Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mets Back Over .500, Murphy Shines Again

The Mets beat the Reds tonight by the score of 8-6 to move 1 game over .500 once again at 52-51.

This was probably the ugliest game the Mets have been involved in all year. Luckily for the Mets, it was the Reds defense that let Johnny Cueto down all night. Cueto lasted only 5+ innings today and gave up 6 runs. All 6 runs however were unearned as the Reds defense committed 3 errors behind him.

After the Mets jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to the Reds brutal defense, it looked as if John Niese would sail to his 10th win of the year. Niese cruised through the first 3 innings, allowing only 2 base runners on 1 hit. However, in the 4th, the Reds got to Niese for a run. With 2 outs, Chris Heisey lined an RBI single to LF, scoring Brandon Phillips from 2nd, cutting the lead to 4-1. Then after the Mets were retired in order in the Top half of the 5th, things quickly got out of hand for Niese. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Edgar Renteria lined a double down the RF line scoring 2 runs to cut the Mets lead to 4-3. Then the reigning NL MVP Joey Votto took Niese deep the other way over the LF wall to give the Reds a 5-4 lead. Niese was able to hang in there and retire the side and hold the Reds lead to a single run.

Just like last night, the Mets quickly rebounded from a deficit and regained the lead. After Jason Bay walked to lead off the 6th, Ronny Paulino reached safely on 3B Miguel Cairo's error, setting the table with runners on 2nd and 3rd for Jason Pridie. Pridie came through as he ripped a 2b down the RF line, scoring both Bay and Paulino to give the Mets a 1 run lead once again. The Mets tacked on 2 more runs in the 7th on RBI singles from Daniel Murphy and pinch hitter Angel Pagan to give the Mets an 8-5 lead.

After the Reds scored once in the 8th to cut the lead to 8-6, Terry Collins was forced to mix and match his bullpen due to Jason Isringhausen being unavailable. First up was Pedro Beato. Beato retired the lead-off hitter Edgar Renteria on a K, however, Joey Votto singled up the middle to bring the tying run to the plate with 1 out. Beato was able to get the next hitter Brandon Phillips to ground out to SS Jose Reyes who got the force out at 2nd, however, on Justin Turner's return through to 1st, the ball got past Daniel Murphy and sailed into the stands, allowing Phillips to move to 2nd. With 2 outs, Terry Collins decided to go to left-hander Tim Byrdak for a rematch with Jay Bruce. If you recall, Brydak came on last night to retire Bruce in a big spot, and he needed to do it again tonight. Brydak was up to the task as he struck out Bruce for the second consecutive night, and recorded his 3rd career Major League save.

Game Notes:
  • Carlos Beltran was 1-3, with 3 runs scored and reached base in his 32nd consecutive game.
  • David Wright was 2-5, with an RBI.
  • Daniel Murphy had 3 more hits (3-4), raising his average to .313 which is good for 5th in the NL.
  • Despite a rough outing, John Niese won his 10th game of the year, setting a new career high.
Another gutsy win by the Mets. This team has been resilient all year and has given its fan base something to watch despite being over 13 GB in the division. Daniel Murphy has simply been on fire and has proved that he belongs to play everyday on the big league level. The Mets and Reds will continue their 4 game series tomorrow night in Cincinnati. Game time is scheduled for 7:10 PM.