Optimism at its Best?
When Sean Green entered in the bottom of the 6th inning from the bullpen with a runner on second, I thought of the worst possible thing that could've happened. Another blown win for our ace, Johan Santana. Edwin Encarnacion sent a screaming liner to the worst defender on the field, Daniel Murphy. He looked like Carlos Beltran on that play. Murphy snared the liner and Santana went on to win the ballgame. Green went 1 1/3 perfect innings while J.J. Putz walked a hitter in his inning of work. Let me tell you, when Putz was in there, I was scared. I guess that's what two years of horrific relief pitching does to you. Francisco Rodriguez (I don't like calling him K-Rod or Frankie, but I'll only use K-Rod on this blog) notched down his first save in a Mets uniform by pitching a dominant 9th inning. While stats show the Mets bullpen did a fine job, it seemed the Reds relievers did an even better job. It seemed like they set down the Mets hitters with ease, while the Reds took every pitch possible. Now I may seem like I'm complaining, but I guess thats how a Mets fan feels. My brother shared this same opinion with me.
While I missed the top half of the first inning (I was updating most of it on my phone), I caught some of the bottom half of the inning in my car. Wright struck out with a runner on 3rd with less than two out, and that's a spot where he needs to cash in. In my opinion, save his great play at third, Wright played like ceap yesterday. On the other hand, in the bottom of the 1st, Santana was struggling to find the zone. While he struck out the first two men, Jerry Hairston Jr. and some guy Darnell McDonald, he threw more than 30 pitches. After that, he settled in until his pitch count rose to the upper 90's and Manuel decided to relieve him with Sean Green. I think it was more of the fact that Edwin Encarnacion has had Santana's number. In five at-bats, Encarnacion had 4 hits, 2 being home runs, for an average of .800.
Green got out Encarnacion, albeit on a very scary line drive, and pitched a perfect seventh. Putz seemingly had trouble with his splitter in the 8th, but his fastball was pretty much unhittable. K-Rod shut the door perfectly in the 9th, squashing any Braden Looper comebacks for the Reds. Thank god Adam Dunn and Joe Randa are no longer members of this team...
As for the offense, 1 for 12 with RISP is inexcusable. Aaron Harang was all over the place, and I think the only thing that helped him only give up 1 run was the crappy weather. However, Daniel Murphy's epic at-bat in the fifth against Harang really put this kid as a force to be reckoned with, even though all Mets fans know it already. After falling behind 0-2, he worked it back to 3-2 fouling off pitches left and right. When Harang attempted to jam Murphy with a fastball, it came back over the plate and Murphy smashed it into the right-center field stands. He drove in the second run in the sixth with an RBI groundout.
I wanna talk about Wright for a minute. He had a 2-0 count yesterday and got a great pitch to hit. He fouled it off with the ball barely reaching the stands, just beyond the reach of Joey Votto. It seems he jams himself when he gets a good pitch to hit, and it looks like he steps in the bucket. I know this because when I played when I was younger my coach always told me to keep my foot out of the proverbial bucket. And I did. But to me, it seems Wright started this last year. I know he hit 33 homers and drove in 124, but it's something I've noticed.
W- Johan Santana (1-0) 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 1.59 ERA
L- Aaron Harang (0-1) 5.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1.80 ERA
S- Francisco Rodriguez (1) 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER , 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA