Reds 3 Mets 2
Mets were Nixed by a Laynce … Laynce Nix deposited a hanging curveball from Manny Acosta into the right field seats to give the Reds a walk-off victory in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Oliver Perez managed to finish six innings, allowing only 2 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. Do not be fooled — the linescore tells a much different story than the eyes. As usual, Ollie was consistently missing his target by a foot or more, but was helped greatly by the young, aggressive hackers in the Reds lineup who apparently were not given a copy of the scouting report. Had Cincinnati exercised a modicum of patience, Ollie would not have made it out of the third inning.
One positive point regarding Ollie: he was stepping directly behind the rubber to start his windup. I like this, because it gets the pitcher started in a backward-forward, up and down pattern for delivery, which encourages the body’s momentum to go toward the plate. Ollie’s major issue has always been that his body (and balance) goes side-to-side, and it all began with a step to the side of the rubber. Perez still had too much rotation in his leg lift — turning his front side toward the second baseman, and causing his front side to in turn fly open too early — but any baby steps toward better mechanics has to be celebrated.
Mike Leake was impressive, especially considering that he has not thrown an inning of minor league ball. His name and the fact he can hit made me think of Kelly Leak, from Chico’s Bail Bonds. The kid pounded the strike zone and held the Mets to only 4 hits and a walk in 6 innings. I was surprised Dusty Baker lifted him for pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo with men on first and second. First of all, Leake should have remained in the game to pitch, but secondly, he looked more capable at the plate than Cairo.
Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo combined to see 49 pitches and reach base 5 times in 10 plate appearances, but scored only one run between them.
David Wright seems to be out of his slump; he went 2-for-5 and is now hitting .281.
Fernando Nieve pitched two innings after a one-inning appearance on Sunday night. He is now on pace to appear in 99 games in 2010. This is not a joke, not an exaggeration; do the math.
Manny Acosta now has two decisions in less than two weeks. Something seems wrong with that; shouldn’t someone else be pitching in these situations? Maybe Fernando Nieve should be in there more often.
Paul Janish did not appear in the game, which was a major disappointment. I was wearing my “Janish” jersey and everything.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Reds do it again at 7:10 PM on Tuesday night in Cincinnati. John Maine faces Bronson Arroyo.