Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 5 Pirates 4

The Mets were lucky to win this one because they played poorly, got behind early, left runners on base and ran the bases foolishly. But thanks to El Duque's toughness and some key they escaped with a victory.

The game started with El Duque throwing the first 6 pitches for balls, giving up a walk, a double, an RBI single, and after two huge strikeouts he gave up another double, but passivity on the base paths cost the Pirates a chance to get more.

More of the same in the third inning, as an infield single, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out, but he got out of it.

He allowed a home run and two walks in the fourth, but thankfully in that order.

Here's some numbers on El Duque:
130 pitches (tied for the most in the majors this season)
60 balls & 70 strikes
5 hits, 5 walks, 1 HBP - 10 of those 11 batters were started with a ball
In his last 7 starts, he is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA. He has 4 no decisions, but the Mets have won all 7 of his games.
His 3.12 ERA is 7th best in the NL.

The Mets got one run back in the third as Milledge and DiFelice doubled. They should have had more but Reyes couldn't drive home the run from third with one out, then Castillo struck out.

Beltran homered to briefly tie the game, his second homer in 10 at bats (sandwiched by 8 outs). And after the McClouth homer an RBI by Beltran tied the game again, but the Mets should have had more. With first and third and one out Beltran hit a grounder to second base which scored Castillo, but the throw to second was dropped by Wilson leading to an awkward crawling and groping for the bag by Wright, but he was called out anyway. Then Beltran failed to score on a long single by Delgado and Alou stranded the runners.

Wright should have been safe

The Mets had another chance in the 7th after another hit by DiFelice, followed by a double by Gotay. DiFelice should have scored when the ball was mishandled in the outfield but he had already slowed down to a jog and taken his eye off Sandy Alomar. Earlier in the game when heading to third base he couldn't decide whether to slide or stand up and he fell flat on his face. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out in a tie game Reyes once again failed to get the run home. Both times he hit hard ground balls right at someone. He hits the ball in the air so often, except when we need him to. Castillo tapped the ball in front of home plate and didn't even run, that ended the inning.

Jorge Sosa pitched a good 7th and was given the lead in the 8th.

Wright singled, Beltran ripped a double that Wright might have tried to score on, but not with none out in the 8th inning of a tie game. Delgado walked to load the bases. Alou came through with another big hit, singling home two runs, but Milledge grounded into a fielder's choice and DiFelice into a double play so the Mets got no more runs, but they almost needed more.

Sosa barely hung on in the 8th inning. Two straight singles led off the inning then the next two batters moved the runners over. So there was a run in and a man on third with two outs. Josh Phelps hit a deep fly ball to right field (off Schoeneweis) that Milledge misplayed but he recovered in time to make the catch.

Milledge butchers a ball but recovers to make a game saving catch

Billy Wagner pitched a 1-2-3 9th for the save and the Mets got the first game of the road trip.

Prior to this game the Mets had lost 7 of 8 in Pittsburgh including the 3 game series sweep last year right before the Mets came home and clinched the division.

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