Game 1: Giants 9, Mets 4
Oliver Perez's pitching line:
IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST GS 4.2 5 8 2 2 1 2 84-53 33Uhh, well certainly not good to be sure. Perez was pretty sharp early on, though he seemed to lack that putaway pitch that had led to so many strikeouts in his prior outings. He only walked the one batter, but things really fell apart for him in the fifth. The botched homerun call on Bengie Molina's flyball was hardly the biggest problem of the inning, and when you consider that those runs would likely have scored anyway I don't even see a reason to harp on it any longer. The two errors -- one each by Damion easley and Shawn Green -- were costly, as a mulligan on either one would have gotten Perez out of the inning in good shape. I don't blame Ollie for those gaffes, obviously, but you can tell that he still has a bit of a maturity problem. Two two-out errors would deflate any pitcher, but a more experienced player (see: Tom Glavine) would be able to keep his shit together long enough to limit the damage and get out of the inning. I'm not going to go on about how some pitchers just know how to "bear down" and "get the job done", but clearly Perez let his emotions get the best of him and he wasn't able to get the Mets out of that inning while limiting the damage to just a handful of runs.
From the "no help at all" department, Lino Urdaneta was probably confused when he saw his career ERA as low as 81.00, so he came in and did the only thing he knows how to do: stink up the joing big time. He coughed up a three-run bomb to Molina, who became just the third catcher in history and the second since 1950 to hit two homeruns in an inning, which is actually pretty remarkable when you think about it. It may not seem like such a big deal, but there have been 115 no-hitters since 1957 and just two times when a catcher has done what Molina did.
Be sure to check out the full recap with boxscore and Haiku at MetsGeek.
- Hitting: Jose Reyes, 8.6% WPA
- Pitching: Aaron Sele, 0.5% WPA
- Hitting: Carlos Beltran, -7.6% WPA
- Pitching: Oliver Perez, -32.0% WPA
Game 2: Mets 4, Giants 1
Tom Glavine's pitching line:
IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST GS 7.0 7 1 1 1 5 1 105-65 63What can you say? Another day, another great start by Tom Glavine. Glavine tucked his ERA just under the 3.00 mark for the season, and (as was pointed out often during the telecase) induced twelve groundball outs to just three of the airborn variety. We all know that groundball pitchers are de rigeur, and Glavine remarked in his post-game comments that his fastball featured more sinking action in this game than it had in recent memory. Whether this was a one-time occurence or whether Glavine can consistently keep the ball on the ground remains to be seen, but I am certainly hopeful that this old dog has learned a new trick.
Pedro Feliciano and Billy Wagner combined to pitch the final two perfect frames, striking out four batters in the process. Jose Reyes and David Wright -- bating 1-2 -- had two hits apiece, and Paul Lo Duca, who has been hitting much better of late, picked up three base knocks of his own. Remarkably, he has only three extra base hits -- two homeruns and a double -- in 102 at-bats through Wednesday's game. He was hardly a slugging machine last year, but he had a career-high 39 doubles to boost his SLG to a respectable .428, the highest since his career year of 2002 when he hit .320/.374/.543.
- Hitting: David Wright, 10.3% WPA
- Pitching: Tom Glavine, 28.0% WPA
- Hitting: Shawn Green, -6.0% WPA
- Pitching: none
John Maine's pitching line:
IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST GS 6.0 5 3 3 6 4 1 109-58 48Though I missed all of the game due to (a) having a real job and (b) MLB.tv's absurd blackout rules, I basked in Gameday's glorious depiction of Armando Benitez blowing a game that actually benefited the Mets. I'll occasionally lament Benitez's missed opportunities as a Met, but I don't bemoan his time with the team as others do. He had a handful of epic meltdowns, but I know that he was one of the few best relievers the Mets have ever had and his 1999 is still one of the two or three greatest relief seasons in the history of the sport. That said, Har Har! Benitez and Brad Hennessey got down on their knees and collectively blew a perfectly good start by Matt Morris, allowing three runs in the final two frames to hand the Mets the victory. I'm not complaining. The Mets' bullpen counterparts were terrific, as Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner allowed just one walk in three innings of relief of John Maine.
Maine was not great. He walked six (two intentionally) and allowed three earned runs. His control was a bit spotty for much of the game, but his pitching line would have looked a lot nicer if it weren't for the meatball he threw to Dave Roberts which was subsequently deposited into the right field stands for a two-run homerun. Maine *did* show that he was able to keep his team in the game despite not necessarily having his best stuff. You hear it a lot, but I definitely buy into it to a certain extent. As much as I look at strikeouts and walks (as well as groundball rates) as tangible barometers of success, there *are* intangible elements of this game. Quantifying them is often an exercise in futility, but denying their existence is foolish. Equally foolish is the argument that said intangible qualities can replace tangible value; they can't. They can augment actual talent, and usually the great players do just that. I'm not anointing Maine as a great player, but certainly a propensity for going out there and adapting to lackluster stuff to find a different way to get batters out is something I enjoy seeing.
- Hitting: Carlos Delgado, 23.4% WPA
- Pitching: Aaron Heilman, 11.0% WPA
- Hitting: Moises Alou, -11.6% WPA
- Pitching: John Maine, -7.6% WPA