Studious Metsimus hasn't been around too long, so unfortunately, there have been games that could not be recapped for this site. We are doing our best to provide thorough Mets coverage for our SMFs. Therefore, we will take advantage of today's off-day in the Mets' schedule and present you with the recap of the April 15 victory over the Padres. It will be written as if the game was just played tonight. Enjoy!
The Mets played their second game at Citi Field tonight, after dropping the home opener two nights ago by the score of 6-5. Tonight's result was far better than Monday's, as the Mets showed why they are one of the best hitting teams in baseball with excellent starting pitching to boot!
Oliver Perez showed why he was worth his three-year, $36 million deal by shutting down the Padres in his six innings of work, giving up only one run and three hits, while walking only two and striking out four. He needed only 90 pitches to get through his night, showing how far he's come as a pitcher. Who needs Derek Lowe when the Mets can send out Ollie every fifth day?
The big four of Reyes, Beltran, Delgado and Wright all contributed to the offensive explosion. The always-healthy foursome combined to reach base nine times (five hits, four walks) and gave the Padres all sorts of problems.
The scoring began in the fourth inning when the Mets loaded the bases with no outs for Beltran, who proceeded to line an RBI single to plate the first run and keep the bases loaded for Gary Sheffield. Sheff grounded into a double play, which scored the second run of the inning. Brian Schneider ended the inning with a weak groundout to the pitcher. Although the Mets did not do more damage after loading the bases with no outs, this should not be the norm in 2009, as this lineup will produce many crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
The Padres scored a run against Perez in the fifth inning, but Ollie was able to use his newfound maturity on the mound to get out of the inning without any other runs scoring.
The Mets still had their 2-1 lead when Bobby Parnell took over for Perez in the seventh inning. Parnell looked like the real deal by pitching a 1-2-3 inning. It appears he will be a force on the Mets' staff for many years to come.
Seven was indeed the lucky number for the Mets as they added two more runs in the seventh inning. The key moment of the inning came when Jose Reyes used his speed to manufacture a run. With Reyes on first and Castillo on third, Reyes showed why he will be one of the top basestealers again in 2009. He stole second on a ball that got away from catcher Nick Hundley. When Hundley threw the ball away trying to unsuccesfully throw out Castillo at the plate, Reyes raced all the way around the bases to score the second run of the play. The two-run passed ball/error gave the Mets a commanding 6-1 lead, but they were not done yet.
J.J. Putz continued to dazzle for the Mets by pitching a scoreless eighth inning. The acquisition of Putz continues to prove the genius of Omar Minaya, who took a chance on the reliever who was injured in 2008, but is now paying great dividends for the Mets in their restructured bullpen.
The final blow was added by Carlos Delgado in the bottom of the eighth inning. He launched a long solo home run into the Pepsi Porch to give the Mets a 7-1 lead. In the last year of his contract, Delgado is poised for a big year, as the 500 home run mark is also within his reach. Fans should flock to the Pepsi Porch all year whenever Delgado comes up to bat as he will most likely deposit many home runs there.
After Sean Green got out of the ninth inning, giving up a meaningless run, the Mets left with their first victory at Citi Field, a 7-2 decision over the San Diego Padres. With more games like tonight, the Mets should have plenty of these wins at home.
With the win, the Mets improved to 4-4 on the season. They remain in fourth place for the time being, but do not expect them to stay there very long.
The combination of outstanding pitching by Oliver Perez and the hitters' ability to score early and often will keep the Mets in contention for a division title and supremacy in the National League. The one-two lefty punch of Santana and Perez will make the Phillies cower in the batter's box, especially when they face them down the stretch in September.
Ah, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. For now, it's only April, but fear not, Mets fans. The best is surely yet to come!