There are several story lines in this game but the biggest is the grand slam by Mark Loretta in the eighth inning off Aaron Heilman. That broke the 3-3 tie and sunk the Mets. Heilman was victimized badly by home runs early in the season but seemed to have worked out his problems until tonight. I think they’re leaning too hard on Heilman to go multiple innings now. Manuel needs to do a better job of working more relievers into the game. There’s no true long man in the bullpen so Manuel needs to make an adjustment.
Another story line is that the Mets had ten hits in this game. They had several opportunities to score though, leaving seven runners on base. Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes both went 2 for 4 but the Mets couldn’t capitalize on several opportunities.
A side note is that Damion Easley made several stellar plays at second base. He made a great turn for a double play, and a great sliding stop and throw to first from his knees. The Mets haven’t missed Luis Castillo at all. Easley and Argenis Reyes have both played really well since Castillo’s been out.
Pedro Martinez was fair tonight, kind of like he has been for most of his starts. He went five innings giving up three runs. That’s a typical game for him now. Jerry Manuel was going to limit him to 80 pitches and he ended up going for 87 (49 strikes). The runs he gave up were on three solo homers, including one to the Astros pitcher Brandon Backe. Granted, Backe is a good hitter but that still shouldn’t happen. Kaz Matsui led off the game with a homer too.
The Phillies lost tonight too so the Mets won’t lose any ground in the NL East.