Things looked bleak when John Maine was removed after throwing five pitches and walking the leadoff batter, but reliever Raul Valdes stepped up and gave the Mets five solid innings of relief, while the Mets bats exploded for ten runs topped by a two run homer from catcher Rod Barajas, his tenth of the season. The Mets beat the Nationals 10-7.
John Maine started, and I gotta tell you, I’m growing tired of his act… I’m just sick and tired of his constantly confused demeanor and the clueless sound bytes after each one of his starts. He is always whining and crowing about something and I can’t even remember the last time he truly pitched a great game. Tonight, both his mechanics and his velocity were very poor, so he called for the trainer like a kid who just soiled his pants. Jerry Manuel didn’t even say a word before he yanked Maine out of the game. Later in the dugout, Maine started squawking, but J-Man roared back at Maine who meekly retreated down the dugout steps and into the clubhouse. Good riddance.
Raul Valdes was summoned to replace Maine and pitched a heck of a game given the extraordinary circumstances. Valdes (2-1) pitched five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked one. Mets.com had an interesting note, all of Valdes’ decisions have come against Washington, and his stint Thursday was the longest outing by a Mets reliever since Darren Oliver threw five innings against the Marlins on July 7, 2006. Valdes stepped up and delivered in the clutch which is more than I can say for John Maine.
Ahhh the bullpen… Manny Acosta followed with an inning in which he walked two and let up a hit. Jenrry Mejia was next and once again, he didn’t fare well going 1.2 innings and allowing three runs on two hits and two walks. His 3.79 ERA keeps rising and for his third straight appearance he registered no strikeouts.
Pedro Feliciano didn’t have it either, in fact nobody did tonight. Feliciano allowed two baserunners in a third of an inning pitched and the Nats actually got the tying run up to the plate in what was once a 10-3 game, but 10-7 would be as close as they got with their final run of the night coming in the ninth inning against Frankie Rodriguez. It looks like everyone in the bullpen is pumped up for the big Yankees series which begins tomorrow… Yeah right… These guys are worn out!
The Mets had their hitting shoes on tonight as the combined for 15 hits and 10 runs. David Wright was back in action and struck the first blow with a 3-run double in the first inning. He would later drive in another run on a sac fly to cap off a 1-4, 4 RBI day.
Jason Bay and Ike Davis batted third and fourth and both collected three hits each and scored six of the Mets runs. The mighty Rod Barajas picked up two more hits including his tenth home run of the season. He has been the Mets go-to guy on offense, but continues to bat either seventh or eighth in the lineup. Hmm…
So the Mets split their two game series with the Nationals, and end the road trip with a 2-6 record. Hopefully, the offense came out of their slumber for good tonight and that it will carry over into homestand where they will face two tough opponents in the Yankees and Phillies.
I gotta give the game ball to Raul Valdes for taking one for the team and pitching five solid innings.
The Mets will send Hisanori Takahashi to the mound tomorrow and the Yankees will counter with Javier Vasquez in the first game of the Subway Series. Game Time is 7:10 PM. I hope Takahashi has about seven innings in him… Lets Go Mets!