The Mets took the field yesterday afternoon with their unquestioned ace on the mound, Johan Santana. His task at hand? End the team’s four-game losing streak and get their season record back over .500, moving in the right direction. On a day that Santana didn’t have his best stuff, he was able to battle for seven strong innings and earn his first win since 2010.
It was clear that Johan wasn’t exactly hitting his spots early on in the game, and the Mets went down 1-0 in the second inning after a Ryan Robertshome run to the Party City Deck out in left field. However, something happened in the fourth that Santana hasn’t seen
while he’s been on the mound since 2010…he saw the offense score him some plenty of runs! It was a four-run inning for New York to take the lead. Daniel Murphy singled as a part of his four-hit day, then Justin Turner did the same, followed by a Kirk Nieuwenhuis walk. Mike Nikeas supplied the clutch hit with a two-run single, then Andres Torres continued his hitting streak with a two-run base hit of his own.
After seeing the type of run support that he has most definitely been craving, Santana gave back two of the runs in the fifth inning, off a Paul Goldschmidt double. However, the Mets ace battled through seven innings and 108 pitches, leaving the contest with a lead intact. He surrendered 9 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, and struck out 5 hitters, but was able to keep Arizona at bay just long enough. On the flip side, the Met offense worked deep counts constantly against Patrick Corbin, who only lasted 3.1 innings and 83 pitches.
After Santana’s exit, Bobby Parnell entered in the eighth to act as the bridge to Francisco, and he did a fantastic job. He did give up a hit and with two outs in the inning, Kurt Gibson used left-hander Miguel Montero to pinch hit, calling Terry Collins’ bluff. With Tim Byrdak warming up in the ‘pen, it was Dan Warthen that paid a visit to Parnell, showing their confidence in the reliever. He then proceeded to strike out Montero, exciting the home crowd and ending the inning. Frank Francisco came on in the ninth to retire the side for his sixth save of the season, putting the Mets back over .500, at 14-13. Both Atlanta and Washington won yesterday, so the deficit in the NL East stayed at 4 games, whereas the Diamondbacks fell to 4.5 games back at 14-14.
Daniel Murphy’s bat continued to produce with a four-hit game, and three of those four hits coming off of left-handed pitching. However, the biggest blows came off the bats of Mike Nickeas and Andres Torres. With Josh Thole sitting a day game after a night game, Nickeas proved that his work in the offseason on his hitting is actually paying off. Also, Torres stays hot with another hit and two RBI, and it finally led to a Mets win.
The biggest storyline from this game was Bobby Parnell’s eighth inning. He has not gotten an official title as to what his role is in the bullpen is, but it’s obvious that his role is becoming increasingly important. We can now see the growth of Parnell and how much Collins and Warthen believe in him by leaving him in to pitch to Miguel Montero with the tying run on base. That’s one of those times where the manager takes the training wheels off and sees if he can ride by himself, and Parnell passed the test with flying colors.
Probable Pitchers today:
R.A. Dickey takes the mound in the rubber game of this series to try and right the ship totally for the Mets and take this series before they head into the rest of the week with tough divisional match-ups against the Phillies and Marlins. The D-backs will counter with Trevor Cahill. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.