After taking the first two games in relatively easy fashion, the Mets used the hot bat of Jeff Francoeur, and the positive energy of skipper Jerry Manuel, to come back from a 5-0 deficit and complete the sweep of their Florida rivals.
The Mets fell behind on another sub-par outing by Takahashi, who gave up two long balls yesterday and did not look sharp, especially after the first time through the order. Not willing to quit, the Mets chipped away and benefited by Fredi Gonzales strange deicion to pull Ricky Nolasco after only 82 pitches.
That move ignited the Mets.
Jeff Francoeur is hot---boiling hot--at the plate, and he proved his mettle again yesterday with a tying, three-run homer in the seventh inning. It was the big blow that keyed two rallies that put the Mets on top and upped their home winning streak to 8 games.
"I know this is a big yard but I knew I got that one," said Francoeur, who is batting .500 (18 for 36) during his 10-game hitting streak. "I was sure nothing was going to stop it."Prior to the Francoeur bomb, Angel Pagan demonstrated why he has become one of the most valuable men in the lineup. Pagan smoked a two-run single in the sixth and scored the go-ahead run when Ike Davis grounded into a double play in the eighth.
"Right now our offense is a lot better than three or four weeks ago," Pagan said. "We can do more things and I think this comeback helps us. ... We just kept fighting."David Wright chipped in with 3 hits and continues to mash. His strikeouts are down, and he is driving the ball with authority.
The Mets are now 18-4 in their last 22 games at Citi Field. They have the best home record in baseball, including 22 home wins.
"This was one of those games that tests your character," catcher Rod Barajas said. "That tells you what you're all about. That was an awesome win being down 5-0 early."The Mets also received a big boost from their skipper. I've been tough on Jerry all year, but he definitely out-managed his counterpart yesterday. Manuel kept the team positive, and he also put Angel Pagan in motion on a key full-count pitch to Bay, with great results as Bay stroked a single that sent Pagan to third, where he ultimately scored the key run.
"We've been taking chances and our baserunners are making good reads," Manuel said. "We felt like if it's a breaking ball we might get a stolen base. The only thing you worry about is hitting a line drive at somebody, but with people moving around it's a lot harder to hit a line drive at someone. If you do, you just tip your cap."The bullpen, for the most part, did their job. Igarashi had a rough time of it, but Elmer Dessens, Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez were all up for the task.
Feliciano got the win, to go 2-2 on the year, and Frankie picked up his 12th save of the year.
The Mets are off today and face the Padres at home tomorrow. We all get a chance to breathe and enjoy our coffee!
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