The best pitcher in the sport will try to extend the Mets’ winning streak to three games tonight against the Phillies. Johan Santana could easily be 5-0 with a little more support.
Interesting changes in the line-up, beginning with Daniel Murphy batting sixth behind David Wright because Alex Cora gets the start at second. Ryan Church, who is in a dreadful slump and hitting .143 with RISP in on the bench.
Here’s the line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Jeremy Reed, RF
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, P
Two victories over the struggling Braves (and it could have been two the other way) does not a season make.
Said David Wright: “When you win, you have energy and passion. When things aren’t going so well, it’s easy to pick apart things like that. We’ve got a good team. We’ve got good guys on this team. We’re well-prepared. We’re intense. When you win, that’s a plus – and when you lose, you start looking for reasons why.”
There have been some encouraging things the past two days, but enough of the other stuff to believe the Mets aren’t out of the woods. For one thing, they were dreadful hitting with runners in scoring position. They could have routed the Braves had they been more consistent.
And, if you’re going to squander opportunities, you can’t afford to give the opposition extra outs, which was was last night’s ninth inning was all about.
All they’ve done was win two straight games. They are home now with series against the Phillies and Braves, and don’t underestimate the Pirates, who have been getting good pitching.
Let’s see where they are after this homestand. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Truth be told, I had the Mets at 2-3 on this trip. That they could go 3-1 with a win tonight behind Livan Hernandez is a step forward. The Mets worked Daniel Murphy out at first base this afternoon, indication they are preparing for life without Carlos Delgado.
Delgado will start tonight at first with Murphy in left.
A good sign last night was David Wright continuing to show breakout signs.
In what so far has been a disappointing, underachieving season, there was a lot to like in last night’s victory at Atlanta.
Of course, since everything begins with pitching and John Maine was superb after a rocky second. There’s always one inning with Maine where he gets in trouble, but if he pulls out of it he goes on a hot stretch fueled by his fastball. He’s a power guy and gets in trouble when he tries to be too cute with his off-speed stuff.
Another positive the offense came from behind from three runs down for the first time this season. Carlos Beltran, who has been stroking line drives all year, went deep twice. Beltran is a hitter who when he gets hot can carry a team for a couple of weeks. What better time with all these games with the Braves and Phillies?
David Wright also showed signs of coming out of it with a homer.
But, it’s only one game and we’ve seen that before. Let’s get a string of these before proclaiming the Mets are all right.
Livan Hernandez, who has been shaky, goes tonight for the Mets.
There’s always news of some kind when the Mets are in Atlanta. Last year, for example, marked the beginning of the end for Willie Randolph and was also the site of Ryan Church’s concussion.
Word is Oliver Perez will be demoted to the bullpen, with the team eschewing the minor league and DL options.
Oh yes, Carlos Delgado returns tonight.