Mets 2, Rockies 1 12 innings (NYM: 13-6, COL: 8-13)
By this time last year, the Mets had played about a dozen extra-innings games (slight exaggeration). Tuesday night, the Mets played their first extra innings game of 2007, and made staying up later than expected pay off.
In the bottom of the 12th inning, with runners on second and third and two out, Endy Chavez laid down a perfect drag bunt to bring home Shawn Green, and the Mets kept themselves a half-game in front of the Braves in the NL East with a 2-1, 12 inning win.
The dramatic win was set up by some drama in the 10th. After Billy Wagner had given up a run to the Rockies in the top of the 10th, Damion Easley hit a pinch-hit, 2-out, 2-strike home run to tie the game at 1, and force more extras.
The 12 innings (and the tenth inning comeback) nearly made you forget that Orlando Hernandez turned in an outstanding start in this game. El Duque went 7 innings without giving up a run, surrendering just 4 hits, walking two, while striking out 5. He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh in one of many early failed Mets rallies. They blew a lot of chances to win this game early. But that's not to take anything away from Rockies starter Aaron Cook, who also went 7 scoreless innings.
The win was the first in the young career of Joe Smith, who gave the Mets two-thirds of an inning, retiring the two batters he faced. Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis also had scoreless outings in this one.
It should be noted that in the 11th inning, with the winning run at second, David Wright had a great at-bat. He managed to work a walk, but he fouled off a few pitches, and looked the most locked-in I've seen him look all year - sort of like David Wright last year. It made me wonder if there's been something else on Wright's mind all month - because Tuesday night was the first night I really felt he looked like himself. For what that's worth. He finished 2-for-4, with one strikeout.
The Mets and Rockies play an afternoon game on Wednesday, getaway day. Mike Pelfrey against Josh Fogg.
Extra Sugarfree Gum johnnymets.blogspot.com Player of the Game: Damion Easley. Easy call here - without Easley, Endy never gets a chance. Can't do much better than one at-bat, one home run...and in a very important spot.
MONDAY NIGHT'S RESULT - Mets 6, Rockies 1
VALENTIN'S DAY - Jose Valentin earned johnnymets.blogspot.com Player of the Game honors with a homer and 4 RBI. He was 1-for-2, scoring just once - he had a sacrifice fly in addition to a 3-run homer, single-handedly lifting the Mets to a 4-0 lead by the 4th inning.
John Maine benefitted from Valentin's outing, as well as Carlos Delgado's first home run of the season, improving to 3-0 on the season, and the Mets jumped back into first place, a half-game ahead of Atlanta.
I was a bit under the weather, sorry I didn't write. I'm feeling better Tuesday night, but I'm told this bug I have could last 7-10 days. Bad headache, coupled with a nauseous feeling. It may or may not include vomiting. It did for me.
TURNING TWO...HUNDRED: I've been thinking about this all season, since the Mets turned four double plays on Opening Night in St. Louis. I finally did the math tonight. I thought the Mets were on pace to set some sort of record for double plays turned in a season. They are, if my calculations are correct. They're on pace to turn more than 200 double plays right now - the team record is 171. So there's a new feature this year, and it's called "Turning Two...Hundred":
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 2 SEASON TO DATE: 26 TEAM RECORD: 171
**OK, there's a problem here. The Mets' media guide has the team record at 171, done twice - in 1966 and 1983. But mlb.com says the 1999 Mets had 294 double plays - reasonable, since that was a great defensive team. But mlb.com also has every 1999 team as the top 30 in double plays all time. So I think something is wrong there. I need to straighten this out before we take Turning Two...Hundred too far off the ground. I also need to get the all-time record straightened out, too, because I'm having a hard time believing the 1999 Devil Rays turned almost 400 (although they probably allowed a lot of baserunners...)
SNY: I haven't commented on this yet this season, but Lee Mazzilli has been doing pre-and-post-game studio work for the Mets on SNY this season. I can't comment on his performance, because I usually don't watch the pre-and-post-game studio work. The past couple of days, I've caught a bit of the pre-game shows, and for some reason, Dave Gallagher is doing the job. I haven't been too impressed...but I'm more impressed that he has remained visible enough to actually have a high-profile job like this. Dave Gallagher - I hold a grudge against him because I think he was the first Met to wear number 8 after Gary Carter. He was one of the "ordinary guys" I always think of, too, when I think of the early-90's New York Mets...Bill Pecota, Jeff McKnight, Dave Gallagher. I seriously considered naming one of my fantasy teams after him, but went with Jeff McKnight, because I really do hold that number 8 thing against Gallagher, unfair though that may be.
STERLING: God forgive me for the following: So I was listening to a lot of WFAN in New York over the weekend (Thursday through Saturday, truth be told). On Thursday, driving down to New York, I got to hear a little of Joe Benigno's mid-day show - I enjoy listening to him. They were giving John Sterling crap because of his call of the previous day's home run by A-Rod...actually, maybe this was on Friday...I'm getting my days confused. Regardless, they were making fun of the call where Sterling was saying..."An Aaaaaa-Bomb, for Aaaaaa-Rod." Now, I think Sterling is a dope, and can't stand listening to a Yankees game on the radio. But on Saturday, Benigno had Sterling on his show, and was interviewing him, and I'll be darned if it wasn't a great interview. Sterling came across as intelligent and knowledgeable. I can't believe it - it almost made me change my opinion about him. But then I started to dislike him even more, because if he's that coherent in an interview, he should be enjoyable to listen to during a game.
Also on WFAN, on Friday (I confused my days in the above paragraph, I apologize...but I know Sterling was interviewed on Saturday, when Benigno was filling in for Russo, and I know I heard the following on Friday), Mike & the Mad Dog interviewed Theo Epstein heading into the Yankees-Red Sox series. It was a fantastic interview. Epstein was great, and when Chris Russo asked him about the Doug Mirabelli trade (for Cla [Russo actually pronounced it like it is spelled, instead of 'clay', which I thought was hilarious] Meredith and Josh Bard), Epstein was honest, and called it an awful trade for the Red Sox. He went on to say that the Red Sox will never be impatient again. The intelligence and honesty that Epstein showed in this interview made me remember why I liked listening to his press conferences when I was working in TV. And showed why the Red Sox are lucky he came back as general manager.
BEAT THE STREAK: I take personal responsibility for David Wright's 0-for-15 slump. It was all because I kept picking him for Beat the Streak. He finally got a hit Tuesday night, so he's off the hook. I have a one-gamer, and I go with Jimmy Rollins to tie my season high on Wednesday.