Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 6 Nationals 3

This game was basically won by the only three Mets who are performing above expectations this season.

John Maine was excellent and circumstances conspired to hold him to 6 innings more than his performance did. Easley's error cost him a few extra pitches and the fact that his turn in the order came up in the bottom of the 6th made it the right decision to take him out.

Wins and losses are sometimes dismissed as useful statistical tools in evaluating pitchers, but with Maine the 5 wins are meaningful. There are a lot of ways to get a 2.81 ERA but the fact that Maine has done it with 7 straight starts of 2 runs or fewer, shows that he is keeping his team in the game and giving them the best shot to win.

Ryan Church has got to stay in the number 2 hole. He has been awesome and is constantly getting the big hit with men on base. Also one of my pet peeves is when a pitcher gets a lead and immediately gives it back. Maine did that by allowing the Zimmerman home run, but Church got that run right back in the bottom of the inning.

I hate when the announcers say a player looked like he was trying to prove something to his old team. But in 7 games against the Nationals so far this season Church is hitting .367 with 11 runs, 2 homers and 9 RBI.

Billy Wagner still has not given up an earned run this year. He did blow one save and give up unearned runs in another appearance but his ERA is still 0.00.

The Mets need Duaner Sanchez for that 8th inning, but those two walks could have killed us.

Damion Easley is a huge offensive upgrade over Luis Castillo and he allows Church to bat second, but if he keeps playing defense like that, the Mets will have to come up with another option.

And I have to praise Carlos Delgado for his performance in this game. The bunt single was great. I have been begging him to do that for more than 2 years now. If he does that once every 10 games (and I believe he could do it more often than that) he can add 30 points to his batting average. For math wizards, estimating 33 at bats per 10 games (seems reasonable) 1 extra hit per 33 at bats adds 30 points to your batting average.

He also crushed that ball to centerfield with two men on but Milledge made a great play on it.

But what about that play by Kearns? That was just awful. Did the wind have something to do with that? I can't remember seeing a guy whiff like that, not even Todd Hundley during his outfield experiment.

After the game Maine denied it but I think he hit Felipe Lopez to lead off the game as a response to the "softball girls" controversy from the previous game. First pitch, first inning, off the leg, seems a little suspicious?

The Mets started this game 0 for 8 with men in scoring position before Church's big "double" in the 6th. But over that same span they were 4 for 5 with a man on first.

Before being called up Fernando Tatis has 12 homers in 120 at bats for AAA New Orleans.

Annika Sorenstam threw out the first pitch, just hours after she announced her retirement from golf at the end of the season.
She was given a jersey with #59 on it, a nod to her best ever round. Kudos to the clever Mets staffer who thought of that, even though it likely went over the heads of almost everyone watching.
But why did her jersey say Annika and not Sorenstam on the back?
She gave a very thoughtful interview with Kevin Burkhardt from her seat behind home plate. Burkhardt is an excellent "sideline" reporter, whether he's interviewing dignitaries or relating a story about a particular player, his reports always seem unobstrusive and he always keeps his eye on the game during them.

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