Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 4 Giants 2

This game started like the last two, the Mets allowed two runs in the first inning. In the series the Mets gave up 9 runs, 6 in the first inning (2 in each game). So as a staff their combined ERA was 3.00 for the series (18.00 ERA in the 1st, 1.13 thereafter).

Like Perez and Glavine before him El Duque settled down after the first inning. Randy Winn singled scored on a triple by Vizquel. That was the last hit the Giants got off El Duque. In fact, after that El Duque faced the minimum, 21 batters in his 7 innings. He walked the pitcher but got him on a double play. He got out the last 14 batters he faced. He was awesome, after that rocky beginning.

I often complain about El Duque being up and down, but this season he's been almost all up. He's made 7 starts, 6 great, 1 bad. Overall he is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA, but take out that one bad start and his ERA drops to 1.13. Also he should be 5-1. His last start was the game Heilman blew and the Mets scored 4 in the 9th to beat the Marlins. And his last start before he went on the DL was the game that went to extra innings 0-0 and Easley tied with a homer in the 10th and Chavez won with a bunt in the 12th.

This time the Mets answered in the bottom of the first with a Reyes run (single, steal, groundout, infield single) and a double by Wright to drive in Beltran. But Beltran collided with Aurilia on that infield hit and bruised his knee. He is going to have an MRI Friday. It could be serious, meaning the starting outfield would all be on the DL. Hopefully, if it's not serious enough to require DL time, he won't be hampered by it nagging at him, like his hamstring injury does.

The Mets got two more in the second on a Reyes RBI single. With first and third and one out, Reyes tried to steal second (good play) but he got caught. Then the great Endy Chavez laid down a beautiful bunt for a base hit and an RBI. Just another great heads up play by Endy.

In the fourth the Mets had a threat going with Reyes on first and Johnson on third again, and one out for Chavez. But because he was caught the last time he didn't steal this time, and Endy hit into a double play.

There was a funny moment in the third. With the pitcher on after a walk, Randy Winn fouled a ball off his foot and it bounced to El Duque. Everyone in the park knew it was foul except El Duque and he turned to start a double play and fired the ball right into center field.

After that both El Duque and Matt Cain were cruising. Joe Smith pitched the 8th and Billy Wagner pitched a 1-2-3 night for the save. His 13th in 13 chances this year extending his consecutive saves streak to 31. Not much more you can ask from either of those two guys so far this season.

The game lasted 2 hours and 26 minutes, three fewer than the previous game. And the first game of the series lasted 3:51 but it went to 12 innings, and I'm pretty sure if the Mets had won without the bottom of the 9th it would have been shorter than 2 and a half hours also.

The Mets are 19-7 outside of the NL East and have won all 8 series against NL Central and West teams plus the one against the Yankees.

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