Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 4 Phillies 3

This was a key game for the Mets because they were just a couple plays away from another one of their patented meltdowns against the Phillies.

Right now there isn't another hitter in the lineup whom I'd rather have up in a key spot than Angel Pagan. And I said that right before he got up, and I didn't even jinx him. I'd love to see him stay in the #2 hole when Castillo comes back, but a 7-8-9 of Schneider, Castillo and the pitcher is too weak. Also, to maximize run production its best to try to hide your weakest hitters in between strong hitters, instead of bunching them together. But needless to say, Angel has been heaven sent.

I do think Reyes was safe on that play, I think he got his hand in there just before the tag, because he was leaning forward, Coste had further to go with the swipe to reach Reyes. But Coste was clearly blocking the plate without the ball, so Reyes really had to run him over so that he couldn't catch the ball. I wouldn't want him to risk injury but that's really the most effective way to score on a play like that.

It's inexcusable for Carlos Beltran to strike out twice with the game on the line, especially because the first time any contact pretty much would have given the Mets the lead (and probably won the game).

Also inexcusable thus far is the performance of Aaron Heilman. Every time he comes in he allows 2 runs. This cannot be tolerated. He's going to have to be demoted to a mop-up role.

Everyone else in the bullpen was awesome though. Pedro Feliciano struck out the side, and Scott Schoeneweis saved the day by getting Utley to hit into a double play. And he stuck around for the next inning. He can be effective if Willie uses him situationally.

Joe Smith, Billy Wagner and Jorge Sosa also contributed.

But the Mets bullpen has pitched 13 and 1/3 innings in the past 3 games. That's way too much. And it's not the fault of Willie Randolph (though he could have left Pelfrey in a little longer). The blame goes to Oliver Perez and John Maine both of whom lost their control and had to be taken out too early. And Maine was cruising with 64 pitches through 5 innings before he allowed 3 walks in the 6th.

Hopefully the Mets will get a big emotional lift from this game because they overcame bad relief (Heilman), bad situational hitting (Beltran) and bad fielding (Wright and Schneider fucking up a bunt) to come back and win the game and take 2 of 3 from the Phillies.

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