Fresh off a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles staff ace Johan Santana marched the Met, looking to win their 4th straight road game, into Cleveland. Like his last start vs. San Diego, Johan showed early that he did not have his best stuff. Unlike his last start, however, he would get by with a little help from his friends. The offense, led by David Wright and rookie Ike Davis ( I Like IKE ), would pick up right where they left off this past Sunday, scoring 7 runs on 12 hits (7 of which were of the infield variety). The 7 runs were the most the team has scored for Santana since his opening day win over the Florida Marlins. The team needed every run to hold off the Indians and improve to a season best 8 games over .500 (36-28). marched the Mets,
Jose Reyes (1 for 4 2R) got things started in the top of the 1st in typical ‘Reyes’ fashion. After drawing a walk, he would steal second base before promptly scoring on an infield single by David Wright to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Johan Santana struggled early as Travis Hafner led off the bottom of the 2nd inning by depositing a 1-2 slider deep into the right field seats to tie the game at 1-1. Later in that inning with 2 outs and the bases loaded, Cleveland center fielder Trevor Crowe drove in 2 runs with a single to left field. Santana allowed 1 more run in the bottom of the 4th and seemed doomed for a loss given the poor run support the Mets have provided him with throughout the season (3.5 RPG).Pelfrey (2-4) capped off the inning with a 2-run HR. on Sunday and I remember thinking to myself during that game “wouldn’t it be something else if they could do that for Johan…..just once.” The team was given an opportunity to do so as their ace put them in a 4-1 hole after 4 innings. Miraculously, just as they did with Big Pelf, the offense picked up Johan, responding with 5 runs in the top of the 5th. David Wright (3 for 5) tied the game at 4 with his second infield single of the game and Ike Davis
It was incredible to see the offense pick up Mike Pelfrey on Sunday and I remember thinking to myself during that game “wouldn’t it be something else if they could do that for Johan…..just once.” The team was given an opportunity to do so as their ace put them in a 4-1 hole after 4 innings. Miraculously, just as they did with Big Pelf, the offense picked up Johan, responding with 5 runs in the top of the 5th. David Wright (3 for 5) tied the game at 4 with his second infield single of the game and Ike Davis (2 for 4) capped off the inning with a 2 run home run.The Mets rookie had attempted a bunt with the Cleveland defense showing a heavy shift to the right side of the field, but luckily for Davis and the Mets that bunt would roll foul. Three pitches later Ike’s 8th HR of the season would put the Mets up 6-4 and tie him for second among MLB rookies in that category with Brennan Boesch (Jayson Heywards leads with 10). The Mets would add one more run in the top of the 7th when Angel Pagan (1 for 5) scored on a Jason Bay (0-5) fielders choice. The run would prove to be pivotal.
Pedro Feliciano, who seems to have worked his way into the bridge role for Fransico Rodriguez, came in for the second straight game to pitch a scoreless 8th inning. I’m not sure why Feliciano is being handed 8th inning duties over Dessens, but then again I was never sure why Elmer Dessens was given that role over Mejia or anyone else for that matter in the first place. Since things seemed to work out well with his last decision, I will give JerryManuel the benefit of the doubt on this one (unbelievable what a couple winning streaks will do to help restore faith in a manager).
K-Rod entered the game in the 9th with a 3 run lead and promptly surrendered a lead off single to Russell Branyan and 2-run home run to pinch hitter Shelly Duncan. I know this is the tightrope Franky likes to walk but tonight seemed a little different. I didn’t feel my heart pounding out of my chest. Rodriguez seemed intent on not walking anyone with a 3 run lead and threw strikes when he was behind in the count, even if it meant serving up a BP fastball for a HR. In the end, Rodriguez closed things out for his 14th save of the season and even if Met fans didn’t pop any Rolaids tonight, they probably at least made the trip to the cupboard.
The Mets have now won 9 of their last 10 and for Santana it was his first W (5-3) since May 23rd against the Yankees. After the game Johan (7 IP, 4 ER) had the following to say regarding his performance:
I made a couple of mistakes, to Hafner we were supposed to throw a slider away andit stay(ed) middle in right where his power is. To center fielder (Crowe) I threw a change up that caught (the plate) and then (he) end up hitting a base hit and scoring two runs. But after that I tried to stay focused and hoping that at some point we score some runs and that’s what we did.
Johan deserves the same credit Pelfrey garnered on Sunday, as he battled through a rocky start and kept his team in the ballgame, eventually retiring 9 of the last 10 batters he faced. It’s great to hear pitchers, even someone who has to be as jaded as Santana, talk about staying focused and leaving things up to the offense. That type of shared confidence along with a steady dose of “lean on me” is contagious and is exactly what any winning team needs to keep things going.
Tomorrow night the Mets will look to win their 5th straight road victory (6th in a row) as they send
HERE(7-4 3.59ERA). Since coming off the DL (6/5) Niese is 2-0 with a ridiculous 0.56 ERA. In his last start he threw the 34th 1-hitter in New York Mets history. He enters Wednesday nights contest looking to extend both his scoreless inning streak (9) and hit-less inning streak (7). Talbot is 4-2 in his last 6 decisions. Over his last 24 1/3 IP, the Cleveland rookie, has allowed only 8 ER (2.96 ERA).
*NOTE- David Wright continues to stay hot as he is now 9 for his last 18 (.500) with 2 HR and 10 RBI. He is hitting a robust.405 in the month of June with 7 multi hit games. As of 4:45 pm, however, Placido Polanco was leading Wright by 178,774 votes. While we don’t have enough readers to sway the vote, we are hoping that the MetsZilla faithful will click HERE and vote for David!!!!
*With a bunt single in the 5th inning Jose Reyes has extended his hitting streak to 7 games.
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