Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Nationals 1

It's always good to win a series on the road but in two of these three games the Mets were dominated by mediocre starting pitchers. This time it was Tony Armas shutting the Mets down for 6 innings until his defense and then his bullpen deserted him.

Steve Trachsel also saw some tough luck has he pitched his longest and best outing since June 4th against the Giants (when his record was still 2-4). Much like Maine on Saturday Trachsel pitched three perfect innings, but Alfonso Soriano took Trachsel deep to start the 4th and give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

The Mets got even in the 7th thanks to some shoddy defense by Washington. Beltran singled, Delgado flied out and Wright reached on a fielder's choice. So Wright is on first with 2 out. Wisely he decides to try to make something happen and attempts to steal second. Brian Schneider's throw goes into centerfield and Wright hustles to third. Valentin then hits an easy grounder to second base which Marlon Anderson misplays and then recovers to make a bad throw. Valentin is safe and thanks to some aggressive baserunning and two errors, Wright scores the tying run.

Trachsel seemed poised to give it back in the bottom of the inning though. With two out he gave up two straight singles and Randolph had no choice but to go to the bullpen. He brought in Royce Ring to face the lefty Daryle Ward, and Ring walked him on four pitches. Nothing worse for a reliever to do (especially a lefty specialist) than come in and walk a guy on four pitches. Those were the only 4 pitches Ring would throw as Willie hooked him and then Bradford came in and added three more base runners to his stranded inherited runners total.

When he brought Bradford into the game Willie made a double switch to get Michael Tucker into the lineup in the 9th spot of the batting order. That move paid off in the 8th when Tucker put the Mets ahead with his first home run as a Met.

In the bottom of the 8th the Mets caught a break when Ryan Zimmerman singled, and forgot how many outs there were. He was running all the way with only one out, and he was easily doubled off when Beltran caught the fly ball.

The Mets tacked on another run on singles by Beltran and Wright, and then a sacrifice fly by Valentin. Beltran was able to get to third thanks to a wild pitch. The Nationals actually made their third error in this inning but it didn't matter.

Billy Wagner came on for the 9th. He got the first two men in order, then allowed 2 base runners before closing the door. It was his 28th save of the year, and the 312th of his career, moving him out of a tie with Tom Henke for 15th on the all-time list.


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