Mets 9 Reds 7
Jeff Francoeur and the Mets are now 2-0.
The Beltranless, Delgadoless, and Reyesless offense exploded for six runs in the third and fourth frames, and later tacked on another pair of much-needed insurance runs as the Mets beat the Reds, won the three-game series, and head into the All-Star Break with their chins up.
Mike Pelfrey tried to give the Reds a chance to get back in the game, but left that gracious gesture to the bullpen. In spite of losing his composure on a few occasions, pitching erratically, and having his usual case of the yips, Big Pelf somehow plowed through 7 full innings and allowed only 3 runs on 5 hits to earn his seventh victory of the season.
Every position player who came to the plate collected at least one hit, as the Mets battered Reds pitching for 16 hits including three doubles and two homeruns. Brian Schneider broke the Mets’ 80-inning dry spell without a dinger by sending a David Weathers pitch over the fence, and Fernando Tatis was so inspired that he followed with another one a few minutes later. Good thing for those two solo blasts, because the Reds scored four runs in the final two innings against Sean Green, Pedro Feliciano, Bobby Parnell, and Francisco Rodriguez.
Though he kept the home crowd in their seats to the final pitch, ultimately, K-Rod nailed down his 23rd heart-stopping save.
With a 7-run lead, Mike Pelfrey caught the yips in the fifth and nearly gave the game back to the Reds. He walked the first two batters of the inning and committed a balk in between, setting up a three-run inning that could’ve been much worse if Dusty Baker didn’t have an obsession with using pitchers to pinch-hit (yeah, I know Micah Owings is a good-hitting pitcher, but his “good” is only .250 … it’s kind of like using Argenis Reyes as a pinch- … oh, never mind).
Pelf’s sixth balk of the season was so ridiculously inexcusable, I don’t know where to begin. But I’ll try. First of all, he had a seven-zip lead. Secondly, the runner on first was catcher Ramon Hernandez, who is a good athlete but not a stolen base threat (8 SBs total in 11 years in MLB). Third, Dan Murphy had alerted Pelf to the fact that he’d be playing behind the bag, literally seconds before the balk. Fourth, Hernandez was only about three steps off the bag. Yet, inexplicably, Pelfrey looked over at 1B, saw Hernandez’s miniscule lead — and Murphy standing a few feet behind him — and whirled to make a pickoff attempt (but stopped when he realized there was no one at the bag to catch the throw). I shudder to think what is going to happen when Pelfrey pitches in a high-pressure situation — i.e., a postseason contest — if he routinely flakes out on lazy Sunday afternoons with seven-run leads against ordinary competition.
My apologies for the late post and brief notes — I had a doubleheader and watched the game in fast-forward off the DVR so I may have missed some things. Though, I’m kind of glad I missed seeing the game live. Between Pelfrey’s antics in the fifth and the late-game bullpen implosion, I might have thrown something heavy and blunt at the TV.
The Mets and Reds now have identical 42-45 records, and both are in second-to-last place. The Mets, however, are in fourth while the Reds are in fifth. Thank goodness for the Nationals.
Strangely enough, the Mets have the best home record in the NL East, at 25-20.
No, I am not related to Paul Janish, but thank you for asking. And I agree, it’s not a very common name. But yes, I’m sure.
Next Mets Game
The Mets take a break for a few days while MLB puts on the Bud Selig Circus Show in St. Louis. Order is restored on July 16th, when the Mets play the Braves in Atlanta at 7:00 PM.