Quick tip: If you ever get tired of being disappointed, just lower your expectations a notch or three. Heading into this weekend I had pretty much resigned myself to a sweep at the hands of the Yankees. Not a big deal, really. They're the defending World Series champions and are in just about every way a superior team to the Mets. Low expectations.
The Mets almost pulled out a win on Friday night, basically coming within an Alex Cora throwing error of stealing the game. Not that they played especially well, but I wasn't really expecting them to. The offense was basically useless and the bullpen was often a pitch away from unraveling entirely, but I was completely prepared for the worst. Low expectations.
Then the Mets *did* pull out a win on Saturday night, getting big games from Jason Bay (4-for-4), David Wright (2-for-4 with two RBI), and Angel Pagan (3-for-4 with two RBI). Mike Pelfrey killed it on the mound, allowing just one run on six hits and two walks in six innings, striking out five and getting ground balls in bunches.
The bullpen, on the other hand, was not so hot, allowing baserunners aplenty and barely managing to hold things together at the end. Jenrry Mejia allowed a walk and a hit in the seventh. Pedro Feliciano allowed hits to two batters and plunked a third, failing to record an out in the eighth. Fernando Nieve came in with the bases full of Yankees and struck out Jose Miranda before quickly getting ahead 0-2 on pinch-hitter Kevin Russo. Russo fouled the next pitch off and then took four straight balls to force home Future Batting Champ™ Robinson Cano with the second Yankee run.
Nieve gave way to Francisco Rodriguez, who coaxed a grounder out of Captain Fantastic which brought home Nick Swisher with run number three. Brett Gardner followed by grounding to David Wright to end the inning. The Yankees made things interesting in the ninth, putting runners on the corners with two outs before Francisco Cervelli whiffed to end the game.
Jeff Francoeur went 0-for-4 and is hitting .215/.274/.369. The Mets have three regulars -- Frenchy, Jose Reyes (.262) and Rod Barajas (.290, but slugging .553) -- with sub-.300 on-base percentages. Add in the pitcher's spot and you've got 44% of the lineup creating an out at least 70% of the time, which isn't part of any equation I know of that has "winning baseball games" to the right of the equal sign.
After the game the Mets demoted Manny Acosta -- not Jenrry Mejia as we had all been hoping -- to make room for Ryota Igarashi on the roster. Sunday's game is at 8:05pm on ESPN and pits $20 million lefties Johan Santana and CC Sabathia against one another. The Mets have already won one more game than I thought they would this weekend, so I can just sit back and enjoy this one. Low expectations.
Powered by Pelf, and too-maligned Wright
Mets fans, at Yanks' expense, enjoy Saturday night
Hits, though not yet homers, coming for Bay
And even Jose may have just found his way
So though Jerry insists on using his relievers
Like ballgames are dams, and his 'pen full of beavers
By the time K-Rod came through his second frame
It was easy to dream big from one single game
Big winners: Mike Pelfrey, +21.7% WPA, Francisco Rodriguez, +20.9% WPA
Big losers: Pedro Feliciano, -14.7% WPA, Jeff Francoeur, -6.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wright RBI single in first, +10.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Russo bases-loaded walk in eighth, -8.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +30.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: +19.3% WPA
GWRBI!: Alex Cora
Nice job by LOUtheMETandNATSfan; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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