Mets 5 Padres 1
Put away that broom — there will be no sweep in San Diego!
One of the big reasons the Mets acquired Johan Santana was to avoid prolonged losing streaks. What they didn’t count on, though, were periods of losing 6 out of 8, or 7 out of 10.
In any case, thanks to the brilliant pitching of Johan, and an unusual output by the offense, the Mets avoided a four-game sweep and pushed their record to 52-59 — a mere 10 games behind the Phillies, only 9 behind in the Wild Card standings, and more than a dozen games ahead of the Washington Nationals.
Johan hurled 8 masterful frames, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks. Against his better judgment, he handed the game to countryman Francisco Rodriguez, who did not disappoint. K-Rod was absolutely spectacular, coaxing three outs from the Padres without yielding a run. He would’ve earned himself his second save of the second half, too, if it weren’t for that meddling kid Danny Murphy, who drove in an insurance run in the top of the ninth that gave the Mets the four-run lead and removed a save situation.
If only Murphy could hit .330 – .350 and run well, he’d be a serious candidate for 1B next year. But if you’re not Rod Carew, you can’t be a slap-hitting first baseman. Murphy has definitely proven to be “money” with runners in scoring position, and did a great job on a tough two-strike pitch to dump the ball into the outfield and drive in that fifth run. Maybe there’s still time to move him to second base … or sign Manny Ramirez / Matt Holliday in the offseason to make up for his lack of punch.
Five Mets had two hits in this ballgame, including Santana, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Also 2-for-3 was Anderson Hernandez, who had been passed over in previous days to inject more offense into the lineup.
Jeff Francoeur had two hits and is now hitting an even .300 in August. He’s 11 for his last 30.
Next Mets Game
The Mets’ late summer western swing continues in Arizona at 9:40 PM EST (why they can’t start the game 40 minutes earlier is beyond me … don’t they go to bed early out there?). Mike Pelfrey takes the mound in opposition to Doug Davis.
In unrelated news, the Yankees will be facing Marc Rzepczynski of the Blue Jays tomorrow. Say that name ten times fast.