Mets 2 Astros 1
Mike Pelfrey threw ice on the red-hot Houston Astros, Ruben Tejada collected his first hit in 9 days, David Wright drove in his 85th run of the year, and Hisanori Takahashi saved the day as the Mets won the first game of the three-game series and reclaimed their goal of .500 ball.
After a difficult, 31-pitch first frame, Big Pelf settled down and set down the ‘stros through the next seven, allowing no runs on six hits and two walks. Rebounding after that tough first inning fueled his confidence, and he rolled the rest of the way.
However, the win was in jeoporady in the ninth when Bobby Parnell allowed two one-out singles — the second of which included an error by Angel Pagan that put runners on the corners. Rather than let the young fireballer learn to work out of a jam in this meaningless ballgame, Jerry Manuel summoned Takahashi from the bullpen, who allowed an RBI single before getting the final two outs. Yes, the preference is to see the Mets win games, and yes, it would’ve been a damn shame if Pelfrey didn’t earn a victory, but if Parnell isn’t going to be given a chance to find his way out of a mess in that situation, then when will he? Or will he ever? His development is being stunted because Manuel is still managing for his job — not good for the long-term health of the organization.
Speaking of long-term, Tejada not only hit a single to boost his average to .169, but he also drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in what turned out to be the winning run.
Two former Mets were in the game for the Astros: Anderson Hernandez (who is hitting 53 points higher than Tejada, but still dangerously close to the Mendoza Line), and Nelson Figueroa, who was the tough-luck loser in allowing only two runs on three hits in seven innings.
Yes, you got that right — the Mets had only three hits on the night, completely shut down by Nelson Figueroa. Not Ed Figueroa, but Nelson Figueroa. And neither of the runs were scored via a hit — the first run came on a sac fly by Wright.
Next Mets Game
Game two occurs at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. Johan Santana faces Brett Myers.