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Game Notes: Mets vs Pirates (05/03/2006 - 05/04/2006)

Game 1: Mets 4, Pirates 3

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When Pedro Martinez pitches like he did on Wednesday night you wonder how he ever loses.

 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR   PC-ST   GS
6.0   3   1   1   1   9   1   77-56   70
Of course, it never hurts to go against the Pirates, the lowest scoring team in the National League (3.8 runs per game). On a normal night, Pedro could have easily gone another couple of innings, considering he threw just 77 pitches through six innings of work. But the Mets have been overly cautious with Martinez this season, and the heavy rain and slippery playing surface posed problems for everyone on the field, and the team didn't want to take any chances with its most important player.

Once again, the Mets' hitters struggled against another inexperienced starting pitcher, this time Ian Snell. Inexperience doesn't necessarily imply ineptitude, but I would have thought that a veteran team like the Mets could have worked this guy over a little bit more, instead of relying on Endy Chavez to be the big bat in their lineup.

Still, Aaron Heilman handed a 3-1 lead over to Billy Wagner in the ninth, who proceeded to allow four baserunners and two runs to the aforementioned worst offense in the league. He won't blame the poor outing on the poor field condition, but given his long stride and the fact that he derives much of his power from his legs, I presume the uneven mound contributed somewhat to his spotty control. Although, five Pirates' relievers and three other Mets' relievers had no such problems with the mound, so . . .

Chad Bradford pitched two innings of one-hit ball to pick up his first win as Met. He has been very strong overall, but his lefty/righty splits are dramatic:

       AB   H    SO    BB     AVG    OBP    SLG
vs Lefty    10   4     3     0    .400   .400   .600
vs Righty   28   6     9     1    .214   .241   .214
Bradford hasn't been used exclusively as a ROOGY (Righty One Out GuY), so when you have a guy out there pitching complete innings it's nigh impossible to get the matchups right every time. Ten at bats is a pretty small sample, but Bradford has had extreme platoon splits throughout his career, so Willie Randolph would do well to keep this in mind later in the season when each at bat becomes more critical.

Game 2: Mets 6, Pirates 0

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What can you say about Tommy Glavine? The guy has just been a revelation this season, and while he's 4-2 on the season, he has certainly pitched well enough to be 6-1 at this point, with just one crummy start out of his first seven. Here's what he did last night against the Pirates:

IP   H      R  ER  BB  SO  HR   PC-ST  GS
7.0  3   0   0   1  10   0  107-67  80
He has actually been a little better than Pedro this year, and the two of them at the top of the rotation gives the Mets a true #1 and #1a, something no other team in the NL East can say, and not too many teams in all of baseball can boast. I don't exactly expect Glavine to pitch to a 1.94 ERA for the entire season, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility for him to keep the ERA around 3.00, which would be really outstanding. In reality, if Glavine finishes the season the way he has started it, I would have no problem at all bringing him back for another year or two after this one.

For the third consecutive night, the Mets' offense made a young pitcher look like an old pro. The Mets pounded out thirteen hits last night, but five of them came after starter Paul Maholm departed after the sixth inning. The Mets managed ten baserunners against Maholm but just one run; they had five baseruners (one by error) against reliever Salomon Torres and wound up scoring five of their six runs in the seventh inning.

Duaner Sanchez pitched yet-another scoreless inning, and a revitalized Jorge Julio allowed just a walk in the ninth while striking out the side.

It may be time to start worrying about Cliff Floyd, who is having a season very reminiscent of Jeremy Burnitz' horribly craptastic 2002 in which he batted .215/.311/.365 for the Mets. Through 92 at bats, Floyd is hitting a pedestrian .185/.260/.283, and, incomprehensibly, seems to actually be getting worse as the season wears on. His timing has been off, but he has been hitting the ball hard a lot. Still, even if a good number of those hard-hit balls fell in he'd be batting, what, .230? The Mets can somewhat afford a slumping Floyd since they have a lot of production throughout the rest of their lineup, but I'm sure Cliffy is putting a lot of pressure on himself to perform and that's probably only adding to his struggles.

For whatever good and bad came out of this series, the Mets did exactly what they had to: beat up on a bottomdweller.