Barajas: Do it again.
Francoeur: Just me, David Wright, taking a nice stroll after I hit a 500 foot homerun. OH CRAP IT HIT THE WALL!!
Wright: Yea, like you strolled into the corner on that Jorge Cantu ground rule double that was nearly an inside-the-park homerun?
Francoeur: NOBODY CARES ABOUT DEFENSE. It's all about hitting dingers and looking pretty. Right, Jake??
Francoeur: Hey, Ruben, want me to autograph your first-hit ball?
Barajas: Do it again.
gave their fans more reasons for optimism today. Mike Pelfrey
pitched OK, surrendering just two runs on an Ian Desmond
triple that Jason Bay
nearly caught. A 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio is never good, but four strikeouts is more encouraging than four walks is discouraging, especially with Adam Dunn
accounting for two of the walks. Most notably for Pelf, the split-fingered changeup looked good, embarrassing Josh Willingham
early on a strikeout. Looking at the pitch f/x data, it's hard to tell exactly how many splitters he threw, but overall, the control seemed good, the movement seemed inconsistent and the two swinging strikes were very encouraging. The new changeup ran in on righties almost exactly like his two-seamer, with significantly more vertical drop. Having Tejada and Cora up-the-middle also helped Pelfrey on a few memorable occasions. Overall, it was an encouraging outing and you have to admire Mike's willingness to reinvent himself again.
On the other side of the ball, the Nationals
pitching desperately tried to let the Mets win. The Nationals' diamond in the rough, Garrett Mock
, was mostly all rough. He threw two filthy curveballs to strikeout David Wright and Jason Bay in succession, then proceeded to walk Mike Jacobs
on four straight fastballs. That seems like a nice microcosm for Mock's career.
Mock, however, left the game tied. The Nationals then demonstrated their renewed commitment to excellence by bringing in Miguel Batista
, Jason Bergmann
, Jesse English
and Tyler Walker--four pitchers on my shortlist of people I want to see from the other team in a close game.
The offense was lead by Jeff Francoeur
and Rod Barjas who notched their 7th and 8th career multi-homer games, respectively. My Boy™ Francoeur has looked pretty good, so far. The mechanical improvements he made after coming to the Mets last season are still there--he has great plate coverage and his bat gets through the zone incredibly quickly. I am not going to make any irresponsible statements about his plate discipline, yet, but my threshold for an irresponsible jersey purchase will be tested in the coming months. It took until July 2007 for me to buy Oliver Perez, how long do I hold out for Frenchy?
Unsurprisingly, the bullpen has showed more signs of being a team strength. My other boy, Nieve, is still on pace to pitch 162 games and Mejia and Takahashi looked much better.
Finally, congratulations to Ruben Tejada
on his first career hit and beautifully smooth defense at shortstop. Sadly, the Mets chose not to DL Castillo after the game, keeping the Tejada-Reyes infield the stuff of dreams.
SB Nation Coverage
* Traditional Recap
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Federal Baseball Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Rod Barajas +28.5%, Mike Pelfrey +11.3%
Big losers: Alex Cora -8.7%, Mike Jacobs (percentage irrelevant)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Rod Barjas homer off Batista +17.2%
Teh sux0rest play: Ian Desmond triple -20.4%
Total pitcher WPA: +23.1%
Total batter WPA: +26.9%
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by BringBackBobby; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.