A close game with a division rival is just about as good as it gets. Early on, Braves starter Tim Hudson looked like he was going to mow the Mets up and pitch deep into the game.
But before you could even blink, the Braves’ bullpen was active and the Mets were rattling Hudson to death. After a dominant first two innings, Hudson fell apart, giving up four runs in his short three innings of work.
John Maine, on the other hand, went five innings and allowed only two runs. Just a bit before he exited the game, he was examined on the mound by Mets trainer Ray Ramirez because he felt some numbness in his throwing arm. Maine continued to pitch, and exited after five innings. Up in the booth, SN/CW11 commentator Ron Darling explained that numbness occurs in the hands of several pitchers, but that it never happened to him in his career.
Following Maine was Aaron Heilman, who gave up his daily run. After Heilman exited in the sixth, Scott Schoeneweis did surprisingly well (he never does well at home). Pedro Feliciano and Duaner Sanchez combined to throw a scoreless eighth.
With the Mets holding a slim 1-run lead, Billy Wagner came in for the ninth and pitched his ninth consecutive hitless inning in nine tries this season. Keep an eye on him, though, because if everyone remembers, he started to slip when mid-season rolled around. I’m glad he changed his routine a bit with the new wind-up and added some pitches. Even with him getting older each season, his fastball is still in the mid-to-high 90’s consistently.
David Wright broke his 0-19 streak, the worst in his career, with two singles. Angel Pagan came into pinch-hit for Aaron Heilman and delivered a triple. He was unable to score, though, due to an amazing play by Braves first baseman, Mark Teixeira. Teixeira fielded a grounder on his knees and fired home without even getting up. He delivered a perfect, on-target bullet to Brian McCann, who turned around and tagged out Pagan.
Damion Easley filled in for Luis Castillo at second and had two hits. Carlos Beltran had two RBIs, while Carlos Delgado continued his opher, but still managed to get an RBI. It seems that although Delgado never gets hits anymore, he regularly is able to get an RBI in each game. He had some forgettable at-bats today, including a pop-up that caused the fans to boo very loud. His batting average dipped below 190 as his struggles continued.
Gustavo Molina was called up to catch today’s game and did fairly well, although on a ball in the dirt he allowed it to bounce over his head. Gary Cohen on TV said that it wasn’t an easy play, but when you’re in the big leagues, it should be.
Molina did, however, field a ball in the dirt and nearly threw out the runner stealing second while doing so. Molina is known for having the best arm in the Mets’ catching system.
Jose Reyes continued to pop-up and loop his swing so badly that he could hit the ball to the top of the stadium. His swing is a concern that Mets’ coaches need to fix, and fast. He is a young player that has amazing potential once on base.
Next Mets Test
The Mets conclude their weekend series with Atlanta tomorrow with a 1 PM first pitch.