Braves 4 Mets 1
Jerry Manuel made a brilliant move by moving Carlos Beltran into the #3 spot of the lineup. Manuel — an ardent student of the game and one who is constantly poring over statistics, in search of any angle or advantage that could give his team an edge — went through the stats and noticed that Beltran was hitting over .370 with a 1.000+ OPS vs. Atlanta starter Tim Hudson with 4 HR in 23 ABs. The move paid off in spades, as Beltran delivered an RBI double in the fifth.
Unfortunately, Manuel couldn’t pull any other rabbits out of his statistically inclined magic hat, and that one run was the sole scored by the New York Mets.
Meanwhile, ace starter Johan Santana allowed three runs in the first inning — a steep, unsurmountable deficit for the feeble offense from Flushing.
Santana didn’t pitch all that bad, but he didn’t pitch all that great, either. He allowed 4 earned runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings, and became the second Met in 2010 to reach double-digits in Ks with 11. The three runs in the first frame could easily be blamed on Luis Castillo, who muffed a potential double-play relay from David Wright that might’ve gotten Santana out of early trouble. As Mets fans, we love scapegoats, and we especially love it when we can position Castillo as the goat with the most scape. But the reality is that it was Santana who allowed two walks and three hits in the first inning. His command was questionable — in addition to the two walks, he also gave Matt Diaz a belt-high meatball (when ahead on the count) that was mashed for an RBI double. Everyone makes mistakes, and when everyone makes mistakes in the same inning, runners tend to score.
Diaz drove in the first run of the game, and the next two were driven in by Rick Ankiel, who ripped a double in his first at-bat as a Brave. In case you missed it, the Braves acquired Rick Ankiel in a trade with the Royals on July 31. It was termed a “deadline deal”, as it was a trade made on the last day teams were able to make trades without first clearing players through waivers. The “trade deadline” is a rather novel concept that has only been around about 70 years — a blink of an eye compared to the distance in time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. In fact, the “deadline” used to be June 15th, so unless you are a really in-tune baseball fan, you (and some MLB GMs) may not even have realized teams could still make trades so late in the year.
We were told during the telecast — in so many words — that Martin Prado and Omar Infante are two different people. At least, that’s what they’re telling us (something about “Prado” being injured and “Infante” taking his place). Strange, though, that we never see both players in uniform at the same time — kind of like Michael and LaToya Jackson back in the 1980s. Remember how Prado was leading the NL in hitting and Infante was the one on the All-Star team? There’s something to this story that is worth investigating further …
Former Met Billy Wagner earned his 25th save of the year, only a few days after we watched former Met Aaron Heilman notch his 4th save for Arizona. Thankfully the Mets won’t be in San Diego anytime soon.
During the TV broadcast, and immediately after Luis Castillo‘s crucial error in the bottom of the first, Gary Cohen referred to Castillo’s “halcyon days as a Gold Glover”. Wow. HALCYON. If that isn’t a candidate for Readers’ Digest “Enrich Your Word Power” I don’t know what is. I’m going to put the over/under at 8 years before we hear “halcyon” used during a Mets broadcast again.
Hey, what a great idea, by the way — to enrich our word power during Mets games! There won’t be much other value in watching this team play their way out of the playoff race. My suggestion for the next word: unpropitious.
Next Mets Game
Game two of this crucial three-game series takes place at 7:10 PM on Tuesday night in Atlanta. R.A. Dickey pitches for the Mets against Derek Lowe.
It’s always good to see the underachieving Lowe and thinking, “wow, the Mets could’ve made a really bad mistake by signing HIM to a crazy-expensive, multi-year deal”. Because, of course, the Mets signed Oliver Perez that winter instead.