Marlins 5, Mets 2 (NYM: 15-10, FLA: 13-13)
This is the moment you've been expecting if you are a Mets fan...but there's encouraging news. The pitching staff has been hit by injuries, and Mike Pelfrey needs to step up after a tough loss and get you a win. He didn't come through, but there's good news out of the Mets' second loss in a row.
Pelfrey got off to a bad start - walking (and hitting a batter) the bases loaded, and then giving up a 3-run triple to Josh Willingham. After that, though, he managed to hold the Marlins to a 3-0 lead for the duration of his outing...and he settled in very nicely.
Unfortunately, the Mets were never able to overcome that 3-run deficit, and they left a few runs out on the field. Two runners were tagged out at the plate (Jose Reyes on an attempted steal of home [see below] and Carlos Delgado on a play where he could have hustled a bit more), and a couple of rallies never got as big as they should have.
The other good news (I almost don't feel as though the Mets lost, there was so much good coming out of this game) is that David Wright and Carlos Delgado showed signs of life - finally. Delgado was 2-for-4, and both hits went to left field against the shift. Unfortunately, Delgado was nailed at the plate, on an off-line throw up the third base line, where the catcher was able to tag Delgado easily without being run into - Delgado went out of his way to avoid the catcher, rather than run through him in the baseline.
Wright had a night - 3-for-4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored (both Mets runs, incidentally). Wright hit an opposite field homer (#68 career - I actually had to look that up, it's been so long), and had his fifth double of the year - a rocket off the left field wall. Finally, signs of the old David Wright.
The Mets cut it to 3-2, before Aaron Heilman gave up a 2-run homer to Willingham which took the Mets out of the game officially. I think it's time to sound the alarm and get a little bit worried about Heilman. Wright will be OK, so now let's shift our focus to Heilman and see if we can't figure out why he's not as clutch this year.
Bottom line - Pelfrey gave the Mets what they needed on Tuesday. I think he'll be even better in his next start, because I don't think he'll get off to as bad a start as he did in this one. The Mets need to find a number five (while El Duque is out) better than Park, and I think they'll be fine. But I'll feel a lot better about that statement if they go out and get a win on Wednesday.
The Mets play a day game against the Marlins Wednesday before heading out to Arizona. This week hasn't started as I had hoped - I'd really like for the Mets to go on a five-game winning streak right now. (I won't be able to watch Wednesday's game, but I'll try to write about it at night.)
Citi johnnymets.blogspot.com Player of the Game: Josh Willingham owns the Mets, and he certainly owned them Wednesday night. Willingham was 2-for-4, driving in all 5 Marlins runs, while scoring once. He's hitting over .300 against the Mets in his career.
You should know that there's a small "Heroes" addiction going on at the House Sponsored by DirecTV, and Monday night sports viewing suffers as a result (as does blog writing). So a day late and a dollar short, a quick Monday recap. Chan Ho Park started (aaaaaaahhhh!) and made us think he would pitch well with 2-and-2-thirds very good innings, then giving up a 5-spot in the third (the defense didn't help him - so he's not 100% at fault - although he's at fault for not being very good). The Mets lost to Florida, 9-6.
DirecTV johnnymets.blogspot.com Player of the Game: I am going with what I heard Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez say at the end of the game - that Randy Messenger deserved a Player of the Game nod because he shut down the Mets after they attempted several rallies. So I'll give him that nod, because I don't have anyone better. Messenger pitched one inning, throwing just 6 pitches, and I guess he was the most effective pitcher of an ineffective evening for pitchers.
WHAT A STEAL!: Only a caught stealing by Jose Reyes on Tuesday (he did get his 17th stolen base on Monday night). The caught stealing (his 4th on the year) is worth explaining, though. Reyes was on third, Wright stole second, and Reyes tried to steal home. He was thrown out at the plate. This happened in the first inning of Tuesday's game, ending a Mets threat.
MONTHLY COUNT: April came to an end with the Mets at 15-9. Not bad, but considering the way the Mets lost a few of those, and the fact that a couple came at the hands of Washington, it could have been a much better month.
INJURIES: When last I wrote, I mentioned both Jose Valentin and Orlando Hernandez were being checked out in New York due to injuries. Well, both were placed on the DL Monday. Hernandez was replaced by Chan Ho Park for Monday's start, and Ruben Gotay took Valentin's roster spot. We have yet to see Gotay - Park can head back to New Orleans and stay there, as far as I'm concerned.
The Braves are also hurting, though - they had to place Bob Wickman on the DL.
AROUND THE MAJORS: The Cleveland Indians sent pitcher Fausto Carmona down to Triple-A, and I'm not sure why (I could read an article on it, but then I could no longer speculate). Carmona struggled the past year or so as a closer, and was absolutely awful in that role. This year, I've seen him start a couple of games. He shut down the Yankees at Yankee Stadium the day that they came all the way back down 6 with 2 outs in the ninth (not against Carmona), and most recently beat Baltimore on Sunday. Now that I look at his numbers, they're not bad, but they improved significantly after his last three very good outings...still, not sure why he was demoted. Maybe we'll keep an eye on that.
BEAT THE STREAK: Jose Reyes extended my season-long streak on Tuesday night to 8 games. I'm putting it on the line Wednesday in Colorado with Ray Durham - hitting more than .400 career against Rockies starter Jeff Francis.