Mets manager Jerry Manuel announced yesterday that he was going with an all-rookie platoon in left field. Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy will split time in left while Fernando Tatis will become the everyday right fielder.
This is a real stop-gap situation until Ryan Church gets back from his post concussion syndrome problems that have plagued him for much of this season. Church may be back with the Mets within the next two weeks depending on his progress.
Manuel’s done as good a job as he can with the pieces he’s been given in the outfield. Endy Chavez has some skills but he’s not an everyday player. So the Mets have to go with players that are naturally infielders in the outfield corners for now. We’ll see defensive shortfalls like the game winning hit that Tatis couldn’t make a play on in Houston last night. Unfortunately, we’ll have to live with that for now.
Once again Mike Pelfrey was completely in control of the game. He went seven innings on 103 pitches giving up only seven hits and no walks for one run. He raised his season record to 9-6 with the win tonight.
Endy Chavez went 4 for 5 with a run scored tonight. Carlos Delgado hit his 20th homer of the season. And Argenis Reyes hit his first career home run. Of course, the Mets gave him the silent treatment in the dugout after he hit it. Jose Reyes had his twelfth triple of the season going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI’s.
There is some reason for concern though. Duaner Sanchez was terrible again. He faced three batters without getting an out, just as he did in the first game of the Phillies series.
The Phillies lost at home to Atlanta tonight so the Mets move to a 2 game lead in the NL East. And the Mets are now 22-12 under Jerry Manuel. Tonight’s game is the St. Louis Cardinals fifth consecutive loss.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that Omar Minaya may pass on trades this month in favor of moving some of the Mets top prospects to the big leagues. Specifically, the Mets are thinking about moving Fernando Martinez into the outfield. Lefty Jon Niese could fit into the rotation and Bobby Parnell or Eddie Kunz may get work in the bullpen.
If Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez cool off they could give Martinez a shot in left field. At 19 years old he has to play every day. If he’s not in the lineup every day, he shouldn’t be in the majors.
Apparently, the Rockies wanted Carlos Beltran in a trade for Matt Holliday so the Mets weren’t interested.
San Francisco Giants (39-51 Road: 22-23) at New York Mets (46-44 Home: 23-18) 7:10pm
Jonathan Sanchez (8-4 3.87) vs. Johan Santana (7-7 2.96)
TV: SNY Radio: WFAN
What to watch: The Mets looked terrific behind Mike Pelfrey last night for their fourth consecutive win. They really need to give Santana some run support. He’s pitched much better than his record. Sanchez is a touch lefty so maybe we’ll see Endy Chavez on the bench tonight and Ramon Castro getting a start.
Don’t forget to join the Mets game chat here for in game chat with Mets fans.
The Mets had a 10-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning and the bullpen did the best they could to give the game up. Jerry Manuel was ejected for arguing a disputed home run call in the seventh inning. But the Mets end up taking three of four games from the Phillies on the road for a huge win. They also go over .500 for the first time in more than a month.
Pedro Martinez pitched pretty well tonight which was a nice change from his previous three starts. He ended up going 5.1 innings giving up two runs. He threw 105 pitches though, way too many for five innings. He still needs to get sharper.
David Wright was the offensive star going 2 for 5 with 4 RBI’s and his 17th home run. Damion Easley, Endy Chavez, and Fernando Tatis had three hits apiece. Interesting that these bench guys are going hard for more playing time. Jerry Manuel’s “reward system” is definitely having an impact on the team.
Tony Armas, Aaron Heilman, and Billy Wagner were all giving up runs at an alarming rate after Pedro left the game. Notably Wagner had his second shaky outing in a row. He needs to get his game together. He already has six blown saves and almost added another tonight.
John Maine didn’t have it tonight and the defense behind him didn’t help. The Mets played poorly in every facet of the game including the continuing saga of trying to find some offensive punch on a consistent basis.
Maine pitched only four innings giving up five runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks. He was in trouble from the first batter of the game when he walked Cardinals leadoff hitter Skip Schumaker.
Maine also had a throwing error on a pickoff play. Luis Castillo had a ball go right through the wickets and David Wright had a throwing error on a hit down the line that he never should have attempted to throw.
Endy Chavez was the only Met with multiple hits tonight. The only Mets run scored when Andy Phillips scored on a throwing error by Rick Ankiel over throwing third base and Kyle Lohse didn’t back up the play.
Oliver Perez was unstoppable today throwing seven innings and only giving up one solo homer to Wilson Betemit in the seventh. Perez only gave up three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. His fastball was in the mid- 90’s and was consistently throwing strikes. Consistent is rarely used to describe Perez.
Perez made some changes both mechanical and strategic. He moved to the middle of the rubber, added some rock back to his motion, and threw a much higher percentage of fastballs.
Luis Castillo and Endy Chavez had three hits apiece in the game. Ryan Church went 2 for 4 in his return from the disabled list.
Another great game by Johan Santana was wasted today. He went seven shutout innings giving up three hits and three walks with ten strikeouts. Joe Smith was terrible in the eighth inning giving up two walks and two hits in .2 innings. Two runs scored on him.
Billy Wagner blew the save in the ninth inning allowing two runs to score on two hits and two walks. Then Aaron Heilman threw gas on the fire in the tenth inning. Justin Upton doubled off him, moved to third on a sacrifice, then scored on a sacrifice fly.
The Mets offense came on a solo homer by Ramon Castro in the second inning off Dan Haren. David Wright doubled in Endy Chavez in the third inning but was thrown out going for third base. Fernando Tatis hit a two run single in the seventh inning.
The Mets lose the home series to the struggling D-Backs and have the Texas Rangers coming to town for a weekend series.