Yay, something to feel good about. There's nothing like the Twins' suspect offense to pull a team out of its schneid. The Mets finally put together a game in which they had consistent and timely hitting, solid (great, actually) starting pitching and a big enough lead that even their bullpen couldn't blow.
John Maine was terrific, allowing just four singles over 7.1 innings, one of which was actually an out ruled an infield single and another which was a fielding error on Carlos Delgado that was also ruled a single. Maine also only walked two batters which, while nothing super duper, is still better than the four free passes he would normally issue in a game like this. With his performance tonight, Maine lowered his ERA to 2.90, good for sixth in the league and bumping rotation mate Oliver Perez back to seventh (Tom Glavine is 41st and neither Orlando Hernandez nor Jorge Sosa have logged enough innings yet to qualify for the ERA title, though Sosa's 3.42 ERA would place him in the top twenty).
Most importantly, the Mets' bats finally woke up. It's just one game, and Carlos Silva gives up more hits than just about anybody, but it's nice to see some crooked numbers in the "H" column on the Mets' half of the boxscore. Here they are in all of their glory:
Lo Duca: 2
* Beltran hit pretty much every ball hard last night, and finally got one to fall in the eighth inning.
** Delgado was robbed by Jason Kubel in the fifth on a ball that would likely have been a two-run, two-out double.
*** That's Ricky Ledee, in case you were wondering.
One other note on Ledee: Gary and Ron spoke a bit about how Ledee was a big prospect coming up through the Yankees' system back in the late nineties, but that a convergence of circumstances -- not the least of which was Ledee's inability to hit consistently in the big leagues -- led him to part-time duties. Following his homerun in the eighth, Ron Darling literally said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that Ledee "has one of the smoothest left-handed swings in baseball". Take from that what you wish.
Jose Reyes stole his 38th base of the year and is on pace for more than ninety, which would be a Mets club record by about 35. He could break Roger Cedeno's mark (66) by the All Star break. Reyes also picked up his eighth intentional walk of the year, pushing his season total to forty. Though it speaks volumes about his improvement as a hitter overall, you can't really credit intentional walks to the plate discipline of the hitter. Rather, we look at unintentional walks, of which Reyes has 32 to this point. Extrapolated out to 162 games and we're looking at 80 unintentional walks, which is remarkable considering that he drew 47 unintentional walks in 2006 and just 27 in 2005. He is suffering through a stupendous power outage right now, but his isolated power (SLG - AVG), is a pretty solid .140, even if some of that is skewed by his eight triples.
Like my dad used to say, the Mets should have saved some of tonight's hits for tomorrow, when baserunners will likely be at a premium against Johan Santana. Santana has faced the Mets twice in his career, here and here, and it hasn't been pretty either time for the Mets. Santana has allowed just nine hits in thirteen innings, walking one and striking out seventeen (!) while allowing two earned runs and winning both ballgames. Good luck, boys!