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Mets 5, Giants 4: Hammerin' Hank

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Two straight days of Bullpenicus fallapartis, each capped off by Ignoramus goneyardis.

Most of the questions being asked prior to this game pertained to Johan Santana and how he would respond to the ten-run thrashing administered by the Phillies and Jerry Manuel's slow hook last Sunday on national teevee. Critics looking for a chink in Santana's armor -- you know, apart from the steadily declining fastball velocity -- probably left mildly disappointed. Santana was hardly fantastic, allowing four runs on eight hits in 7.2 innings against the Giants. He did throw a lot of strikes (74 of 101 pitches), and he struck out six batters while walking zero, so at the very least he did a splendiferous job of Pounding The Strike Zone™.

Santana carried a 4-2 lead into the eighth, but singles by Nate Schierholtz and Aaron Rowand and a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly left runners on the corners with two outs and a slim 4-3 cushion. Manuel burned three relievers trying to get the final out of the inning, as Fernando Nieve and Pedro Feliciano conspired to allow in the tying run before Jenrry Mejia fanned Juan Uribe to end the inning.

The teams traded zeros in the ninth and tenth innings. Francisco Rodriguez pitched both frames for the Mets, walking two in the tenth before getting out of trouble. Hisanori Takahashi set down the Giants in order in the eleventh, setting the stage for Henry Blanco, sending Guillermo Mota's 1-0 pitch into the left field stands and trotting the 360 feet to another exuberant home plate celebration.

It wasn't all peaches and gravy, though. Luis Castillo led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left, and promptly drew several pickoff throws from Brandon Medders. As he often does, Castillo retreated to first base standing up, repeatedly landing awkwardly with semi-locked knees. On his final scurrying plant-down he seemed to tweak something, and after sticking it out for the rest of the half inning was replaced in the top of the eighth by Alex Cora. The official prognosis is a bone bruise in his left foot, which is apparently a pre-existing condition. I'll never understand why he insists on leaping back to first on those pickoff throws; I don't know that I've ever seen anyone else doing that. Either stroll back gracefully or dive back in like everyone else. Or do some goofy lunge and injure yourself. I don't care.

The series finale is Sunday at 1:10pm when Oliver Perez will be unspeakably overmatched by Tim Lincecum. Do tune in.

Beer of the game: Solstice Session Ale from Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, VT.

"Very refreshing beer. Exactly the kind of thing I like on the first days of spring, when I can put the sweet and malty beers away." --RateBeer User Review

Poem by Howard Megdal

Sluggers like Piazza, Hundley and Carter
Couldn't hit the ball any harder
As conservatives are to Margaret Thatcher
Home runs are to a New York Mets catcher
Good to see Giants meeting their quota
Of hearing "Losing Pitcher Guillermo Mota"

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* McCovey Chronicles Gamethread

Win Probability Added

Big winners: Henry Blanco, +35.5% WPA, Francisco Rodriguez, +26.7% WPA
Big losers: Pedro Feliciano, -25.5% WPA, Jeff Francoeur, -7.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Blanco game-ending home run, +36.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Huff RBI single in eighth, -25.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +34.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +15.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Hank White

Game Thread Roll Call

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

Num Name # of Posts
1 KeithsMoustache 99
2 Syler 90
3 aparkermarshall 73
4 sj10689 67
5 Evan_S 67
6 freakystyley 64
7 BrockRocks 53
8 fxcarden 50
9 firejerrynow 41
10 the caveman 39