Despite a solid pitching performance by Livan Hernandez and some clutch hitting, the Mets almost let the win slip through their fingers thanks to some shoddy defense. Luckily, Chipper’s liner landed in Church’s glove for the final out and the Mets eked out the victory and completed a mini sweep of the Braves.
Livan Hernandez gave the Mets the kind of start they really needed to build some momentum. He wasn’t particularly dominating, but he was smart, crafty and was able to induce a ground ball when he absolutely needed one. In 6.1 innings pitched he allowed just 1 runs while scattering 7 hits and improving his record to 2-1. One of the key factors in his performance was his ability to induce three double-plays and to nail a runner at third base after a failed sacrifice bunt.
Rookie reliever Bobby Parnell, racked up his 6th hold of the season and lowered his ERA to 1.38 when he relieved Hernandez and picked up the last two outs of the seventh inning, but not before allowing an inherited runner to score. J.J. Putz pitched a perfect inning in the eighth and the Mets were almost home free.
Frankie Rodriguez admittedly did not have his stuff working tonight, but even 80% of K-Rod is better than anything else the Mets have. Rodriguez was touched up for two runs, two hits and a walk, but the runs were unearned thanks to a dropped popup by Carlos Delgado that would have been the final out of the game. How many times have we seen this already this season?
Have you seen how good Ramon Castro has been since Jerry Manuel pinch hit for him last week? The guy has been playing with the energy and enthusiasm of rookie trying to win a job on the big league roster. His at-bats have become more engaging, he moves quicker behind the plate, he nailed a runner trying to steal second base in the first game, and he’s even hustling on the bases stretching singles into doubles. Tonight, Castro went 3-5 with two doubles and an RBI.
Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and David Wright each had a couple of hits and figured heavily in the scoring. Delgado who would make a critical error in the ninth, drove in two runs in the top of the inning that proved to be the decisive runs of the game for the Mets.
I am becoming very concerned with the number of dropped fly balls the Mets have had so far this season. I can recall the ones from Castro, Castillo, Church and now Delgado. Like I mentioned yesterday, the Mets need someone to get in their faces and make sure that crap like this doesn’t happen again. They need someone on this team to step up and lead. How long can the shrug their shoulders and say “Well it happened, what are you gonna do?”
Somehow, I thought that when K-Rod came in to close the game out it would be a slam dunk each time. It hasn’t been. I’m still pacing and sweating it out every time the game goes into the ninth inning no matter how big the lead is. I guess that’s just our fate as Mets fans.
The Mets begin a big two game series against the Phillies at Citi Field. Johan Santana pitches the first game on Wednesday and looks to extend the Mets winning streak. LGM