Saturday, July 9, 2011

Double D'Oh!: Mets Fall To Giants 3-1

Nick Evans grounded out to third before Ronny Paulino struck out against Javier Lopez in the top of the 9th with the Mets trailing 3 to 1. As Ruben Tejada stepped up to the plate, last night's hero Scott Hairston patiently awaited on deck looking for lightning to strike twice. After falling behind 0-2, Tejada drew a walk in a very telling at bat. Scott Hairston came up to the plate once again in the 9th...

and struck out on 3 pitches.

The New York Mets failed to crack Tim Lincecum and the Giants' bullpen tonight as they fell 3-1. The Mets were able to jump on Lincecum early in the first inning as Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy hit consecutive 2 out doubles to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead heading into the bottom half of the frame. Chris Capuano, who hadn't allowed a first inning run all year, quickly allowed a lead off single to Aaron Rownd before inducing a ground ball which should have been a tailor made double play. A misplay at first by Lucas Duda cost the Mets the play which quickly cost them as Pablo Sandoval smoked a double down the left field line to give the Giants 2nd and 3rd with one out. Capuano would walk Pat Burrell before inducing what should have been another double play--but that too was misplayed which allowed the go-ahead run to score. That would turn out to be all the Giants would need despite tacking on a run later in the game.

Chris Capuano(8-8, 4.12 ERA) pitched 6 innings while allowing 2 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks and struck out 5. For Capuano it marked a solid conclusion to a first half in which not many expected him to come out of healthy. Capuano has been a rock in the rotation this year, some even naming him the most consistent starter. Capuano was damaged by poor defense and the walk tonight but pitched far better than his line indicates, escpaing trouble whenever it was presented.

Bobby Parnell came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th but had difficulty locating his slider and ended up allowing 1 run on 2 hits. Tim Byrdak pitched a scoreless 9th to lower his ERA to 3.91.

Angel Pagan and Justin Turner struggled atop the Mets lineup tonight, going a combined 1-8 with Turner recording a 2 out double. Prior to tonight Pagan had been hitting .301 since returning from the disabled list in May. Carlos Beltran reached base 3 times on a double and 2 walks and continues to remain consistent in the middle of the lineup.

The loss today means the Mets fall to 4-2 on the road trip and 7 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the wild card chase. The Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Braves this afternoon so the Mets maintained their standings in the National League East, 10 games behind. Even with the loss, the Mets perhaps had more moral victories than the past 3 seasons combined with news that David Wright would play a simulated game on Monday, Ike Davis ran pain free and Jose Reyes worked out without pain.

Only 3 weeks from the trading deadline the Mets remain on the brink of contention with 3 premier talents in the on deck circle to return. Sandy Alderson will face tough decisions, but the Mets will need to continue to win to make the decisions tough. Heading into the All Star break with a win tomorrow against Matt Cain would certainly be reassuring.