Mets 10, Reds 9: Carlos Beltran Who?

The (official) post-Carlos Beltran era began with a bang on Thursday. This win gave Mets fans hope for the future even while Zack Wheeler packs his bags for the move and Johan Santana readies for his rehab start. At least, the offense looks like it will be able to keep putting runs on the board, particularly when playing in Cincinnati against a pitcher like Homer Bailey.

Lucas Duda put on a clinic, any way you look at it. He took a single the other way when he was pitched on the inside corner in the first inning. In the fourth inning, he cleared the bases by pulling a hanging curve into the outfield for a double. He also coaxed a walk to continue the long long fifth inning. The Ox is showing that he can handle major league pitching, and with his power and patience, he could be a legit corner outfielder for this team for a long time. Congratulations young man.

The running story line in the booth was that Chris Capuano was wild. But sometimes the Reds just beat him despite good location. Joey Votto drove in a run on an excellent inside pitch in the bottom of the first. Edgar Renteria may be a high ball pitcher, but he laced a single on a pitch that was three or four inches above the strike zone in the third inning.Todd Frazier hit a double off him in the fourth inning. The ball was up and away and out of the strike zone and Frazier went with it. Even when Homer Bailey got his single, the ball was up. Check the plots courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Capuanoboth_medium

Perhaps the problem was more that Capuano was sitting too high in the zone. Compare his start today with his start about a month ago against Oakland, and the differences are stark. Call it 'wild' or 'up' -- either way, it wasn't his best stuff. He mostly made it work, which is saying something against a strong Reds offense. If Manny Acosta had not come in and allowed a pinch-hit home run to Miguel Cairo in the sixth, he might have escaped the day with four runs in 5 1/3.

Oh that pitch from Acosta. Belt high with no movement. The box score lies when it says he only gave up one run because those were on him. Jose Arredondo, Sam LeCure and Aroldis Chapman throwing zeroes was enough to get jealous, but that sort of bullpen is best built when contending. At least Bobby Parnell was throwing 99 and the slider was working. Jason Isringhausen should probably have pitched around Joey Votto in the ninth (he homered), but Izzy is a stop-gap closer and gritted his way to closing the door in the end. Really, Capuano's work should have been enough with his offense going.

Speaking of offense, the toe tap seems to be working for David Wright. Three singles of his factored into all three major offensive rallies -- he either scored or plated a run with all three hits. The best news was that the hits also showed that he's driving the ball up the middle. His back seems fine, and ready to do some heavy lifting in the middle of the Mets' lineup. More good news.

Angel Pagan had another Angel Pagan game. He blew a catchable ball in center field early in the game, but recovered to make a nice catch in the same inning. Then he loaded the bases in the third with an expertly placed bunt. He also added an RBI single in the fifth inning. Pagan singled and then was caught stealing in the ninth.. except Brandon Phillips dropped the throw. And then Pagan ended up at third after a couple walks, and scored the all-important insurance run on a wild pitch. Speed kills, and this Angel is ready to shoot. Up and down, but in sum, it was a good game for him.

Some redemption for Pagan, and Jason Bay, would make for a rosier outlook in the future. Bay's two deep doubles to center field weren't home runs but they felt about as good. Even the whiff on a breaking ball on the outside corner doesn't dampen the goodwill he earned with this game. He even walked in the ninth. If he gets going again, on any level, this offense looks a lot better. Someone needs to clear the bases like he did in the fifth.

Ah, that fifth inning. Can we keep that on loop? Justin Turner singles. Daniel Murphy walks. David Wright singles. Angel Pagan singles. Jason Bay doubles to deep center, Lucas Duda walks. Of course, Josh Thole flies out, Chris Capuano bunts, and Jose Reyes lines out to center to wake us up. And yeah, the bullpen sucked. Let's keep dreaming about the future anyway.

Unintentionally sexy quote of the game: "Unless the Mets can do what they've been doing, and that's just pounding pitchers." -- Keith Hernandez

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Red Reporter Gamethread

Win Probability Added

Big winners: Lucas Duda  +24.6%, Angel Pagan +21.4%, David Wright +17.2%, Bobby Parnell +14.3%
Big losers: Chris Capuano -13%, Manny Acosta -10.3%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Lucas Duda doubled to right, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Angel Pagan scored, +24.2%
Teh sux0rest play: Miguel Cairo homered, Todd Frazier and Ramon Hernandez scored, -14.2%
Total pitcher WPA: -3.1%
Total batter WPA: +53.1%
GWRBI!: Angel Pagan scores on wild pitch with Willie Harris at the plate

Game Thread Roll Call

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

Num Name # of Posts
1 metseaglesknicks 167
2 NetsMets4Life 144
3 MetsFan4Decades 139
4 BurleighGrimes 138
5 freakystyley 95
6 astromets 89
7 Steve Schreiber 81
8 ScottfromPeekskill 78
9 Jonathan. 77
10 The real Julio from Paterson 68
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