NY Sports Dog: Good Morning Mets Fans!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Momentum, momentum, momentum....the Mets have it in spades.

On a night when his very first pitch of the game was deposited over the leftfield fence by Yunel Escobar, Pedro Martinez settled in and gave the Mets another deep outing, 7+ innings.

In his last 4 starts, Pedro has thrown 26.1 innings and allowed 22 hits, 9 walks and 8 earned runs while striking out 16. His WHIP over that period is a stellar 1.177.

Not bad for a guy who is getting by on "trickology" according to manager Jerry Manuel (I've decided to drop the use of interim from my Mets lexicon).

"I think Pedro has the gift of instincts, probably the greatest instincts of any pitcher in our era," the manager said. "Knowing how, when and what to do outweighs talent at times, but eventually talent catches up.

"When Bobby Cox had Greg Maddux [in Atlanta], he'd throw 80-something pitches and go pretty deep, but then he didn't want to send him through the lineup another time. Pedro is getting there. At some point, where does his trickology go from there?"

So give Jerry a thumbs-up for trusting his starter and using the hook at the right time. Pedro is a key piece of this Mets pennant race, and the team is much, much better when he is on the field and in the clubhouse.

Pedro likes his team's chances, "We're in great shape right now," said Martinez, who allowed four earned runs on seven hits. "I keep asking myself since I came here, when are we going to get things going our way. I think that if we're going to get it this is the right time."

So with one piece of the winning puzzle in place--another solid outing by a starter--it was time for the other 3 pieces of the puzzle to work--hitting, fielding and relief pitching.

The much talked about relief pitching was outstanding. Pedro Feliciano came on in relief of Pedro in the 8th, one man on, no outs, and induced the play of the game.

Bobby Cox called for the bunt and Ramon Castro pounced on the ball, threw a laser beam to second that looked like it would've hit 90 on the radar gun, Reyes then fired his own strike to Damion Easley covering first, and the Mets completed the twin killing. It was an in-game dagger that setup the final finish.

Luis Ayala, who certainly enjoys throwing strikes and attacking hitters, pitched an inning and a third of beautiful relief. The Mets are thrilled with what he's brought to this bullpen--a killer mentality and the desire to work quickly and go right after hitters. Give Ayala an A+ for his work last night.

So the second and third parts of the puzzle--relief pitching and defense--were taken care of in fine fashion. The only thing left was a bit more offense, and the Mets didn't disappoint the 50,000 screaming fans that packed Shea with their walkoff heroics.

On this night David Wright and Carlos Delgado took care of much of the offense--they had 8 of the Mets 13 hits and drove in 4 of the Mets 5 runs. It was the same in the 9th.

David Wright continues his push toward NL MVP. The young superstar clubbed his 25th homerun of the year and added his 35th and 36th doubles. DW is easily on pace for his fourth consecutive 40+ double season and continues to be one of the best second half players in the game. When other players tire, David Wright gets better and stronger.

The other star of the night, Carlos Delgado, had a highlight game that featured 5 hits in 5 at-bats (thanks to some generous scoring), and the game winning, walkoff, RBI.

With the game tied 4-4 in the 9th Nick Evans came to the plate and flied out to right after working the count full. David Wright, who is oozing confidence at the plate, then cracked a double to the gap in right-center, and Bobby Cox decided to intentionally walk Carlos Beltran to setup the double play possibility.

In stepped Delgado--the guy who looked like his career might be over back in early June. His resurgence has coincided with the Mets resurgence. How good has he been? Over his last 48 games he has 49 RBIs and a .321 batting average.

Shea was rocking, Wright was dancing off second, the pitch was thrown. Delgado put a professional swing on the ball--not trying to do too much, he flicked his wrists and hit the ball to leftfield, on a line, and the Mets caught a break.

Braves leftfielder Omar Infante charged the ball but lost it in the lights and it bounced off his glove. David Wright, caught between second and third, first started retreating to second and then saw the ball bound away....he was off to the races, wheeled around third, flew toward home and bellyflopped on the plate. 10s all around and an 8.5 from the Russian judge.

The Mets mobbed their teammate and then they went after Delgado...pounded on him and swarmed him like the Alpha Wolf returning from the hunt.

What a game, what a turnaround for Delgado, and what a story this team has become.

"I didn't think he hit it as hard as he did," Wright said. "He was off his front foot and just kind of flicked it to left field. I thought it was going to get down. I was sort of stuck there between second and third."

"David was out there in no man's land," Jerry Manuel said. "I don't know where he was going. He just wanted to score so bad."

Jerry Manuel also heaped the praise on Delgado, "He's the head guy, so the investment he has made in his teammates says a lot about the leadership."

"I felt pretty good today," Delgado said. "I felt good and I was seeing the ball good."

Mets fans are feeling pretty good too, especially since both the Phils and Fish lost, allowing the Mets to extend their NL East lead to 2.5 and 6 games over their rivals.

Houston comes into town today, and Johan Santana is on the hill to keep this momentum going.

Enjoy your coffee!

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SlovakMet said...

I laughed at this one: "10s all around and an 8.5 from the Russian judge." It could be only bettered by "Chinese judge," since these Olympics are still under way :-)

NY Sports Dog (Dave) said...

LOL! You're right...I like it!

How are you doing Slovak? Great to see you as always.

We're on fire!

SlovakMet said...

I am doing good, thanks :-) Hoping to catch a Met game over the weekend. Can you email me a link pls?

Dylan said...

Great post once again.
I have a question. Or more of a request for a future post. I was wondering if you could find a stat about how many 1st inning runs the mets have scored? It seems like they score in the 1st almost every night.

NY Sports Dog (Dave) said...

Dylan, on tonight's broadcast, they said the Mets lead baseball with 109 first inning runs....amazing!

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