From the day the Mets added Francisco Rodriguez to be the clubs closer on December 9, 2008, fans have often dreamt of the scenario where Johan Santana pitches 8 shutout innings followed by K Rod finishing off the victory with a save. Last night was pretty darn close as Santana hurled 7-1/3 solid 5 hit innings before giving way to K-Rod with one out in the 8th. The big $$ righty closer responded with a 1 walk 5 out save helping the Mets split the 1st 2 games of this series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philly.
While Santana tantalized Mets fans by going the first 5- 2/3 without allowing a hit before Placido Polanco followed Raul Ibanez reaching 1st on a strikeout wild pitch, Jeff Francoeur came through with an opposite field Home Run leading off the 7th for all of the runs that would be scored in the game.
Mets fans will get their 1st 2010 look at Fernando Martinez on Sunday as he'll play LF and bat 6th in his 2010 debut following his Saturday promotion form AAA Buffalo.
RA Dickey will take his knuckleballs to the mound facing Roy "Doc" Halladay in Sunday's rubber match.
In Miami, the St. Louis Cardinals battled back twice to take leads over the Marlins only to see the manager stick with closer Ryan Franklin for the 10th inning after watching him allow a game tying HR in the 9th, only to see Hanley Ramirez drive in the walk off winning run on a double.
The blown save ruined another fine outing from newcomer Jake Westbrook, whose 7 innings of 6 hit 3 runs allowed with 9 K's performance deserved a better fate.
On a positive note C Yadier Molina contributed 3 hits with a clutch game tying RBI single in the 9th before being thrown out at home in a baserunning gaffe after Matt Holliday had scored the lead run on a Aaron Miles RBI single.
Jeff Suppan will face recent Marlins call up Sean West in Sunday's finale in Florida after which the Redbirds will head for Cincinnati and a big 3 game set starting Monday night against the Central leading Reds.
The Mantra doesn't change:
FIRE JERRY MANUEL !!
FIRE OMAR MINAYA !!!
LET'S GO METS !!!