John Maine has returned to his old glory…at least for one start. John Maine had arguably a do-or-die start last night and he came through. He was in control of his fastball and went right after hitter…a receipe that helped him succeed the past few years. In his six innings of work, Maine allowed an un-earned run and a hit. He struck out 4, but did walk 3. Despite his walks not coming back to bite him, it is still something that he needs to cut down on. He has walked 12 in 21 2/3 innings. He definitely has the stuff…if he can control it. But, Big Ups to you, Maine! Bring it again, next week!
I’m really getting tired of writing about this, but the first batter of the game hit a fly ball to left field…and Gary Sheffield just flat out dropped it (that ended up being the un-earned run). Now, I don’t expect everyone’s fielding % to be 1.000, but these fly balls are going to have to be caught. Everyone misses one from time to time, but it is happening at an alarming rate to numerous different outfielders. Gladly, its only April and the Mets are still only a couple games back, but I am sick and tired of dropped fly balls and flailing about in the outfield! Let’s cut the excuses and get it together out there!!
Some “Offensive” Points…er, Runs:
- The Mets actually scored some runs on Monday (7)…but it did all come in one inning. It was nice to see the “tack-on” run in the 8th. It can be alarming when a club can get hot for an inning, score a few, and then go silent the rest of the game. Consistent hitting is always better.
- Omir Santos hit his first HR (a grand slam) in the 1st inning! Props to you, Omir! I think I heard he hit 4 in 23 ABs during the Spring. I’m guessing he will stay in the lineup…
- David Wright MAY be on the verge of breaking out of his slump?? He went 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored and…NO Ks!! Yay for David. Keep it going!
- Delgado sat out with an injury and Castillo left the game with back spasms. Delgado’s is not too serious, I don’t think and Manuel was looking for a reason to give him a day off. Not too sure about Castillo…tonight’s lineup should give some more insight.
Tonight at 7:10 at Citi Field, Ricky Nolasco vs. Livan Hernandez…
The 1st walk-off at Citi Field!! What a great night for many a Mets player. For a while, it looked like the Mets would win comfortably. Livan Hernandez looked almost perfect through 4 and even through 5, only allowing a run. But after the 1st 2 Brewers reached the plate in the 6, All Star Ryan Braun hit his 1st HR of he season, giving the Brewers a 4-3 lead. Gary Sheffield would answer an inning later with his 500th Big Fly of his career. In the bottom of the 9th, Luis Castillo slapped a ball into the hole between short and 3rd, plating Delgado for the 5-4 win. What a play for Castillo. He has been ridiculed (and to some degree, rightly so) for over a year, now about his play, attitude, etc. With many fans (myself included) clamouring for the Mets to sign Orlando Hudson, Castillo has faced a steep uphill climb. However, he is hitting .387 with 4 rbi, hitting in the 8 hole. His defense has also been great. After a tough week (going 1-3 before today), it was a necessary win for the Mets tonight. Again, its still early, but we need to get out to a good start and win the games we should win (especially against sub .500 teams and games at home). Hopefully, we can build on this win with Santana taking the ball tomorrow afternoon…he takes on Brewers potential ace Yovani Gallardo at 1:10…
- Perhaps, I was wrong about the Padres…being down 7-1 after the 4th (to Cole Hamels and the Phils), the Padres rally to win 8-7…with ex-Met Heath Bell notching his 6th save of the year…
- Our favorite ex-Met of all time is actually doing well with the Cubs. He is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 7 appearances, allowing his only run on a HR. He also has 4 BBs and 5 Ks.
- Despite the win, the Mets still haven’t stopped leaving people on base at an alarming rate. Again, the Mets left double-digit men on base (11, I believe). They also left the bases loaded 3 times! Interesting point, Beltran was key in stranding the bases loaded, each time. He came up and struck out (with bases loaded and 1 out) in the 1st and 8th and popped up in the 8th.
- The other major struggle for the Mets was almost solved today, as Hernandez looked great through 5 innings. However, before he could record an out in the 6th, he gave up 3 runs and the lead. Other than Santana, there is yet to be a Mets starter who you can count on to give you 5 decent innings…if that.
- A bright spot for the Mets is their bullpen. They lead the NL in bullpen ERA, 2.17 (entering tonight, I think). That is great. They just need to be used less.
- Endy Chavez is off to a torrid start with the M’s, hitting .417 with a HR and 6 RBI, starting every game this year…
- Gary Sheffield became the 1st Met to ever hit his 500th HR with the Mets…he is also the 1st player to ever make his 1st HR with a team, also his 500th career…
Quote(s) of the Night:
“This is…uh…I don’t know…uh…Little League? Ill-advised is what that is.” Keith Hernandez commenting on JJ Hardy’s throw from short that went halfway between 3rd and home.
“Can’t play that deep against Fielder…he can run a little bit.” [uh…yeah? I respectfully disagree] Gary Cohen on Castillo playing in shallow right field when Prince Fielder came to bat.
Despite reading a lot of articles and hearing plenty of praise about incoming freshman Tate Forcier, I wanted to see it before I believed it. So, I went to the Michigan Spring Game today. It was my first, despite being in Ann Arbor 6 years. The alumni flag football game was a lot of fun, but I got very excited to the winged helmets come running out of the tunnel (especially #5)! Forcier looked great all day. He had great footwork and moved around the field very well. I cannot rmember the last time I’ve seen a Michigan QB as fleet-footed as Forcier. He also was very accurate, hitting receivers in stride, even while on the move. The play that really showed me something, though, was in the last play he was in, Forcier made an Elway-esque dive into the end zone on an attempted 2 point conversion. I know its only April and Forcier’s still undersized, but I’m excited about what I’ve read and now seen about Michigan football!! September 5th can’t get here soon enough!!
As Far As the Mets Are Concerned:
Last night was very frustrating. John Maine made his return. Looked ok, other than the 2 solo HRs he allowed. Went 5 innings, only 2 hits…83 pitches. It was a game that the Mets just couldn’t get a handle on. They always seemed to be one step behind. Even after they tied the game a couple times, they gave up runs in the following inning. Jeremy Reed came through with a 2 out hit in the 9th to tie the game (his 1st hit as a Met).. However, the game was lost in the bottom of the inning on a 2 out hit, 5-4. Murph, Church, and Beltran all had 3 hits. Just a game of missed opportunites.
Tonight, however was a different story. Livan Hernandez pitched brilliantly, going 6 2/3 and allowing only 2 runs. If he can give us that as a 5th starter, there’s no reason the Mets can’t hang a couple of pennants next Fall. We hit a little better with runners in scoring position (yesterday was something like 0 for 10). Tonight, we had 4 or 5 hits with RISP. The bullpen created a little chaos in the last couple innings, giving up 2 more runs and allowing the tying run to walk on deck, before K-Rod was summoned to shut things down 8-4. All in all, we split 2 games with our 4 and 5 going, against a hot Marlins team who always plays us tough…especially in Miami. Now, we can hand the ball to Johan for the rubber match. I can live with that.
- The Mets are showing that they have quite a few quality baserunners (obviously, Reyes, Beltran and Castillo). But, Murph and Church have shown some promise, not to mention Wright. Its litle things like baserunning that change the course of games.
- Ryan Church is a doubles machine. 2 more tonight, give him 5 for the year. He’s also hitting .526 through the first 5 games. Perhps, he’s taken the Sheffield signing personally.
- Luis Castillo was told before the game to be more aggressive. He went 4 for 4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI.
- Reyes and Wright get their 1st RBIs of the year…Reyes had 3 and his 1st HR. Wright needed a hit with RISP and got in in the 8th to tack on the 7th Met run…hopefully, this will get him going.
Tomorrow, Santana/Johnson at 1pm on TBS…