After a very rough start to the day, going 0-4 with two strikeouts, David Wright comes up in the bottom of the 11th with the bases loaded and delivers with a game winning single just fair down the right field line to put the New York Mets on top over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4.
Johan Santana made his sixth start for the Mets, and left with the lead, but ended up receiving a no decision after the bullpen blew the lead in the eighth and ninth. Santana had his shortest outing of the season, lasting only 5 2-3 of an inning.
Santana allowed a solo home run to Nate McClouth on the second pitch of the game. McClouth is absolutely tearing up opposing pitchers so far, as this is his seventh home run of the season. In the fourth, Santana was taken deep again, also for a solo shot this time by Jason Bay. Santana left with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning, but Pedro Feliciano came in and got Adam LaRoche to check swing a ball to short to end the threat.
Not his best stuff today, as his pitch count was way up there early in the game. I believe he was up to 80 or so pitches through four innings, and ended up throwing 114 overall. Again, not his best outing, but he rarely gets off to hot starts and he's used to pitching in a dome, so just give him time before he really shines.
The Mets tied up the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wright began the inning with one of his two strike outs, which was followed by a Carlos Beltran walk. Ryan Church came to the plate and drove a low and inside pitch deep to right field, just to the left of the Mets bullpen.
I'm officially in love with Church. He's such a solid player. Just awesome.
Endy Chavez, who was batting 1.000 against Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell coming into the game, led off the fifth inning with a single to left. After a Santana strike out, Jose Reyes crushed a ball off the wall in right. Chavez came all the way around to score and Reyes slid in headfirst to third base with an RBI triple. Luis Castillo followed that up with a walk, putting runners at the corners. Wright then grounded what looked like an easy double play ball to short, but Freddy Sanchez couldn't handle the toss and everyone was safe as Reyes scampered home on the play.
Beltran then walked to load the bases for Church. After he worked the count full, Snell delivered a pitch well outside the strike zone, and Church thought he picked up another RBI with a walk. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt saw it differently, and wrung up Church. Church was livid, jumping off the ground and mouthing off to Wendelstedt, and rightly so. Delgado struck out looking to end the inning.
Unbelievable call by Wendelstedt. The ball crossed the inside of the right hander's batter box, and was not even close to home plate. Ever. Crazy. The Mets have been getting lucky, getting some lucky breaks against some teams that are not that good. They need to start doing the runs scoring by themselves.
Aaron Heilman began the seventh inning, allowed a leadoff single to Jose Bautista and walked Ronny Paulino before retiring his first batter. Heilman was removed for Scott Schoeneweis who got a fielders choice for the second out. Schoeneweis then threw a ball in the dirt, which Raul Casanova could not handle. The ball got away and Bautista took off for home. Casanova pounced on the ball and made the fall away throw to Schoeneweis who came in to cover the plate. Schoeneweis applied the tag and ended the inning without allowing any runs.
It was a close play at the plate, and he looked pretty safe to me. They claim his hand went over the plate, but I'm not too sure. I'll take it though. Great play by Casanova. He's deceivingly quick on his feet.
Duaner Sanchez came on to bridge the game to the ninth inning with a two run lead. Sanchez allowed a single and a double to start the inning before getting Bay to strike out swinging for the first out. After an Xavier Nady walk to load the bases, Sanchez then walked LaRoche to drive in a run. Sanchez rebounded nicely, getting a fielders choice and a pop out to end the inning.
Again, not his best stuff. Sanchez should take the eighth inning role, but no one seems to be sitting pretty there. My only hope is that they don't overwork Sanchez.
Billy Wagner entered the game with a one run lead, looking to close it out and earn the save. Ryan Doumit pinch hit, and grounded one to Reyes at short. Reyes bounced the throw to Delgado, who couldn't handle it and Doumit was safe at first on Reyes' throwing error. Brian Bixler (great name) pinch ran for Doumit and moved to second on a Wagner wild pitch. Wagner then picked up two outs and looked like he would get out of the inning with the save. Freddy Sanchez then hit a single to center which tailed just out of Carlos Beltran's diving reach to drive in Bixler and tie the game. Wagner got Bay to strike out to end the inning.
Very surprised the error came back to bite Wagner, even though it was an unearned run. I thought he was going to get out of it, but the ball tailed away just enough. Nice recovery though. He still has not let in an earned run this season.
Wagner pitched the 10th inning, as the Mets could not get on the board and walk off in the ninth, allowing a one out double to LaRoche. The ball hit off the top of the wall in left, missing a home run by about a foot. Wagner escaped the inning without and damage being done. Jorge Sosa pitched the top of the 11th, allowing a one out single before retiring the side.
Chavez led off the bottom of the eleventh with his third hit of the day, a single to center field. After a balk by John Van Benschoten, Marlon Anderson sacrificed Chavez to third. The Pirates then intentionally walked Reyes, keeping his "perfect game" intact. Reyes went 3-3 at the plate, walking three times, driving in one and scoring once. Castillo walked again, his third of the game, loading the bases for Wright. Wright delivered off the first pitch, singling the game winner deep into the corner in right field, driving home Chavez and winning the game, the Mets third in a row.
Numbers: Reyes: 3-3, 3 BB, RBI, run, SB...Chavez: 3-5, 2 runs...Church: 2 RBI...Reyes/Castillo/Wright/Beltran: 9 walks combined...Team LOB: 9...
Game Ball: Reyes