As Fenway Park was swarmed with the Met Faithful this holiday weekend, the fans were in for a treat the first two nights as the Mets fought back from a revolting series in Los Angeles.
The Sunday showers still brought enough Met fans to the park, but after last night’s magical win, they’d get to see the full effect of what kind of team the Boston Red Sox are.
Tim Redding was only mildly effective through his four and two thirds innings. A three-run home run over the monster given up to Mike Lowell got the Sox in front early. Met offense battled back through the third and fifth innings to give Redding the edge over his knucklballing opponent with a 5-3 lead.
That lead was taken into the fifth where the Redding Railroad decided to take a coffee break on Yawkee Way. With two outs, J.D. Drew began the hit parade that led to consecutive Mike Lowell and George Kottaras hits. Redding had run out of gas and the train was permanently parked for the remainder of the day.
Redding’s parade of hits seemed to be a contagious flu to his fellow pitcher’s in relief. Sean Green’s one pitch brought two men home but also managed an out. Red Sox took a 6-5 lead off that. Then Ken Takahashi was called on in the sixth but the ball had a problem leaving his hand. He’d be taken out for Stokes after only three batters.
Brian Stokes who has been terrific in relief this season had a rough go of it this afternoon. He needed one out to get out of sixth inning trouble, but the Red Sox bats broke the game wide open.
Jason Bay and J.D. Drew notched RBI’s and the score rose to 8-5. Stokes was given a chance to redeem himself in the seventh, but they may as well of thrown Mr. Met out to pitch. A Pedroia RBI and a Youkilis three-run bomb over the monster opened the Met’s wounds as the 12 runs would tie the most they’ve given up all season.
Consider a couple things with this series to call it successful. The injuries obviously plagued them throughout the entire road trip so they were running on bench players and call-ups.
It’s actually an impressive feet that they took two in the series from the Sox after all their problems and road losses in California. They went 5-5 on the road trip. After the Giants series you wouldn’t of expected that, but .500 through all the nagging problems is pretty impressive.
David Wright continues to swing a hot bat and Beltran has cooled down a bit. Beltran was relieved of his center field duties given the chance to DH in the American League park to nurse a sore knee. His replacement Jeremy Reed has had some very impressive at-bat’s in the series.
He’s a guy the Mets had kept on the bench to hold until desperate situations, and it was worth waiting for. Not only did he fill in nicely for Beltran, but he also managed to hit safely in all three Boston games. As the Mets keep going down the stretch, his value will raise considerably.
Just one more point I’d like to make off the mark, how come David Ortiz is still batting third? It’s nice if you’re trying to give him confidence, but 0-12 on this homestand should prove that it doesn’t work.
It’s not like the Sox can’t win if they drop him down, but maybe you would get more from Jason Bay if he moves up. Honestly, the Mets were giving him good stuff to hit all weekend. I think he needs a major re-evaluation, possibly in Pawtuckett.
The Mets are only a game and a half out of first place. The next two weeks give them perfect opportunity to make up some ground. A home series against the Nationals followed by one with the Marlins should be at least four out of six wins.
Then the Mets will travel to Pittsburgh for four and head to face Washington again before seeing the Phillies. Out of 13 games they’ll play against losing teams, they should be able to win ten of them.
If they can’t, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what you got for the stretch run.
Randy Sobel is a contributor to HowBoutThemMets.com and can be reached at Randy.Sobel@gmail.com