Well, the ending of this game wasn’t all but pretty, but the most important part is it resulted in a win for the New York Mets. Coming in losers of three straight, the Amazins turned to Mike Pelfrey to stop the bleeding against the Giants. He responded with his best start of the year (8 IP, 6 hits, 1 BB, 1 R, 3 Ks); however, it was what happened after he exited that has everyone talking.
Pelfrey threw 102 pitches in his eight innings of work, pitching to contact most of the day, and doing so effectively; outside of the 4th inning, San Francisco couldn’t get a runner to second base while the right-hander was on the mound. Frank Franciscofollowed Big
Pelf in an effort to shut the door in the 9th, but only retired one of four hitters he faced and was charged with the three runs that scored. Tim Brydak come on and struck out Hector Sanchez, then Jon Rauch kept his ERA at 0.00 despite allowing his inherited runners to score and being charged with the blown save. If Kirk Nieuwenhuis didn’t overrun a fly ball induced by Rauch, the game would have been over, but the young outfielder said to reporters at his locker later that he flat out misplayed it.
Clay Hensley came on in the bottom of the 9th, trying to send the game into extras for the second straight day, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Lucas Duda led the inning off with a walk, and after he was subbed out for Scott Hairston, Josh Thole bunted him over into scoring position. Ruben Tejada walked, and Justin Turner hit into a fielder’s choice (thanks to the inexperience of Aubrey Huff playing second base for the first time ever), bringing up Captain Kirk with a chance to make up for his big mistake in the top of the inning. Nieuwenhuis grounded the ball down the first base line, which was fielded by Brandon Belt, throwing home to get the force, but thanks to Hairston sliding into home and clipping Buster Posey‘s foot, the return throw to first went into right field, allowing Tejada to easily score the winning run.
Tejada carried the bulk of the offense thanks to his three RBI, David Wright‘s streak of reaching base twice a game is over, but Daniel Murphy continued his hot hitting with three more base hits. The biggest positive on the day was Mike Pelfrey’s dominant performance; with each of his three starts this year, he has progressively gotten better, continuing to build his confidence as the calendar prepares to flip to May. The biggest concern? The ineffectiveness of Frank Francisco. After he saved the first three games of the year, Mets fans thought they had their closer, but now there is some question. No matter how ugly it looked at the end, New York’s losing streak is history and they’re now sitting at 8-6, three games behind the first place Nationals.
Probable Pitchers tomorrow:
Dillion Gee takes the mound for the Mets, as they look to take the upper hand in this series. The Giants will counter with their ace, Tim Lincecum, who is looking to bounce back from his 0-2, 10.54 ERA start to 2012. The two teams square off tomorrow afternoon at 1:10pm.