NY Sports Dog: Good Morning Mets Fans! 7 Straight Edition!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans! 7 Straight Edition!

Welcome to Jerry's Mets.

Jerry Manuel deserves to lose the interim tag and get a nice 3-year deal.

Why, you ask? Is it because the Mets have won 7 straight and are now 1.5 back in the NL East and 2.5 back in the Wild card? Well, that is only part of the reason. The real reason is relationships.

Jerry is in charge and has made a few subtle moves that have produced results. The relievers now know their roles--no more guessing as to who will do what. They have responded. He has the Mets looser and more relaxed because he treats them like men. Facial hair? Sure. Music in the clubhouse? Why not.

And then you see him on the field lecturing the entire team a few days back after a few mental errors nearly cost the Mets a win against the Phillies. You see him taking care of Jose Reyes the right way, which has kept our young star focused on his mission to get on base vice sulking with hurt feelings after Willie's rebuke last year. Jerry also happens to put together a great lineup and has a great feel for his pitchers.

It's the same in any workplace--give me feedback, treat me with respect, communicate up and down, and work together toward a common goal. Do that and I will give you 110% every day.

Jerry is the man.

And how about those Mets? The suddenly Amazin' pitching staff did something that hasn't been done in the National League since the 1920s--allow 3 hits for the 4th consecutive game. That's right--12 hits and 4 runs total over the last 4 games....a stunning display of pitching.

Ollie Perez threw another gem....he surrendered 2 hits and 1 run in 6 scintillating innings. His fastball crackled through the Shea air at 93 to 97 miles per hour. He finished the night with 7 Ks, but he also gave up 6 walks. When he left it was tied 1-1 and Ollie, gamer that he is, stuck around to cheer on his teammates.

It was nice to see Jerry leave Ollie in for the 6th and 7th when the previous manager would have definitely pulled him.

On sending him back out for the 6th: "His fastball was dominant," Manuel said. "When you've got that kind of stuff, you've got to give the guy the benefit of the doubt."

In his last 3 games, Ollie has pitched 20 innings, given up 2 runs, and only allowed 9 hits, while striking out 21....that is #1 starter stuff.

How about Damion Easley! With the Mets and Rockies tied 1-1 in an exceptionally well pitched game, Mr Professional hit an 8th inning, two-out HR over the left-centerfield wall for the clutch hit of the day.

Easley, who is hitting .405 for the month, is no longer a Super-Sub--he is the starter, and it looks like he'll remain the starter.

Here's a very telling bit from the NY Post on the shot:

"Little by little starting on the road trip [last week], we built some confidence by winning some tough, close games," said Easley, hitting .422 in his past 13 games. "That really set us off and really helped our focus."

Easley's decisive shot - just his third homer of the season, and one day after backup Fernando Tatis' homer led to a win - came on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Taylor Bucholz. But the homer almost didn't happen.

Manuel revealed that he nearly pulled Easley two pitches before the homer because of a strained left quadriceps that is likely to keep the 38-year-old journeyman out of today's contest.

"Considering the injury, that was a very impressive at-bat," Manuel said. "[Easley] is a very smart, stable and professional player - the whole nine yards. He's been a welcome, welcome, welcome surprise."

And how about the Mets bullpen? During this homestand the Mets bullpen has not allowed a run in 13.1 innings....incredible.

"Guys are picking up other guys and going in and getting the job done," Manuel said of the bullpen. "They're making us a tough team to play at the end of the game."

Heilman has really turned his season around. In June he had an 0.64 ERA in 14 appearances, and in July he looks even better. In 6 weeks he has lowered his season ERA from 6.67 to 4.59.

All in all a great day for the Mets--Ollie was an Ace, the bullpen was smashing, Easley continues to rake, the Mets were clutch, David Wright was rightfully named to the All-Star team, Jose Reyes drove in a run, Delgado had a hustle double, Schneider had a few nice at-bats, and the Mets won their 7th in a row.

Color me optimistic!

Enjoy your coffee!

Colorado (39-55)000010000132
N.Y. Mets (49-44) «00001001x270
Players of the Game
New York

D. Easley
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1


A. Cook
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 3

New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4021001 .302
Endy Chavez, RF4010012 .268
David Wright, 3B4000012 .285
Carlos Beltran, CF4000010 .262
Damion Easley, 2B3121100 .292
Carlos Delgado, 1B4010012 .246
Fernando Tatis, LF3000002 .295
Brian Schneider, C3110000 .250
Nick Evans, PR0000000 .185
Ramon Castro, C0000000 .274
Oliver Perez, P2000011 .154
Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
a- Argenis Reyes, PH0000000 .308
Duaner Sanchez, P0000000 .000
Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000

a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Heilman in the 7th
2B - Jose Reyes (23, Cook), Carlos Delgado (19, Cook)
HR - Damion Easley (3, Buchholz)
SH - Argenis Reyes (1)
RBI - Jose Reyes (41), Damion Easley (23)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (22), Damion Easley (10)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Wright-Easley-Delgado
New York Mets
Oliver Perez 6211671 4.44
Aaron Heilman 1000120 4.59
Duaner Sanchez 0.2100100 3.57
Pedro Feliciano (W,2-2) 0.1000100 2.86
Billy Wagner (S,21) 1000020 2.37
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 119-66, Aaron Heilman 16-10, Duaner Sanchez 13-6, Pedro Feliciano 7-2, Billy Wagner 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 5-5, Aaron Heilman 1-0, Duaner Sanchez 2-0, Pedro Feliciano 1-0
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 25, Aaron Heilman 4, Duaner Sanchez 4, Pedro Feliciano 2, Billy Wagner 3

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