But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, and the fans that fill the forum known as Citi Field are certainly grateful
Henry Blanco took a cue from Rod Barajas and blasted the Mets to victory in the 11th inning--this just one day after Barajas hit his walkoff bomb.
Blanco's blast enabled the Mets to win their 9th consecutive home game and sent the fan faithful home with a lot to cheer about.
"That was exciting to see Henry come up and hit that home run," manager Jerry Manuel said. "We swung the bats well the last couple of innings but I was wondering where we were going to get some runs."Johan Santana pitched a strong game, going into the 8th inning on a very reasonable pitch count. When two men singled their way on board in the 8th, Jerry Manuel made the switch to the bullpen with nearly disastrous results. The bullpen couldn't hold on to Santana's 4-3 lead, and the Giants tied it on RBI single off Pedro Feliciano by Aubrey Huff.
"It was a fastball pretty much right down the middle but I never thought it was going to go out," Blanco said, "so I just keep running hard and see if I can make a triple. But I guess it went out."
I tend to beat up on Jerry's handling of the pitching staff, and yesterday was no different. You have your ace on the mound, in the 8th, at 101 pitches, and an overworked bullpen. In that situation the best move was to leave Santana in; instead Jerry goes to Nieve and Feliciano, both of whom are on pace to pitch in well over 100 games. They gave up back to back singles and the lead was lost.
Enough is enough Jerry...the well is not endless, and when the Mets start playing back to back games of 10 or more, as the upcoming schedule shows, you're not going to have the guys you need because of all this ridiculous early season overuse.
That said, there was a lot of good news from the bullpen. After Mejia recorded the final out of the 8th, Frankie Rodriguez came on and pitched two very strong innings. Then Takahashi, the crafty Japanese import came on in the top of the 11th and once again pitched brilliantly. He got the win thanks to Blanco, and afterward, he called Barajas and Blanco "My big brothers."
It was another win in what is looking more and more like a very competitive and hard fought NL East. The Mets are showing a lot of heart and grit--they are an easy team to root for.
Just imagine this club with Carlos Beltran.
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|Player of the Game|
Enjoy your coffee!