Well that was fun!
Complete game from our ace, lots of timely hitting and the long ball, and absolutely the best homerun robbing catch of 2008.
Yes Mets fans, the team continues to roll, and tonight we face our third top opponent in a row, this time on the road.
Does it get any better than this for a baseball fan?
Johan Santana summoned every bit of his intestinal fortitude to give the Mets exactly what they needed--a dominating complete game performance just a few hours after the Mets and Cards slugged their way through a 14-inning game in which every position player, and the entire bullpen, was used.
Santana was brilliant--118 pitches of brilliant, including holding St Louis hitless into the 5th inning. As we all know, in his previous outing Jerry Manuel pulled him after 8 dominant innings against the Phils, and the Mets lost. This time he finished the deal.
"Today the score was different," Santana said. "Last game I felt good. I had it at 100 pitches. And that's what we do here. But I was told that I was done, because I was supposed to hit in that inning and that they had somebody else hitting for me. And I respect that. . . . And I guarantee you, if I would have gone out there for the ninth and I give up three runs, they were going to say that it was the wrong decision. That's the way it goes."
Johan now sports a sterling 2.93 ERA on the year, and he seems at his best against the Mets rivals. Of his 5 outings in July, he's faced the Phillies twice and the Cards once. In those 3 games he's pitched 25 innings and only allowed 5 earned runs, with 16 Ks and only 1 walk.
That's what an ace does.
There was no shortage of run support for Santana. No substitute players were used, and every Met starter, including Santana, who went 2 for 4, had a hit.
David Wright hit his 20th homerun of the year and now has 82 RBIs. His RBI total ranks 3rd in all of baseball.
Jose Reyes has been on a tear and hit two doubles yesterday. He now has 51 extra-base hits on the season and leads the National League in hits and triples and is second in stolen bases.
Jose Reyes deserves to be in the MVP discussion.
Fernando Tatis continues his surge--3 for 4 and another homerun. With Church apparently due back this weekend, do we really need to add another outfielder?
Tatis is batting .318 on the year and doing everything asked of him. Moreover he has a knack for the clutch hit and superior baseball instincts.
Ramon Castro, aka, the best backup catcher in baseball, hit another homerun yesterday--a lot of Mets fans mistakenly say, "Castro should catch every day." I disagree--he is well suited for his current role and gets enough playing time to stay fresh and contribute. Don't break him down and start him 30-40 percent of the time.
And then there was the Beltran catch....oh my--a jaw-dropping, eye-popping, homerun robbing, Play of the Day making, thing of beauty.
Beltran went back at a sprint, time his leap perfectly just as a bird was flying in front of him, reach way up and over the wall, and then snow-coned it back, while maintaining full body control.
Endy came over for the high five, Santana celebrated the effort of his teammate with an appreciative big wave, the Shea faithful roared in approval, and Keith Hernandez, in the Mets booth, was awe struck.
The catch was that good. It's linked here for your enjoyment.
So tonight we go on the road against the Marlins and the talk and trade rumors go on. Who will the Mets get? Is Raul Ibanez the guy? Will the Mets add a reliever? Are they asking too much for Huston Street?
I still say--stay the course. Get Church back, keep the kids in the system, and let this chemistry continue to work.
Enjoy your coffee!
|St. Louis (58-49)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||6||0|
|N.Y. Mets (57-48) «||0||0||2||0||1||5||1||0||x||9||17||0|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||1||.302|
|Endy Chavez, RF||5||1||2||0||0||0||4||.272|
|David Wright, 3B||5||1||3||2||0||0||2||.294|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.262|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||5||1||2||1||0||0||2||.266|
|Fernando Tatis, LF||4||2||3||2||0||0||1||.318|
|Damion Easley, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.276|
|Ramon Castro, C||2||1||1||2||2||0||0||.290|
|Johan Santana, P||4||1||2||1||0||1||2||.178|
|2B - Jose Reyes 2 (27, Lohse, Flores), Fernando Tatis 2 (9, Lohse, Boggs)|
|HR - David Wright (20, Lohse), Fernando Tatis (7, Lohse), Ramon Castro (6, Lohse)|
|SF - Carlos Delgado (5)|
|RBI - David Wright 2 (82), Carlos Delgado (67), Carlos Beltran (71), Fernando Tatis 2 (26), Ramon Castro 2 (20), Johan Santana (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Wright (37), Carlos Beltran (21)|
|SB - Endy Chavez (6, 2nd base off Lohse/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Reyes-Easley-Delgado|
|New York Mets|
|Johan Santana (W,9-7)||9||6||1||1||1||5||1||2.93|
|Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 118-81|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 5-16|
|Batters Faced - Johan Santana 33|
|Attendance - 53691|
|Game Time - 2:30|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Mark Wegner|