After a day of drama, the Mets won for the first time since last Tuesday. Mike Pelfrey threw 7.2 innings, holding a recently hot Braves offense to just two runs. Pelf induced 13 groundball outs and was the beneficiary of three double plays, all involving Jose Reyes and Ike Davis. His location wasn't great and he threw first pitch strikes to just 15 of 28 batters, but we'll take the results. Pedro Feliciano struck out Brian McCann in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded to preserve the lead, and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 9th to close it out.
Derek Lowe was also a groundball machine, generally holding the Mets in check except for a two-run double by God Barajas in the 2nd inning. Chris Carter, starting again in place of a "slumping" Jeff Francoeur, finished the game 1-2 with a double and a walk. He also drove in the decisive run on a groundout in the 6th. The Animal was rewarded by being removed for Francoeur, who is a superior defender but almost certainly an inferior hitter. David Wright came close to ending his strikeout streak. He held out until the 9th, when Takashi Saito made him victim #1 of a dominant three strikeout frame. David's 0-4 appears ugly in the boxscore, but his approach was sound and his swing looked better.
Reyes and Jason Bay each stole a base, completing the pitching, speed and defense trifecta championed by Omar Minaya. Bay will reportedly get the day off tomorrow.
Some bullet point thoughts:
Senator BlutarskyJerry Manuel was getting killed before the game for starting GMJ, but I can't really be too annoyed. It's true that any lineup featuring GMJoke seems like the managerial equivalent of "Operation Shutdown". However, Angel Pagan has been injury prone in his career and started every game since May 2nd. He was due for a break and there aren't any other realistic center field options.
- Barajas's throwing has been an under-the-radar problem this season. He has yet to throw out any base stealers in 13 tries, not counting Martin Prado's adventure on the basepaths in the 1st inning of this game. Meanwhile, Henry Blanco has a 100% caught stealing rate. Stolen bases aren't entirely the fault of the catcher and Barajas has been decent historically (33% runners thrown out for his career). Regardless, Blanco as late inning defensive replacement might be worth considering.
- Bobby Cox constructed a nice lineup tonight. Jason Heyward in the two spot and the four best hitters at the top of the order.
A two game sweep is possible tomorrow, with Johan Santana facing Kris Medlen at 7:10.
After an unscheduled visit from the boss
Big Pelf and Rod issue order of Stop Loss
While Wilpon insists trip was not meant as warning
If I'm Jerry, I'm up tonight at 3 in the morning
Big winners: Mike Pelfrey +22.4% (as pitcher), Rod Barajas +18.7%
Big losers: GMJ -12.8%, David Wright -7.8%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Rod Barajas two-run double +15.7%
Teh sux0rest play: Eric Hinske home run -13.3%
Total pitcher WPA: +49.9%
Total batter WPA: +0.1%
GWRBI!: Chris Carter
Nice job by freakystyley; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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