That was a must-win. And, honestly, who has been better in the last few starts than Livan Hernandez? He pitched well in Pittsburgh, last Monday, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. From a guy who entered Spring Training fighting for the last spot in the rotation, Livan might be the #2 starter, if the Mets were in the playoffs today. His ERA has dropped steadily since his only loss on April 23rd (7.31 to 3.88 after today). He’s only given up 5 runs in his last 28 2/3 innings. Today, he only added to his great numbers, going 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 4 BBs, and 4 Ks. He is not scheduled to pitch against the Phillies (obviously) but should take the mound next Friday against the rival Yankees in the Mets first trip to the New Stadium.
The Mets jumped on Stammen early and often. That is exactly what needed to happen after last night…and against a good, young starter. 5 of the first 6 Mets reached base and all ended up scoring…2 by wild pitch. After the 1st inning, though, the Mets didn’t do much until the late innings. Fortunately, Hernandez took care of that. To me, though, it was important that more runs scored, especially via hits and not on gifts. In the 7th, Cora singled, stole 2nd, and scored and Wright’s RBI single. And in the 9th, Martinez reached on an error, but Beltran lined a shot into the right-center gap, gathering an RBI. On a day when Wright and Beltran each only had an RBI, the Mets still scored 7 runs. Sure, a couple came on on wild pitches, but Fernando Martinez, Murphy, and Schneider all drove in runs. Everybody is going to have to get clutch hits until Reyes and Delgado are back.
Positives Ending a Negative Road Trip:
- Ryan Church had a successful return to the lineup. He has said that he needs to be an everyday player and he backed it up today. Church went 2 for 5 with a run scored and he hit the ball hard 3 times. He also played strong in the field, making a couple of nice catches. It should be interesting how much he plays against the Phillies, as the Mets will be facing 3 lefties…
- Daniel Murphy also looked solid again, today. Murph hit well (2 for 4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored) and looked right at home at 1st base. He fielded a hard hit ball and started a double play, including getting back to the bag from a reasonable distance away. These are the type of plays that good first basemen make, routinely…and Murph is getting there.
- Gary Sheffield got to rest his aging body another day. This is going to be key, as I expect him to start the next 3 games against the Philly lefties.
- David Wright is quietly getting hot again. Today, he went 2 for 3 with an RBI, a run scored, and 2 BBs. On his last 4 games, he went 9 for 13 with 4 RBI, 4 doubles, 5 runs scored, 2 stolen bases, 5 BBs, and NO Ks!!!
- Roy Halladay won again today. He threw his 2nd complete game, allowing 7 hits, 0 runs, 0 BBs, and 6 Ks. His ERA is not Greinke or Santana-esque, but 2.52 is nothing to fret over. It is Top 5 in the AL. Halladay got his 10th win…can he give 30 a run?
The Mets are off again tomorrow, so…
Tuesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Happ vs. Santana…