When Francisco Rodriguez blew a save in the 20-inning marathon, his teammates picked him up and the Mets eventually won the game. When he allowed a game-tying home run to no-name scrub John Bowker in the 9th inning on Friday, his batterymate God Barajas ended things in the bottom half of the frame with a walkoff homer. Alas, today there would be no pick-me-up. There would be no vulture win. Frankie gave up a tie-breaking two-run home run in the 9th to Rogearvin Bernadina, he of the career minor league line of .265/.350/.383. What's more, it came on an 88 mph fastball. Frankie's velocity was around 90 mph today, a far cry from the mid-90's "K-Rod" of just a couple seasons ago. Maybe he couldn't get loose in the cold weather. Maybe he's feeling the effects of a heavy workload this past weekend. Regardless, it's not a comforting sign for the man with the vesting option of doom.
Mike Pelfrey pitched better than his mediocre boxscore line indicates (5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K). That's a strikeout per inning, and he threw 119 pitches in his best attempt to preserve the bullpen a night after Jon Niese's short outing. The opposing pitcher, Craig Stammen, was his nemesis of the day. Stammen went 2-for-2 and drove in three runs. The amazing Bernadina accounted for the other run -- he hit a solo homer in the 4th, regressing Pelf's HR/FB% in the process.
Angel Pagan and Alex Cora were the hitting stars today, combining to go 4-for-9. Jose Reyes had a rough go of it, going 1-for-5, grounding into a crucial double play and making an error in the field. The double play came in the 7th inning on an 0-2 count when the game was tied. Jerry Manuel had ordered Reyes to bunt, but unfortunately Reyes couldn't get it down on two tries. It was a silly thing to call, but hey, that's Jerryball. Get on board with it or you'll be in Jerry's famous doghouse (featuring new resident Fernando Tatis, for some reason). Reyes deserves some blame for not executing the bunt, and also for a 5th inning baserunning blunder, but asking your three hitter to bunt in that spot is just dumb, dumb, dumb. Also, Jeff Francoeur went 0-for-4 today. His OPS is now .705. Take THAT, Moneyball!
The Mets are 0-6 in rubber games this season. This one would have been nice to have, especially after last night's uplifting win. It feels like that Sunday night game they lost to the Cardinals earlier this season, the day after winning the 20-inning game. Tomorrow starts an eight game road trip -- four with the Marlins, two with the Braves and two with the Nationals. Johan Santana and Josh Johnson battle tomorrow night in an ace-off at 7:10. I'll finish with one bit of good news, via David Lennon:
(Sung to "Mona Lisa")
Where'd you come from?
With your power bat
And oh-so-golden glove
Once a joker, mediocre
But no longer
Hit like Willingham
And dove like Willie H
Do you smile, when you crush us,
Don't you know that Mets fans all have broken hearts?
We brought dreams of a win to your doorstep
We were tied there
Then we died there
Are you warm, are you real, Bernadina?
Or just another Nat here to take our team apart
Big winners: Fernando Nieve +17.3%, Alex Cora +10.2%
Big losers: Francisco Rodriguez -41.3%, Mike Pelfrey -11.8%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jose Reyes double +15.6%
Teh sux0rest play: Rogearvin Bernadina home run -48.7%
Total pitcher WPA: -38.0%
Total batter WPA: -12.0%
GWRBI!: Rogearvin Bernadina
Nice job by freakystyley; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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