This game was an absolute slugfest. Chris Schwinden was making his MLB debut for New York in place of the injured Mike Pelfrey, Zach Lutz was getting his first start in the Bigs at first base (including his first career hit), and Scott Hairston was inserted into the lineup in left field. The offense exploded for nine runs on 17 hits last night, but it was the pitching and defense that let the rest of the team down, especially the 11-run, 4-error fifth inning.
Scott Hairstonwas the highlight for the Mets, becoming the 10th player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. He came in with only five hits all season before he nearly doubled that total with four base knocks last night. Everything was working out great for New York until the bottom of the fifth inning; they were just coming off a four-run inning of their own, building a 6-2 lead as Schwinden went out
for the bottom half, trying to qualify for the win. Unfortunately for him, the fifth inning ruined what would have been a successful debut. He ended up only pitching 4+ innings and gave up seven hits, six runs, one walk, no strikeouts, while serving up two home runs.
Manny Acosta came in to stop the bleeding, but it wasn’t in the cards for him last night either, as he retired only one batter out of the nine he faced, giving up seven earned runs and surrendering five hits and walking two. Miguel Batista bailed him out, getting the last two outs in what was one of the ugliest innings in recent memory for the Amazins. Even after that nightmare, New York battled back to score three more runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by Hairston completing the cycle with a double, but more errors plagued the Mets in the seventh, which led to a Ramon Hernandez grand slam, sealing their fate for the night.
To take some positives out of this ugly, ugly game, the offense built upon their ninth inning performance against the Marlins with nine runs and 17 hits. Obviously, it was highlighted by Scott Hairston’s cycle and four RBI, but Ruben Tejada busted out with four hits of his own, Lucas Duda added two hits and two RBI, while Mike Nickeas also put together a two-hit night. It must have been tough for Ike Davis to watch the offense hit like they did last night; all he wants to do is contribute, and on a night where the offense exploded, he was sitting on the bench watching instead of partaking in it.
After giving up four runs in three games during the sweep of the Marlins, the pitching staff was the talk of the team. Great starting pitching kept the Mets in the game through the sixth and seventh innings, then the bullpen was lights out, allowing New York to put a rally together and steal some wins. Even though the staff as a whole gave up 19 hits and 18 runs, only 12 were earned. The defense seems to be inconsistent at best, as we’re closing the first month of the season. The Mets team fielding percentage is ranked 25th in the MLB (.977), they’re tied for the fourth most errors (17), which have lead to 16 unearned runs. Obviously, last night atrocious performance contributed heavily towards these season totals, but pitching and defense need to be there for a this team. Now that Pelfrey is out for the year with Tommy John surgery, the Mets need to find someone that can stabilize the back end of their rotation. If New York continues to outperform their expectations, could Sandy Alderson entertain pursuing Roy Oswalt?
Probable Pitchers tonight:
The Mets will try to make last night a distant memory as they send Dillon Gee to the mound to face off against Guillermo Moscoso for the Rockies. Jeremy Guthrie was scheduled to start tonight at Coors Field, but he just went on the Disabled List after a freak bike accident. Gee is coming off his worst start of the year against the Giants, giving up seven runs and 12 hits in 6.2 innings. Tonight will be his first apperance against the Rockies in his 35 starts. Moscoso hasn’t exactly been burning up Triple-A before his promotion; his 1-3 record and 7.91 ERA speaks for itself. The two teams square off tonight at 8:10pm in Denver.