Mets hang on vs. Reds

Posted: July 12, 2009 in Mets

And so Act 1 of the 2009 Mets baseball season ends just as it began, with a pair of wins against the Cincinnati Reds.
In between came a whole lot of heartache, which I will get into later tonight or tomorrow when I post the highlights and (mostly) lowlights of the first half.
But for now, I’ll relish today’s win, a 9-7 victory over the Reds that became far more interesting than it needed to be due to a near bullpen implosion which definitely was reminiscent of last year’s squad.
But there were a lot of positives to take from this win, namely the Mets scoring nine runs and rapping out 16 hits, including five extra-base hits and (get this) two home runs. Luis Castillo, a target of my and many of a Mets’ fan’s ridicule, went 3-4 with three runs to complete a respectable first half at the plate at .285 (his defense is another story entirely, to be covered in the later post). Gary Sheffield, Daniel Murphy, Jeff Francoeur and David Wright each added two hits, with Sheff driving in three and Murphy knocking in two. Maybe the trade for Francoeur was a change for change’s sake, but you can’t argue with the results. The Mets have two wins and have shown more signs of life on the offensive end than they have in weeks. Four runs on 11 hits yesterday and nine runs on 16 hits today. Francoeur 4-for-9 to start his Mets career, I’ll take it.
Mike Pelfrey completed an up-and-down first half with a victory, tossing seven strong innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He’s now 7-4 with a 4.47 earned run average. In what has become an alarming Pelfrey trait, he cruised through most of this one but had one bad inning, laboring through a three-run fifth when handed a 7-0 lead. Still, a good effort overall.
Now, to the bad, namely the performance of the Mets bullpen. Really, the main culprit today was Sean Green, who is another guy who has been very inconsistent. There are times where he looks like he’ll be a useful part of the pen and days like today where he can’t get anyone out. Leading 9-3 in the eighth, Green gave up three straight hits and was charged with three runs. Pedro Feliciano gave up a little infield roller for a hit and was lifted for Bobby Parnell. Parnell showed me something today, and it appears he’s on his way back to being a strong force in the pen. He immediately gave up an RBI single to Ramon Hernandez, making it 9-5 with the bases juiced and still no outs. But he really dialed it up a notch, with his fastball in the 96-99 range as he retired the next three batters with just one run scoring on a fielder’s choice. Nice job by Parnell.
Frankie Rodriguez pitched the ninth, allowing a run on a hit and walk for the save, his 23rd of a nice first half.
Mets finish the unofficial first half of the season (we’re a little more than halfway through, but the All-Star break is always considered the end of the first half) at 42-45, 6 1/2 games off the red-hot Phillies’ pace.
The Mets and their fans get a needed three-day break before starting Act 2 of the season with a four-game in Atlanta against the Braves.

  1. GravediggerHebner says:

    In some respects the All-Star break couldn’t have come at a worse time. The team on a little streak, with a new younger, more positive and outgoing RF.

    But overall I think the guys can use the rest, certainly Cora.

    Re:Castillo I’ve had my arguments about him, with me usually in the supportive of him role. Even in supporting him I believe there are 17 or 18 current MLB second basemen I’d rather have, but since I can’t have them…

    …Castillo is what he is, a FORMER (emphasis as in ‘not current’) gold glover who excels at the smallest of small ball. His only real skill is to get on base, and he’s pretty good at it. That is why I’ve hated it every time Jerry bats him 8th. 8th is a terrible spot for him due to his total lack of XBH power. 1st or 2nd, he can work a count and beat out infield hits, getting on base so that hopefully someone behind him can drive him in. That worked out very well today. He’s certainly not the most desirable candidate, but while he’s here today illustrated that if he is used properly he can be a helpful supporting role player.

  2. Andrew Sodergren says:

    Castillo should bat leadoff or No. 2, preferably No. 2 because he sees a ton of pitches, is a good bunter and still has decent wheels despite the fact he looks like a nursing home patient when he runs. Batting him eighth is stupid, I agree. My main problem with Castillo is something that isn’t his fault at all, the ridiculous contract given to him by Omar. I guess it’s unfair to rail on Luis for that, but I guess he’s become my symbol for what’s wrong with Omar Minaya’s leadership – grossly misusing the team’s money at times. Overpaying guys on the downside of a career like Castillo and Moises Alou. Minaya often talks out of both sides of his mouth, on one hand saying he likes a young, athletic team but on the other hand wasting money on garbage like Tim Redding. I know no GM is perfect and there are certainly plenty of good things Omar has done, but this has and most likely will continue to be my biggest problem with him.

    • gravediggerhebner says:

      I agree 100%. I hate Castillo’s contract too, as well as the others you’ve mentioned. El Duque for 2 years was also absurd IMO. But as someone somewhere said recently, “I don’t blame him for saying yes” when that ridiculous offer was put forth, I blame the person/persons who made it.

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