Dan Murphy's Pinch Hit Homer Drives Mets to Third Straight Win

Patrick MurraySenior Analyst IAugust 9, 2008

Rookie Dan Murphy keeps getting the job done for the Mets. He now has 10 hits in 20 major league at-bats.

After Mike Jacobs hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth to tie the game at four, the Mets answered right back in the bottom half.

A leadoff single by Fernando Tatis chased starter Scott Olsen from the game. A Damion Easley single and an RBI groundout by catcher Robinson Cancel gave the Mets the lead again. Then Jerry Manuel sent up Murphy to pinch hit against reliever Renyel Pinto.

Murphy knocked an outside fastball to the opposite field and over the wall in left, driving in what proved to be the game-winning run with his first major league homer.

Brian Stokes pitched decently in a spot start for the Mets, covering for the injured John Maine. Stokes allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six in 5.2 innings. He had good stuff all night but the Marlins took advantage of a couple of mistakes on two-run homers by Jacobs and Jorge Cantu.

Scot Schoeneweis finished off the sixth for Stokes, then Duaner Sanchez shut out the Marlins in the seventh. Joe Smith, who has struggled against the Marlins this year, had trouble in the eighth. After striking out Cantu, Smith allowed three straight hits and a run.

Manuel had enough and brought in lefty Pedro Feliciano. Feliciano gave up a base hit to Wes Helms which pushed another Florida run across. Feliciano then got Alfredo Amezaga to ground into a double play.

For the second straight night Aaron Heilman was used as the closer, and it worked out again. Heilman walked Hanley Ramirez, but that was it as he shut down the rest of the Marlins to pick up the save.

Hopefully Heilman is back on the right track now, but I would like to ask Jerry Manuel where Eddie Kunz is.

The 22-year-old Kunz is touted as the closer of the future and recorded 27 saves in Double-A this year. He has not pitched in three days now, and even if Manuel isn't going to use him as the closer, I would like to see him pitch in the seventh or eighth inning.

Anyway, Carlos Delgado continues to swing the hot bat as he hit a monster home run in the first inning.

Carlos Beltran broke an 82 at-bat homer-less drought with a solo blast to center in the seventh. He also had a two-run double in the first inning, and a single in the third for his second three-hit game in three days.

Look for Beltran to go on a hot streak for a few weeks here in August. Last August Beltran caught fire, hitting .338 with six homers, 23 RBI, and an 1.153 OPS in 20 games.

The Phillies defeated the Pirates, so the Mets remain one game behind in the NL East race while the Marlins drop to 2.5 games out.

The Mets go for the sweep tomorrow in a battle of 6'7" right handers. Florida's Josh Johnson (2-0, 3.34 ERA) has looked good since returning from Tommy John surgery at the All-Star break. He tossed six scoreless innings against the Phillies in his last start.

Mike Pelfrey (10-7, 3.85) will oppose Johnson, and has really developed this year while leading the Mets in wins. Big Pelf is 7-1 with a 2.82 ERA in his last nine starts, however, that one loss came in Miami against the Marlins on July 30.

Player of the Game: Carlos Beltran: 3-3, BB, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI