Raul Valdes Implodes, New York Mets Lose Despite David Wright's Heroics
The Mets were looking to get revenge against the Arizona Diamondbacks after being swept by them in Arizona on the last road trip, but it didn't start out well.
Mike Pelfrey was also looking to rebound against Arizona after an awful performance on July 19 against them, a game in which he threw 51 first inning pitches.
Tonight's game got off to a similar start for Pelfrey, as he allowed three runs on four hits in the first. He threw about 40 pitches this time around, and struggled to control his fastball while getting squeezed by the home plate umpire.
The Mets, though, would respond in their half of the first inning. Jose Reyes got it started with a single, followed by a walk from Luis Castillo. After Angel Pagan popped out, David Wright launched a three-run home run to left field, tying the game at 3-3.
In the third, Pelfrey gave the lead back to Arizona. Catcher Miguel Montero scored after leading off the inning with a double. He was driven in by a Stephen Drew double.
The Mets would strike right back in their half of the third to take the lead. After two outs were recorded, Pagan walked and Wright hit a two-run home run to the black in center field, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead. It was Wright's 17th home run of the season and second of the night. To that point, he had driven in all five Mets runs.
The Diamondbacks wasted a leadoff double in the fourth as Pelfrey settled down after a poor start.
After giving up a leadoff double to Chris Young in the fourth, Pelfrey retired seven batters in a row, and it should've been eight.
Pitcher Ian Kennedy reached base safely with one out in the sixth on a Jose Reyes fielding error. After Pelfrey got the second out, he was pulled from the game having thrown 118 pitches.
Trying to protect a 5-4 lead with a man on first and two outs, reliever Raul Valdes blew up. He gave up a two-run home run to the first batter he faced, Kelly Johnson, giving Arizona a 6-5 lead. He then gave up two straight singles before giving up the game's biggest blow, a three-run home run to Miguel Montero, making it 9-5.
Valdes faced four batters, allowing four runs on four hits and two home runs. Manny Acosta would replace him and do the exact opposite; four batters, four strikeouts.
Pelfrey's final line looked as follows: 5.2 innings, five runs (four earned), eight hits, two walks, four strikeouts.
After Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy was pulled after six innings, the Mets had a chance against a bad Arizona bullpen.
The Mets attempted a rally in the seventh against Blaine Boyer. After the Mets scored a run on an Angel Pagan single, Carlos Beltran flew out to center as the tying run at the plate, as the Mets still trailed, 9-6.
In the eighth, the Mets had what looked like an advantage against Chad Qualls. Qualls entered the game with an ERA of 8.51, having allowed 61 hits in 37 innings, but the Mets went down in order against him.
In the ninth, facing former Met Aaron Heilman, the Mets couldn't get the job done with Angel Pagan lining out on the 11th pitch to end the game.
It seemed early as if it was going to be the Mets night, receiving two home runs from David Wright, but Valdes' meltdown cost a win.
The Mets have now lost all four games to the Diamondbacks this season, and Arizona has won four games in their last 15, all against the Mets.
In order to avoid losing the series, the Mets will have to win the remaining two games, starting tomorrow night. The pitching matchup will be Hisanori Takahashi against Barry Enright.
LF Jason Bay placed on 15-day Disabled List (concussion)
OF Jesus Feliciano recalled from Triple-A Buffalo
NL East standings (top three teams)
Philadelphia 56-47 (3 1/2)
New York Mets 52-51 (7 1/2)
Series probable pitchers:
New York: Hisanori Takahashi (2010: 7-5, 4.47 ERA) vs. Arizona: Barry Enright (2010: 2-2, 2.73 ERA)
New York: Jon Niese (2010: 7-4, 3.43 ERA) vs. Arizona: Rodrigo Lopez (2010: 5-9, 4.68 ERA)
New York Mets:
July 31-August 1 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
August 2-4 @ Atlanta Braves
July 31-August 1 @ New York Mets
August 2-5 vs. Washington Nationals
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