August 23, 2010
Tale of 2 Weekends ..METS...CARDS
A weekend that started in fine fashion for the New York Mets on Friday night as Mike Pelfrey(12-7) was able to pitch 8 solid innings, getting 7 runs of support over the first 4 innings keyed by a 2 run HR from rookie Chris Carter in handing the Pittsburgh Pirates a 7-2 loss ( their 82nd defeat of the season) and saw a rain shortened 5-1 complete game win from Jon Niese on Saturday, highlighted by David Wright's 5th inning 3 run homer(his 19th), culminated in yet another frustrating example of the saga that has been "Mets 2010" as Johan Santana(10-8) allowed 2 solo homers and for his 2nd start in a row hurled an 8 inning complete game road loss as the offense facing the Bucs' Zach Duke, went "back into the tank". After banging out 15 and 7 hits on Friday and Saturday respectively with a pair of home runs following hitting coach Howard Johnson's "tirade" directed at Mets hitters, Sunday saw the Mets offense exhibit the season long anemia that has plagued them by collecting just 6 hits(2 each from Jose Reyes and Ike Davis) as they tallied their only run in the first on a Carlos Beltran sacrifice fly that scored Reyes while Santana allowed solo homers to ex-Met Lastings Milledge in the 5th and Jose Tabata in the 7th to drop the 2nd of 4 complete game decisions he's recorded in2010(his last three starts have been complete games with just 1 win). The loss dropped the Mets back to the .500 mark on the season at 62-62.
David Wright posted a 5/11 weekend including his 3 run homer on Saturday and will hopefully use Monday's off day to gear up for a big 38 game finish to the 2010 season.
After the off day Monday, the Mets "welcome" Josh Johnson (11-5, 2.27) and the 62-61 Florida Marlins to Shea, oops Citi Field, for a 3 game set with RA Dickey(8-5, 2.41) set to face Johnson on Tuesday with both clubs struggling to remain alive in what seems to have Atlanta and the Bobby Cox Pity Party Braves destined to win the NL East race and the Phils and the Central division runner up battling for the NL's Wild Card berth.
Meanwhile in Cardinal Nation at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Friday, a heavy pre game storm made the start of the weekend series against the NL West challenging Giants appear ominous. Jake Westbrook was able to weave his way through 6 innings allowing only 3 runs (1 on a Panda Sandoval HR in the 3rd), but the Redbirds middle relief of Blake Hawkesworth and Mike McDougal combined to allow 3 more SF runs before St. Louis rallied to score 2 in the bottom of the eighth, one on Albert Pujols' 32nd HR as Madison Bumgarner worked 7 solid innings for the Giants and Brian Wilson earned his 35th save in a 6-3 Cards loss that dropped them 4-1/2 games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.
Saturday's pitching match up featured the 2 time Cy Young Award winner Tim "Little Timmie Hippie" Lincecum(11-8) against Redbirds co-ace Chris Carpenter (14-4). Newly acquired Cards 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz contributed 2 hits and 2 RBI after 2 hits in his Friday night St. Louis debut and bit player Randy Winn started the scoring with his 3rd homer and 12th RBi as a Cardinal (in 94 ABs) in the 4th as Carpenter worked 7-1/3 innings to collect his 14th win in the Cardinals 5-1 victory which, after the Reds late loss to Arizona, cut the NL Central deficit to 3-1/2 games.
Jaime (Hi May) Garcia the rookie lefty coming off of Tommy John surgery took the ball for Tony LaRussa on Sunday afternoon facing Giants veteran lefty Barry Zito as the Redbirds looked for some momentum heading into Monday's start of a huge 10 game road trip through NL doormats, Pittsburgh, Washington and Houston needing to gain some ground before returning Labor Day weekend for what the Cards hope will be a key 3 game series with the Reds of "Chili Town". The young rookie may have cemented some "Rookie of the Year" votes as he calmly and efficiently took a 3 run cushion given him by the Birds offense in the 3rd inning and proceeded to hurl a complete game, 89 pitch, 3 hit, 6 strikeout, no walks SHUTOUT! St. Louis got RBI from 7 players, including Allen Craig's 2nd HR of the season in the 4th en route to the 9-0 victory that produced an eerily calm on field group celebration that appeared to show a confidence befitting a TLR club that realizes the task ahead and expects to head on the road feeding off the positive finish to what could only be described as an embarrassing 3-5 home stand that saw 2 losses each to the lowly Cubs (in what unfortunately would prove to be the last uniformed visit to Busch by Cubs manager Lou Piniella) and the 59-65 Milwaukee Brewers.
Monday's opener in Pittsburgh will see Kyle Lohse(1-5, 6.79) attempt to "get it right" in his 2nd start since returning from the DL following his disastrous 3 IP, 7 ER, 2 HR allowed appearance last Sunday versus the Cubs at Busch. Ross Olendorf will provide the opposition for the Pirates(41-83) who come off their 2-1 win over the Mets on Sunday, while Adam Wainwright is scheduled to be on the bump in his quest for win number 18 on Tuesday against Paul Maholm.
While we're at it let's not forget Mets ownership MUST IMMEDIATELY:
FIRE JERRY MANUEL !! FIRE OMAR MINAYA!!
@ 62-62 .500 with 38 GAMES remaining ..METS FANS STILL BELIEVE!!
LET'S GO METS!!!