Livan wears his war wounds like a crown....
The old master was on display last night. His pitches darted, floated, seemed to be over the plate to hit, and then were gone in a flash or hit weakly for outs and double plays.
He threw a lot of them--127 to be exact--and went the distance in one of those games that will be forgotten before too long, but could be a difference maker come late September.
His effort gave the bullpen a rest, and it kept the Mets hot despite a slew of injuries that could have crippled a lesser team.
The Mets have won 4 out of their last 5 games and remain a scant half game back of the Phillies for first place in the NL East.
Livan was proud of his effort, as well he should be.
"This is the Livan everybody knew before," Hernandez said. "The last two years have been a difficult time, but now I've come back and been the same as before."
"I threw good sinkers, and people hit into double plays," said Hernandez. "Today was a day everything happened perfect: a lot of double plays and the sinker working real good."
He is now 4-1 on the year with a respectable 4.28 ERA. In the month of May he is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 4 high quality starts in 5 outings.
It was also a night of young and old.
20-year old Fernando Martinez had an RBI in his major league debut.
"That was unbelievable for me," Martinez said. "I waited all my life for that moment. That's great. It's like, 'That's my life,' right now."
His whole life, huh? I'm wearing a 23-year old Mets t-shirt as I write this, but still, you have to admire the kids enthusiasm.
40-year old Gary Sheffield hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, the 504th of his illustrious career, to break it open.
The homerun tied him with Eddie Murray for 24th place on the all-time homerun list.
Sheffield is hitting .340 in May with a 1.036 OPS. Right now, he is the sole true long ball threat in the lineup, and he is absolutely hammering the ball.
"I have to just keep doing my job," Sheffield said.
The rest of the team helped too.
David Wright had two hits, Luis Castillo scored twice, and the defense was terrific.
Another tip of the cap to Angel Pagan. He had two hits and a walk in the leadoff spot and also gunned out a runner out the plate. Pagan is not a great player, but he is a solid 4th outfielder who can make things happen when he plays.
All in all a fun night of baseball at Citi Field.
Johan Santana is on the hill today (weather permitting) as the Mets look for the sweep.
Enjoy your coffee!
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