Archive: August 9th, 2009

Mets Game 111: Win Over Padres

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.

Notes

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.

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Mets Game 110: Loss to Padres

Padres 3 Mets 1

Bobby Parnell started his first MLB game, but fell far short of finishing it. In fact, he couldn’t finish the third inning.

Parnell allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings, but it felt a lot longer and a lot worse than that. In some ways, the game as a whole resembled a Steve Trachsel episode — it just dragged on and on. And on.

Parnell’s outing would not have been so bad if the Mets mounted a rally at any point in the contest. But, like the evening previous, they shot their load in the first frame — scoring all of one run, on an improbable homer by Alex Cora. The Mets mustered only five hits all night, with Cora’s aberration the only extra-base effort.

Remarkably it could’ve been worse, as the Padres left 13 men on base. The Mets were lucky it was a two-run game.

Oh, and to twist that knife just a bit more … Heath Bell — last night’s winning pitcher — earned his 28th save. For those counting, that’s four more than Frankie Rodriguez. And the Padres have only 47 wins all year.

Notes

Parnell threw a total of 68 pitches, two shy of his “limit” of 70 — and double the amount he pitched on any one day previously this season. I remain absolutely stunned that an organization with so few personnel as talented and youthful as Parnell can be so incredibly irresponsible.

But it gets better. According to Jerry Manuel during the SNY postgame, Parnell is expected to go to 85 PITCHES in his next start !!! Who is the genius making these illogical decisions?

Heck, why not make K-Rod a starter? He should be able to hurl a good 75-80 pitches. And he’s not getting many save opportunities, so it will be a great way to get him work. And like Parnell, Frankie Fantastic was a starter in the minors, so he can do it.

BTW, people made fun of me when I joked about “reversing the game” in a post at MetsBlog last year. But with this game the Mets have executed it. Is it any surprise a joke became reality in this comedy of errors we call the Mets’ season?

The Mets are now 51-59. They have not been 8 games under .500 since 2004 — in the days when Art Howe “lit up a room”.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the four-game series will be played at 4:05 PM on Sunday afternoon. Johan Santana goes to the mound against former Saratoga Springs prep star Tim Stauffer.

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