Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Astros 0

Johan Santana was awesome again. He wasn't even at his best but he still dominated the Astros. Where he was losing games earlier this season by allowing one big hit, now he is getting out of every jam.

His first start after the All-Star break was a bad one but in the 7 starts since then he's 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA. He's currently working on an 18-inning scoreless streak.

Once again the Mets took an early lead by getting a Reyes run in the first inning. Gary Cohen gave the stats but I didn't copy them down, but the Mets are on an incredible run of 1st inning scoring, putting the opponent in a hole and giving the starting pitcher confidence.

Brian Schneider has really woken up. The platoon seems to be working for him, even though Castro has slowed down recently.

It's good to see Ryan Church back in the lineup.

Jerry Manuel seems to have gotten the point that he has to extend his starters as deep into games as possible. First it was Pelfrey pitching a complete game, then he sent Pedro out for the 8th inning and now Johan Santana threw a career-high 121 pitches. I agree with the sentiment but I hope he doesn't overdo it and exhaust a starting staff that is carrying this team. He should keep this strategy in close games, but he needs to look for chances to pull his starters if ever the Mets have a big lead.

And the decreased workload seems to be helping the bullpen. Aaron Heilman pitched a good 8th inning, but only after he threw a strike on a 3-2 count to Berkman to leadoff the inning, getting him to ground out. It seems all of his blowups began with a leadoff walk.

And Luis Ayala could be the new closer. His stats with Washington were terrible but so far for the Mets he's been doing just fine.

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