Big Eunuch: Mets 9, Giants 6

Johan Santana was not at his best today -- nor, it should be said, was the defense -- but the Mets' offense continued to pound Giants pitching en route to a 9-6 victory and assured themselves of a series win in San Francisco with the fourth and final game tomorrow night. Santana allowed eleven hits -- some dinks, some hit hard -- but walked none and struck out seven over seven frames. His ERA ballooned to 1.36; embarrassing, I know. Despite all of the hits, Santana's swinging strike rate was 17.8% (18 of 101), which is terrific, so the six runs allowed (four earned) are an anomaly.

Gary Sheffield picked up a walk and three more hits and is now -- amazingly -- hitting .270/.410/.460, which is far better than any of us could have expected of him. He has eleven hits in his last 22 at-bats and seems to have turned his season around with more regular playing time. He's still painful to watch in the field.

While Sheffield's playing time has increased, Daniel Murphy has been relegated to part-time and pinch-hitting duties. Part of his problem may be that he has been too good at pinch-hitting, perhaps convincing Jerry Manuel that he is too valuable in that role to "waste" him as an everyday player. This logic is absurd, of course, but Manuel loves specious reasoning almost as much as he loves emo glasses.

We can rag on Manuel all we want for playing Alex Cora instead of Jose Reyes; I have no idea of Reyes's calf is really bothering him or if he continues to be benched for dramatic effect. Whatever the reason, I'll play devil's advocate for a moment here. Cora holds a substantial lead in wOBA (.395 vs .356). I don't necessarily expect that to continue, but you can make a reasonable argument that the Mets haven't been worse off -- and may in fact may have been better off -- with Cora in there instead of Reyes these past few days. If Reyes emerges from his time off with a little more grission in his step, well, all the better.

The series finale against the Giants is 8pm Sunday on ESPN.

Swag Contest

Swag contest results can be found here and the next game's swag form already available. You can read more about the swag contest here.

SB Nation Coverage

* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* McCovey Chronicles Gamethread

Win Probability Added

Big winners: Carlos Beltran, +22.3% WPA, Gary Sheffield, +14.9% WPA
Big losers: Johan Santana, -20.4% WPA, Fernando Tatis, -5.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wright two-run double in fifth, +10.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Rowand two-run single in fourth, -13.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -1.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: +51.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Ramon Castro

Game Thread Roll Call

Nice job by MetsGeek; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

Num Name # of Posts
1 MetsGeek 97
2 squid92 95
3 Greenpoint Ian 81
4 DevonEdwards 79
5 All Shook Down 67
6 jasondg 59
7 Prince 56
8 njmetfan12 55
9 JADDENHOPKINS 55
10 Gina 52
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