Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 5 Angels 4

If this is the Jerry Manuel era, I'm very happy to see it.

If you didn't think the manager made a difference, now you know better.

Maybe you can't attribute the Mets comeback off the best closer in baseball, solely to Manuel, but that kind of thing never seemed to happen under Willie Randolph.

If you don't want to give that to Manuel, there are a few things you can credit him with.

Jerry Manuel had a discernible difference on this game

First off, a more aggressive Reyes. Maybe Manuel gave him a good chewing-out after the tantrum the night before, because he ran out a popup, but he also got three hits and scored three runs.

Manuel put something in Reyes
nothing better than watching a Reyes triple

The key was Reyes running in the first inning, Randolph always seemed to have him standing on second and waiting for a sacrifice bunt. This time he ran, drew a throw, forced an error and scored on an out.

The second big strategical difference was in the handling of Oliver Perez. He stuck with him through that tough inning when Randolph and even I would have pulled him out.

He did get a little lucky to get a fluke 5-2-4-6-5 double play to get out of it when Hunter seemingly forgot how many outs there were.

Wright tags out Torii Hunter to end a crazy double play

But he extended Perez for another inning after that. So Manuel did limit the innings by his bullpen but he also got 4 scoreless innings from 4 different relievers, something very uncommon in the Randolph era.

Hopefully, he instilled a little something in Perez which will help him get out of jams in the future.

The fact is the Mets got lucky at several points to win this game, including the wild pitch that put Reyes at second. But luck is the residue of design and the Mets got key hits (wright single, Easley homer) and got the key outs that kept them in the game longer enough to secure one of their biggest wins of the season.

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