Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Post Game: Mets Walk Away With Victory 2-1

The New York Mets (9-8) defeated the Miami Marlins (7-9) behind a gem from Johan Santana and 4 consecutive walks in the 8th inning to snap a 2 game losing streak.

Johan Santana (ND, 3.00 ERA) showed that he still has a flare of dominance left in him, bouncing back from the worst outing of his career to throw gem. Santana went 6 2/3 innings and had only allowed 1 hit into the 7th, but was the victim of a poor defensive effort when Mike Baxter, Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole did their best Three Stooges impression to allow Giancarlo Stanton to score from 1st on a ball that bounced off the left field wall. Santana's 11 strikeouts were a result of changing speeds often and keeping the ball down in the zone, furthermore proving that his inability to hit 95 MPH isn't going to be a big factor heading forward.

On a night when Jose Reyes made his return to Citi Field, the Mets were able to show that they're able to win without their former All-Star shortstop manning the leadoff spot. In fact, the Mets were able to do something in the 8th inning that many cited as a main reason for Jose Reyes' departure: The inability to get on base at a high rate.

After Lucas Duda walked with 2 outs, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen ended Josh Johnson's night to bring in Randy Choate to try to finish off Ike Davis. However, Terry Collins made the bold move to pull Ike Davis in favor for Justin Turner, who was able to draw a walk. Following a 4 pitch walk to Scott Hairston, Josh Thole drew the 4th consecutive walk of the inning to bring the score to an even 1-1, officially removing Santana from the hook. The Mets would eventually go up 2-1 after Lucas Duda lined an infield single off of Edward Mujica to drive in Kirk Nieuwenhuis. 

The Mets will look to take game 2 of the series tomorrow night at 7:10 PM ET as R.A Dickey takes the bump coming off of a terrible outing in Atlanta. If Santana sets the trend for starting pitching as he had in his previous turns, there won't be much to worry about.

Boiling Points:
  • David Wright was unable to pass Darryl Strawberry's all-time RBI record despite recording a single tonight. 
  • Slowly but surely Lucas Duda has been creeping up his batting average. Sulking at .174 on April 24th, Duda has recorded 10 hits over the last 10 games to bring his average up to .228 
  • Jason Bay was seen consoling Ike Davis in the dugout after he was pulled for a pinch hitter for the first time in his career. Davis' struggles continued into tonight, striking out in one of his plate appearances.
  • Jon Rauch remained perfect on the year, tossing a scoreless 8th inning to keep the game in the Mets favor heading into the bottom of the frame.
  • Frank Francisco recorded his 4th save of the year and bounced back nicely from 2 consecutive poor outings. Francisco noted in a post game interview that he knew he needed to bounce back tonight and did so convincingly, painting the corners to get ahead in the count before inducing outs.