NY Sports Dog: Good Morning Mets Fans!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

It was a tale of two games in one.

In the first game, Brewers starter Ben Sheets quickly mowed down the Mets lineup. The Mets had one real chance to do some damage, and it came early.

In the first inning the red-hot Jose Reyes led off the game with a double.

Jose Reyes continues to lead the NL in hits with 180. He is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak, going 18 for 50 over that span with 6 games with double-digit hits.

Mistake 1 followed--Daniel Murphy tried to bunt Reyes over--a horrible play. There are no outs in the top of the 1st, Reyes gets to third on anything, Murphy is a lefty going against a righty, etc, etc. Murphy popped out.

Mistake 2 followed--Jose Reyes gets thrown out trying to steal third. Again, Reyes scores on any hit David Wright can come up with there, so stealing third so early in the game doesn't really help the team as much as it can hurt--risk-reward--not worth the risk.

Mistake 3--DW Ks. Not really a mistake, but it shows how a promising inning quickly went south.

It was a pitching duel for 6 innings--Johan Santana allowed a first inning run, and then the two starters traded zeros for a while. The game had a "feel" to it, and for Mets fans it wasn't a good one as the Brewers seemed just a little bit sharper, both pitching and hitting.

Then two quirky things happened--in the 5th inning Ben Sheets left the game with tightness in his "left groin". I didn't realize I had two groins! Woohoo! I got two groins!

Then, in the 6th, Santana allowed his second run of the game on a balk with runners on second and third. I was watching, of course, when the balk occurred, and Brian Schneider was absolutely changing the signs or doing something with his fingers just as Johan went into his set. Santana stepped back, but it was too late--balk called. Strange play and the Mets were down 2-0 after 6 innings.

Overall Santana pitched a heck of a game--2 ER, 10 Ks and only 1 BB against a Brewer team that has the second best home record in the NL.

At this point the "first game" was over--Brewers 2, Mets 0. Fortunately, the first game didn't count.

In the "second game" the Mets took over.

They scored their first run in the 7th, but it was the 8th inning, with a Carlos Delgado blast, that put the Mets on top to stay.

What more can really be said about Carlos Delgado?

  • Most home runs and RBIs in baseball since June 27th? Check.
  • NL MVP candidate? Check.
  • Leader of the team? Check.
  • Playing a great first base? Check.
  • More vocal and a great cheerleader for his club? Check.
  • Still looks like the "Hats for Bats" guy from the movie Major League? Check.

Carlos did it again yesterday--with Eric Gagne on the mound, brutal late afternoon shadows, and his team in need of a hit, Delgado saw a fastball and, with one mighty flick of his wrists, deposited the ball into the rightfield stands and electrified all of Met Nation.

"Carlos has been amazing," New York manager Jerry Manuel said. "If he's swinging it well, he seems to come up at the right time and put a good swing on it. He's been outstanding."

"Probably the worst shadows that I've been involved with since I've been in professional baseball, but it goes the same way for both teams," Delgado said. "It was pretty tough, but whatever. We got it done."

"Good teams do this," Delgado added. "It's important. It shows that you can do it. Ideally, you want to be ahead but if you're not you've got to put together some good at-bats, get some baserunners and come up with a big hit. It says a lot about the character and the will we have with this ballclub."

The Mets added a run on a Carlos Beltran single and a Ryan Church double. The bullpen came on in relief of Santana and shut the door with 5 Ks in 3 scoreless innings.

Nelson Figueroa pitched the 7th for the win, Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano looked terrific in striking out the side in the 8th, and Luis Ayala earned his 4th save as a Met with a flamethrowing 9th.

"They stepped up and attacked the hitters," Jerry Manuel said. "Threw strikes. I felt that going in, a lot of our right handers appear to match up well with this team. They're a very aggressive hitting club. We were able to get it done."

It wasn't all good news for the Mets though. David Wright continues to struggle a bit, Reyes was thrown out at third and picked off of first, and Carlos Beltran bruised his knee on a slide at home in which he collided with a woefully out of place Ed Rapuano, who got caught up watching something other than what he was supposed to be watching.

But let's not nitpick--this was a huge win, all in all a great day--the Phillies lost to the Nats, allowing the Mets to stretch their lead to two games, and Billy Wagner had a successful throwing session.

The next 5 games just may tell the real tale of this season. Just as yesterday's game was the tale of two games in one, the 2008 Mets are playing the tale of two seasons.

Only the second tale matters.

Enjoy your coffee!
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