sloppy catcher, who drives me crazy with his annoying habit of jerking (I’m sure he calls it “framing”) every pitch. I spotted at least five occasions where Castro lost a legit strike because he jerked his glove toward the middle of the plate instead of catching the ball when it was a strike (a.k.a., “beating the ball to the spot”). One of those pitches came in the fifth and would’ve been strike three to Votto, and on the next pitch Votto hit an RBI single. Think about that. Votto’s single would’ve been an out, which means there would not have been a man on third so Brandon Phillips’ fly ball would not have been a sac fly driving in a run, and Ryan Hanigan’s fly ball would’ve been out number three, and Paul Janish would not have come to bat and singled in two. Do the math, and you tell me whether I’m nitpicking.
No, Paul Janish is not related to me. People in my family can hit, and have much larger feet. And my name is not pronounced “Yahn-ish” — it’s “Jan-ish”.
Next Mets Game
The Mets travel to Miami to play the first-place Marlins in a three-game set, beginning with a Friday night game at 7:10 PM. John Maine is scheduled to face Anibal Sanchez.