Mets 5 Rays 3
Raise your hand if you thought the Mets had it “in the bag”, even after Ryan Church drove home an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th.
Why don’t I see any hands?
On this evening, the Mets did not find a way to lose, which means they won.
Fernando Fever gripped New York City for the second time in as many starts, as Mr. Nieve hurled six spectacular innings of three-hit, one-run ball in earning win number two as a Met. Though, the victory did not come without dramatics — the Mets bullpen did their darnedest to keep the Citi Field fans in their seats, allowing five baserunners and a pair of runs to keep it a one-run contest until Church’s RBI single.
Frankie Rodriguez shook off Thursday night’s blown save by retiring the Rays in order in a surprisingly uneventful ninth.
The ninth turned out uneventful, but it could’ve been damaging. Dioner Navarro led off the inning with a monster shot to the deepest section of right field, which fell securely in Church’s glove. In many other parks, that drive makes it a one-run game again. Later in the inning Willy Aybar chose not to bust it out for all 90 feet after hitting a grounder to Luis Castillo, and was out by a step when Dan Murphy couldn’t keep his foot on the bag while taking the throw — but had just enough time to double back and step on the bag. Shame on Aybar, and another prime example of why old schoolers such as myself were taught to hustle 100% of the time.
Church delivered his big hit against lefthander JP Howell, which makes no sense at all. Didn’t Jerry Manuel make it clear that Church can’t hit lefties? Just as interesting, Church stole two bases in the game.
The big blow of the game came off the bat of Brian Schneider, of all people. Schneider blasted a three-run homer in the second inning to give the Mets the lead for good. David Wright drove in the fourth run in the fourth inning with a double.
Bobby Parnell was unspectacular in relief, allowing two hits, a walk, and two runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Danny Murphy is most certainly out of his slump. He slapped three more singles and is really looking like the first baseman of the future. That is, if the future resembles Jason Phillips. Hey, check out Phillips’ 2003 season before you knock such a statement. Most people would be pretty darn happy if Murph finished with numbers like that.
Hmm … if Murphy IS out of his slump, what’s the point of Nick Evans’ promotion?
The Rays looked terrible at the plate, considering their talent level. I’m wondering if the cross-country trip from Colorado had anything to do with their lackluster performance.
Right now, Fernando Nieve is Jorge Sosa, circa 2007 (first half). It would be nice to see him rip off another 6-7 wins before the scouting reports and video analysis catch up to him.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Rays do it again at 4:10 PM, with Johan Santana facing James Shields in what is sure to be a pitchers’ duel. Unfortunately, the TV broadcast will be covered by FOX. Luckily, you can still hear Howie Rose call the game on WFAN.