For the second straight outing, Tim Redding gave up only one earned run. Fortunately, he didn’t have to face Pedro Martinez this time around. Redding’s mastery of the Nationals and some timely hitting by David Wright and Jeff Francoeur in the seventh inning helped the Mets snap their season-long six-game losing streak. Today’s final score was 3-2.
Redding shut down the Nats so completely that the only hit they were able to muster off him through the first six innings was a bunt single by leadoff hitter Willie Harris in the fourth inning. He tired a little in the seventh inning, giving up the tying run on an RBI single to Adam Dunn, but the Mets bailed him out when Wright and Francoeur hit back-to-back doubles leading off the bottom of the seventh inning. A much-needed insurance run came around to score when Adam Dunn butchered (bucknered?) a Daniel Murphy grounder to first.
Sean Green allowed the Nats to trim the score to 3-2 when he made a throwing error on what would have been the third out of the inning. Luckily, Perpetual Pedro (has Gary Cohen trademarked that monicker yet?) came into the game and was able to retire Adam Dunn on a grounder to second.
The Mets did not even break a sweat in the ninth inning as Francisco Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 frame with two strikeouts. In picking up his 32nd save, he helped give Tim Redding only his third win of the season against six losses.
Ever since Redding was moved back into the starting rotation on August 22, he has been excellent. In his six starts, he has given up three runs or less five times. Unfortunately, he has been the victim of poor run support. Other than the 10-3 Mets victory on August 27, they have scored only eight runs in his other five starts. His ERA over those six starts has been a solid 2.72. If Redding is making a case to be a Met again next year, he is surely not failing in his effort to do so.
Another hot player who played well today was Jeff Francoeur. He doubled twice today, with the second two-bagger driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning. He is now hitting .318 as a Met, raising his season average to .280. Over his last ten games, he has been particularly scintillating, hitting .475 (19 for 40). In those 40 at-bats, he has more doubles than strikeouts (six doubles, five strikeouts). If there’s a multi-hit game to be had, Frenchy is a top candidate to grab it.
Tomorrow could be a big day at Citi Field. With a victory over the Nats on Sunday, the Mets will clinch fourth place in the National League East. Grab your silly string in anticipation of the celebration. John Maine will make his second start since his return from visiting Pai Mei for all those months. He will be opposed by Garrett Mock of the Nationals. Game time for the potential clincher is at 1:10 PM. I wonder if the police officers on horses will be there as well in case the crowd gets out of hand if the Mets win…