Great pitching, timely hitting, and great defense, all added up to a much needed 6-1 win over the Dodgers last night. It snapped a streak of 13 straight games in which the Mets only scored four runs or fewer.
Johan Santana (8-5) was brilliant again. Last night he pitched seven innings and allowed one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Over his last five starts, he has been lights out going 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA. He has allowed a run or less in 13 of his 20 starts, which is amazing.
The bullpen preserved a win for Johan, and even Frankie Rodriguez was perfect (finally), throwing a 1-2-3 ninth inning in a non-save situation.
Jason Bay had a solid game. First he made a highlight-reel catch, crashing face first into the LF wall, but hanging onto the ball. He is fine. At the plate he snapped a 10 game RBI drought with a huge three-run double to the right-center gap in the eighth inning that put the Mets up 6-1. Bay was in the batting cage early before the game and took part in an early batting practice as well. Looks like it paid off.
In addition to Bay, the Mets had plenty a couple of other spectacular defensive plays in the outfield. Right fielder Angel Pagan made a dazzling sliding catch in the fourth inning that sent him into the wall in front of the seats along the first-base line. And Carlos Beltran made a diving catch in shallow center field of a ball hit by Andre Ethier in the sixth. He has looked so much better in CF the last two games.
Ike Davis smacked a solo homer, his 14th, in the second and gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. He is now within one HR of David Wright’s lead in home runs and leads all rookies in homers. Anybody miss Dan Murphy?
Jerry Manuel was ejected for the third time this season after arguing an out call by Doug Eddings at first base that ended the top of the second inning. Replays confirmed Luis Castillo actually beat the throw from Rafael Furcal. It cost the Mets a run.
The Mets had everything working well in this one, a very well played game. With the win, the Mets picked up a game on the Braves who lost courtesy of Billy Wagner’s fourth blown save, and are now 6 ½ games back of the NL East lead.
It could have easily gone to Johan, but given the significance of Bay’s big night I’ll go with Jason. Hopefully it’s the start of something big for him.
Mike Pelfrey (10-5, 4.01) looks to bounce back from the worst start of his career. He will go up against Carlos Monasterios (3-2, 3.61). Game time is at 4:00 PM and will be televised on Fox.