(I’m not even gonna edit this…that was a damn long game…)
In the top of the 1st, Eric Young, Jr. lead off with a walk, stole 2nd then moved over to 3rd on Daniel Murphy‘s ground ball up the middle to shortstop Erik Aybar in the shift. David Wright then hit a shallow fly ball to Collin Cowgill in left. It took a perfect throw with the EYJ running and the lane given by catcher Chris Ianetta to throw the sliding Young out. And Cowgill ran off the field with that swagger on full display.
In the bottom half, leadoff hitter Collin Cowgill hit an infield single that induced an Omar Quintanilla high-throw to 1st baseman Ike Davis. He moved over on Mike Trout’s ground ball, then scored when Albert Pujols dunked it into left field off starter Jonathon Niese. Niese then got help from Q with a nice double play started.
In the top of the 2nd, Lucas Duda, on a 3-2 fastball, hit it to straight-away center to tie the game at 1 with 2 out.
Jonathon Niese seemed to settle in well, and was working nicely through the Angels lineup. The Mets squandered a nice chance in the 4th, and by the bottom of the 5th, Chris Ianetta unfortunately gave the Halos a 2-1 lead. The Mets went quietly in the top of the 6th, and in the bottom half, Cowgill hit a solo shot to make it 3-1 Angels, seemingly juiced to be playing the team that traded him for Kyle Johnson last year. Mike Trout the hustled out a double to a ball in front of Juan Lagares, but Niese was able to work around it to keep the damage at Cowgill.
Jared Weaver, who had not pitched effectively in his 2 starts coming into the night, had shown why he was struggling with the home run and more balls than strikes. He had settled down, though, and it seemed he would continue cruising when David Wright grounded out to Albert. The struggling Curtis Granderson, however. (who HARDLY played last year, let’s remember) worked out his 2nd walk of the night. Ike hit it the other way, but to Trout and the warning track. Duda, though, dunked a 2-out single to shallow left near the line, and Curtis was able to go 1st to 3rd. Juan Lagares continued his early clutch hitting, sending a single past a diving Erik Aybar in the hole. Curtis scored to make it 3-2 Halos, and Scioscia decided that was it for Weaver. Fernando Salas replaced him to face Anthony Recker with runners on 1st and 2nd. He got the count to 3-2 and was able to catch up to a slider offered. Recker made contact, dropping it right in front of a diving Mike Trout. The runners both scored as Lagares was running the whole way from 1st and had more time with the ball getting away from Trout, and the Mets took a 4-3 lead. Recker surprised everybody in the building by stealing his first ever base in the Major Leagues, but Q then struck out to end the inning.
The Mets, exhausted from the flight and having played 11 innings yesterday, needed Niese to give the bullpen rest and throw a zero up in the 7th after getting the lead. He walked Aybar, however, to open up the frame, never a good thing after you team put you in a position to take a W. Raul Ibanez came up, and ripped one down the 1st base line…right at Davis, who turned, caught the ball, and stepped on 1st for double play. Ianetta the dribbled it to Wright who had to make a bare-handed play and get the slow Chris easily.
Terry Collins left Niese in for the top of the 8th to face the left handed Kole Calhoun, then took him out to bring in Carlos Torres, who had pitched in the past 2 games. Scioscia then countered by pinch-hitting for Cowgill with the left-handed J.B. Shuck. Shuck grounded it up the middle with a ranging Daniel Murphy, who could not get the speedy runner. It was then Trout’s turn, who Carlos Torres got to ground out to Q at short. He dished it to Murph who turned and JUST got Trout on an almost-challenged call that clearly was out with today’s technology.
In the top of the 9th, Dane De La Rosa, fresh off the DL, walked Ike to start the inning, not exactly looking right with his arm. He got Lucas Duda to fly out to left-center, but could not get the locked-in Lagares, who singled hard in front of Trout. That was it for Dane, and Kevin Jepsen came in to face Recker, who was able to work out a walk to load the bases. It was quite entertaining seeing Number Zero Omar Quintanilla walk up with with all zeros in the statline. On the first pitch, he changed that and gave the Mets a 6-3 lead with an opposite field single over short. EYJ then got nicked by the pitch to load the bases once more. No action in the Halos bullpen, so it was up to Jepsen to get out of the inning. He got Murphy flailing at an inside breaking pitch for the 2nd out, and David Wright flying out to almost the wall in right to bring on the save situation.
Jose Valverde first faced Pujols, whom he had gotten out 11 times out of 11 in his career before number 12, a grounder to short. Howie Kendrick flew out to the Grandy Man, but then David Freese singled to center on his final strike. Valverde went 3-0 on Erick Aybar as the clock struck Midnight in manhattan. He walked him on 4-1, bringing up Raul Ibanez, inciting a Dan Warthen visit. Valverde seemed to lose the strike zone when he came inside to Raul on the first pitch thrown. The next pitch, as he likes to do, Raul tied the game at 6 apiece which was also his 2,000th hit. Scott Boras seems to be a huge Angels fan, because he went CRAZY in his seat behind home plate, where he ALWAYS is. Off to the extras again.
The Mets went quietly in the top half with Trout due a turn at bat in the bottom half. Scott Rice got the first two batters out, and Terry took his time figuring out whether he wanted the lefty to face the righty Mikey. He figured out he didn’t, and brought in Gonzalez Germen. Luckily, he got Trout to pop up to 2nd base to send the game into the 11th.
Juan Lagares opened the frame striking out against the new pitcher, another former Met Joe Smith, keeping that pace up against Anthony Recker. Q, however, was able to hit it up the middle, a ranging Kendrick unable to make up for shifting so far over on the right side for his 2nd hit of the night. That brought up Eric Young, Jr. who worked the count to 3-2 before chopping it foul and fouling it hard off his foot. He then took a knee-high slider to send them to the bottom half of the frame.
Q flashing the defense that made him famous last year, throwing out Pujols on a backhand ranger in the hole for the 1st out. Howie Kendrick then grounded out to 3rd, and it was time to get Freese out this time. And he did. On a swinging strikeout. Germenified.
Matt Shoemaker too over for the halos as a Mets rally monkey was showed on screen. Murph led off with a line out to the opposite field of left-center, bringing up the Wright Stuff. He grounded out to 3rd, but Curtis, who’s been struggling to get hits but has been walking, finally got his first single as a Met with a slow grounder to Freese. Grandy almost got picked off on the 2nd throw over before Ike’s AB, but it was all alright. They were holding him real close with a 3rd throw over before Ike took two in a row outside. It went 3-0 on a curve inside, but Shoemaker was able to get a strike on the low outside part of the plate. Ike then took it outside and was on with a walk to bring up The Duda. Almost forgot that home run was the same game. It was yesterday, though. We all want him to duplicate it, or at least take it the other way for a double. The count ran 2-2 on two balls inside with 2 strikes sandwiched in (uhhhh…..) A low ball got the count to 3-2, all the runners of course going. Lucas fouled it off to the 3rd base side softly to keep the count full. Another foul, this one on the 1st base side. And yet another foul…Boras is no longer there behind home plate…the pitcher fakes to 2nd…Pujols then dives for a ball hit down the line, but it’s foul…the pitching coach then heads out with the catcher and the 2nd baseman. Making Duda wait a while…and ended up walking him to load the bases. 2 out. Lagares. Bases loaded. Scioscia not budging. It’s the shoemaker’s mess to mend. Lagares swings at the first pitch, a breaking ball to the outside. Lagares goes across the plate again a catches a piece, fouling it off to run the count quickly to 0-2. Gets jammed and fouls it off. Can he get yet another big hit? Come on, Juan!!! Come onnnnn!!!! The pitch is just outside for a 1-2 count. Ianetta frames it. no dice. Come on. Lagares spoils the strike. 1-2. Ball outside. 2-2. Juan takes a deep breath. Steps back in. And swings at the change up to end the frame. Real pissed off at himself as he removes his helmet and walks up the line. To the bottom half. Clearly this is the part in my writing that I become delirious.
Well, after a failed chance to take the lead, John Lannan arrives to see if he can give them length. He should be looking at this like a start if he’s had a hard time transitioning. He will first face Erick Aybar. I have reached my birth time of 1:09am ET…
At 1:10pm ET, Lannan throws a strike 1 to Aybar. Ibanez on deck. Aybar swings at the next offering for strike 2. Ball 1. Foul. Another foul. Ball 2, inside. Aybar foul into the seats down the 3rd base line. On the last pitch of the AB, Lannan has to field it himself to the 3rd base side of the mound and get Aybar at 1st for the 1st out. Ibanez up. Low, ball 1. High, ball 2. Don’t be scared. breaking ball over for strike 1. Foul off for strike 2. breaking pitch across the plate, swung on and grounded to short for out 2. Ianetta up. Breaking ball in for strike 1. up and outside ball 1. Ground ball to 2nd, out of the inning. Onto 13.
Anthony Recker leads off the top half and we all want Recker to Reck one. AND GONE!!!!!!!!!!! 7-6 Mets. And on the next pitch, Q gets his 3rd consecutive hit with a single. Young then dragged a bunt over to 1st, getting Q to 2nd. Murph up, a Let’s. Go. Mets. Chant up. Lannan needs to be his own closer. “Scoreless inning could save his season, couldn’t it?” Ronnie Darling says. Let’s get more runs, I say. Murphy swings through for a 2nd strike. Little tapper that kicks foul, Murph running the whole way just in case it kicked back fair. 2-2 count. Murph has a defensive cut to stay alive. Now, I’m just stealing lines from Gary Cohen. What a pitch inside, Murph JUST got out of the way. That was CLASSIC. I hope to see video of that later. 3-2 count. And unfortunately struck out on the breaking pitch. Unfortunately, bad night for Murph. 0-7 with 3 strikeouts. David Wright needs to pad this lead. Please. Strike 1. Ball gets away on the breaking ball outside that gets Q to 3rd. David hits it in the air to center field, in comes Trout, and that retires the side. Time to keep this one this time.
Alright, time for Lannan to lock this down. Kole Calhoun up first. Strike 1, low-outside corner. Breaking pitch swung through, strike 2. 2011 words before this sentence. Ball outside away. Breaking pitch low and outside, 2-2. Breaking pitch, low and outside, laid off, 3-2. Swung on, jammed, pop out to short. 1 out. J.B. Shuck up. Mike Trout on deck. Low and outside, 1-0. strike, breaking pitch inside, 1-1. Grounder to 2nd, 2 out. Time to win this ball game. Get through Trout. Kid with the trout fish hat. first pitch low and inside, ball 1. trailing inside, ball 2. Strike 1 over the plate. 3-1 count on ball up and outside. Strike over the plate looking. 3-2 count. pulled down foul line, 3-2 count again. TROUT ROCKETS IT TO 1ST BUT IKE SNARES IT!!! PUT IT IN THE BOOKS!!!
I’m gone, peace.
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