John Maine (1-2) had a pretty decent game. He pitched six innings only giving up two runs, five hits, two walks, and had six strikeouts. He deserved to lose the game only because Carlos Zambrano was really on tonight for the Cubs. He went seven innings giving up only one run. That can happen at times during the season.
Duaner Sanchez pitched a flawless seventh inning and looks like he’s getting back to his old form. He doesn’t have the blazing fastball that he had before the shoulder injury a year and a half ago. But it looks like what he’s got is good enough to get hitters out.
Now we get to the eighth inning, when the wheels came off for the Mets. Once again, Aaron Heilman was the goat of the game. That’s appropriate since they’re playing in the home of the curse of the goat. Heilman only got through two outs in the inning giving up two hits and hitting Aramas Ramirez. Four runs scored but Heilman’s ERA was bailed out by Jose Reyes making an error on a grounder. He was able to actually reduce his ERA to 4.97.
Jorge Sosa came in to get the final out of the eighth and light-hitting Felix Pie hit Sosa’s third pitch into the right field seats. So much for putting out the fire.
I wouldn’t have had a big problem losing this game with the way things were going in the sixth and seventh innings. Zambrano was great tonight. What I can’t stand is Heilman and Sosa allowing the game to get completely out of reach with the Mets having no shot at a comeback in the ninth.
Willie Randolph is consistently an apologist for Heilman and I understand that he wouldn’t lambaste a player to the media. Neither would I. But it’s time to move Sanchez back to the eighth inning and Heilman needs to get his confidence back in some less stressful situations. I thought that Willie should’ve done that a week ago. At that point there wasn’t a better option for the eighth inning. Now there is, Sanchez.
There wasn’t much going on offensively for the Mets tonight. Obviously, they only scored one run but they were up against a terrific pitcher in Zambrano. The only surprise was that Luis Castillo was able to steal his fourth base of the season. It doesn’t make up for his .232 batting average that’s horrendous in the second spot in the order. It’s going to be a long four years watching him.