Before tonight's game, Jerry Manuel was adamant that Hisanori Takahashi wasn't pitching to keep his spot in the rotation, but after two straight bungling go-rounds it was awfully hard not to look at this start that way. Ultimatum or not, Takahashi pitched splendidly, allowing six hits and a walk -- and, more importantly, just one run -- in seven innings. Pedro Feliciano added a scoreless eighth inning and Francisco Rodriguez contributed an eight-pitch ninth to close things out.
Jose Reyes led off the game with his third home run of the season and Jeff Francoeur added his seventh in the eighth. The 3-1 win marks the first time the Mets have won consecutive road games since July 25-26, 2009, and it guarantees them their first road series victory of the season regardless of what happens on Sunday. Though, with Mike Pelfrey going for the Mets and the Orioles fielding essentially the same team as they have to this point in the season, you'll forgive me for thinking sweep.
Other assorted notes.
- Ike Davis stole his first professional base. He was 0-for-2 as a minor leaguer.
- Davis continued his steady regress -- punctuated though it may be -- with an 0-for-4 night. His OPS has dropped 100 points in three weeks; his .783 season mark is 26 points below the average NL first baseman's OPS of .809.
- The Mets had just five baserunners all game. Two were on the solo home runs by Reyes and Francoeur. Reyes, Angel Pagan, and Ruben Tejada chipped in singles, with Tejada scoring the middle run on a David Wright ground out.
- Wright didn't strike out so the #KsforCARE pledge-o-meter stays put at $857.02.
- Jason Bay is hitting .241/.321/.303 on the road this season (.311/.401/.516 at home). .295 wOBA on the road versus .402 at Citi Field. There might be some bad luck there. He's actually hitting more line drives on the road (21.6% versus 17.0%) but has better luck on balls in play at home (.385 BABIP versus .324). The walk rate is quite a bit better at Citi Field, though (12.0% versus 9.7%).
Pelfrey takes on Kevin Millwood at 1:35pm on Sunday.
Jose stakes claim in the game's first at-bat
Takahashi's outing is effective, if flat
Mets score first road series win in Charm City
Over a team that inspires much pity
Big winners: Hisanori Takahashi, +40.7% WPA, Francisco Rodriguez, +10.6% WPA
Big losers: Jason bay, -7.7% WPA, Fernando Tatis, -7.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Francoeur solo home run in eighth, +12.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Markakis ground rule RBI double in first, 6.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +61.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: -11.4% WPA
GWRBI!: David Wright
Nice job by BrockRocks; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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