Mets Rumors & News
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When the Mets welcomed the Astros to Shea for a four-game set they were two-and-a-half games ahead of Philadelphia. After splitting the series (and only going 2-5 against Houston this season), their lead has slipped to a half game. I like watching Ty Wigginton and Darin Erstad play, but I think I’m getting tired of seeing the Astros. It seemed like this series lasted two weeks. Here’s what happened.

Friday, Mets 3-0: Aces Duel in Queens

Roy Oswalt pitched an eight-inning complete game. After giving up three runs in the first two innings, he set down the last 20 batters he faced. The only problem for him was Johan Santana. The Mets lefty tossed seven shutout innings, striking out five and walking one. Santana threw a career-high 121 pitches and begged and pleaded to go back out in the seventh. “I’d pay to watch those two guys match up,” said a fan who snuck into Shea. The bullpen came through again. Aaron Heilman pitched a one-two-three eighth, and Luis Ayala picked up his first Mets save with a one-two-three ninth. I wouldn’t be surprised if he assumes the closer role. Ryan Church returned to a standing ovation and went one for three. David Wright drove in Jose Reyes in the first inning for about the 120th time this season. Another Reyes-Wright run―should they trademark that? And in the second inning, Brian Schneider blasted a two-run homer. It was his third long ball in his last five starts. If he keeps this up they’re going to have to re-release his autobiography, Hot Buttered Soul: The Brian Schneider Story.

Saturday, Astros 8-3: The John Maine Situation

John Maine had his liveliest fastball since coming off the DL, but it didn’t help as he got completely hammered. Eight runs and 10 hits in 5.2 innings is pretty darn ugly. Things were so bad that even David Newhan hit a home run off him. It was revealed after the game that he has a bone spur in his right shoulder to go along with his rotator cuff problems. What’s next? Leprosy? You have to tip your hat to Maine for trying to gut out the rest of the year, but now it looks like his season may be over. Maybe Michael Strahan will come out of retirement and take his place in the rotation. Brian Schneider hit yet another two-run homer. Release that autobiography. David Wright’s defense has just been unbelievable the last month. He looked like Brooks Robinson in this game. And Luis Castillo decided not to activate himself. Even he knows his lackadaisical play and surly attittude will hurt the team (he was activated on Monday, though, when Maine went on the DL).

Sunday, Astros 6-4: The Wrong Combination

The performance of the bullpen, the offense and the starting pitching added up to a day of mediocrity. Aaron Heilman faced two batters and threw four pitches in the seventh inning. Both got hits and the tying run came around to score. Pedro Feliciano gave up two home runs in the 10th. Game over. Oliver Perez was not at his best (6.1 innings pitched, four runs, eight K’s, four hits), but the rest of the bullpen did their jobs. The offense struggled again, with the exception of Carlos Beltran, who smashed two homers. They scored in the first inning again, though. The Mets have now scored more first-inning runs than every team combined in the history of baseball. It’s the other eight innings that are the problem. Not much to say about this game. Let’s just move on.

Monday, Mets 9-1: Pelfrey Does It Again 

Mike Pelfrey threw his second complete game in a row. It’s the first time a Mets pitcher had consecutive complete game victories in 13 years (Bret Saberhagen). Pelfrey completely dominated the Astros, scattering six hits and only giving up a run with two outs in the ninth. He struck out six without walking anybody on 108 pitches. With Maine on the DL, the plans to cut back Pelfrey’s workload have gone out the window. Now complete games aren’t enough; they’re making him drive the bus to Philadelphia too. He can make everything look so easy on the mound. I think he’s figured out this major league thing. By the way, Carlos Delgado belted two three-run homers. Comeback Player of the Year, anybody? He’s up to 28 home runs and 90 RBIs. And Jose Reyes lined another one of his signature triples, driving in two runs. One last note: With all the ups and downs of the bullpen and the offense, the team defense has been phenomenal the past 30+ games―diving catches, acrobatic double plays, you name it.

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