2 in a row!

Posted: June 25, 2009 in Odds and Sods

Rays Mets BaseballFor the first time since June 8-9, the Mets have strung together consecutive victories. Today’s 3-2 win over the Cardinals was far from easy, unlike last night’s 11-0 victory.
Johan Santana clearly didn’t have his best stuff today, but he battled through seven innings allowing just two runs. Chris Carpenter had just one bad inning, allowing three runs on four hits in the fourth. Those were the only hits he gave up all day. Recently recalled Nick Evans highlighted the inning with a well-struck two-run double to the opposite field in right, putting the Mets ahead to stay.
Pedro Feliciano worked a scoreless eighth and Francisco Rodriguez closed it out with a shaky but effective ninth in which he struck out the first two hitters, walked Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick back-to-back before Yadier Molina absolutely ripped one right at defensive replacement Jeremy Reed in left.
Other observations: The Mets, as they have throughout most of the season, failed to cash in on a golden opportunity to tack on runs in the eighth. The Cardinals used four pitchers to get three outs (a Tony LaRussa specialty) and with the bases loaded and one out, Ryan Church fanned against lefty Trever Miller despite going up in the count 3-0. He looked like he was wanting the walk, letting two hittable pitches go by before finally fanning.
Now more than ever with so many people hurting, the Mets must do a better job of situational hitting. Just picking that runner up from third base with less than two outs would be a big improvement.
On the plus side, the Mets got four strong starts during this series, with the starter going seven innings in three of the four games. The other performance was last night’s six shutout innings from Fernando Nieve, who continues to defy his past of not being very good with a third consecutive lights-out start.
For the most part, the Mets held Albert Pujols in check (about as much as you can hold him in check anyway) and nobody else on the Cardinals made them pay, although the sight of Yadier Molina at the plate with the game on the line still gives me nightmares (see Game 7, 2006 NLCS). The Mets improve to 37-34, moving within a game of Philly, who plays later on Thursday night against the Rays.
Next up, the Yankees again. Mike Pelfrey against CC Sabathia tomorrow night at CitiField.

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