Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7 Scoreless from Miguel and a Win, but Not Before Uneasiness from Frankie

Amazingly, the Mets got 7 shutout innings from Miguel Batista, and with some more two-out hitting, a suicide squeeze and a botched rundown from Aramis Ramirez, the men from Flushing held on to beat the  Brew Crew of Milwaukee 3-1. After voicing confidence in his closer, Terry Collins sent Frank Francisco back out there in the 9th, and while he was able to lock down the save, he did anything but sure up concerns over his pitching.

Miguel Batista doesn’t have the greatest stuff in the world at age 41, but he’s crafty enough that he’ll hit the corners and nibble off the plate, and on this night, the Brewers were unable to square away on anything remotely near the strike zone. He pitched very well, but the shutout was most certainly helped out by the Brew Crew’s own ineptness. With none out in the 2nd inning, Taylor Green hit what should have been a single, but The Duda decided to lay out for it. Now, what I have seen from Lucas in the field this year is that he’ll get to the ball quite solidly on regular routine catches, he’ll motor it up when you need it (as he did on the last out of last night’s ball game) but he is not about to make the spectacular diving catch. He probably will leave his feet for one and catch it at some point, but on this particular play, you didn’t expect him to make the diving catch. The ball bounced behind him, he got up to retrieve it, and the batter made his way to 3rd on what was an err of judgment by The Duda (the official scorer decided as well.) Batista then got a key strikeout on former Brave Brooks Conrad, and then Cesar Izturis attempted a suicide squeeze, the runner from 3rd charging down the line. The bunt, however, was not one to be desired as it died right in front of Mike Nickeas. Green, on his way home, put on the brakes, turned around and was tagged out on his way back. This game and that play is representative of what good teams do: they take advantage of mistakes from the other team and execute the fundamentals, as we did in the 6th inning when we showed the Brewers how to perform the suicide squeeze for our 2nd run (Ronny Cedeno bunting in Daniel Murphy, who had 2 of the 3 Mets hits.)

Oh, Frankie, Frankie, Frank Francisco. On a night when our former Frankie pitched against us in the 9th, Francisco was sent back out there to show us he can get it together. He did anything but. Ryan Braun singled, stole second, Cory Hart drove him in, walk....yada, yada, yada....hard hit ball to Lucas Duda. Even that last out made you quiver, and with everyone on Orange and Blue high-fiving, I did not exactly feel pleased with the win. Maybe emotions are still running high with me and Frankie needed to battle through his mediocre stuff to gain the confidence to get back on track. Terry was most certainly uneasy as well, as he had Jon Rauch up in the bullpen pretty quickly into Frankie's outing. It will be interesting to monitor how Terry handles this situation, and more importantly, how Francisco handles it.

It is very nice, however, to see this team continue to brush the tough losses under the rug and come out battling the next night.

The Mets and Brewers are back at it at 7:10PM on T-shirt Tuesday (cool "Dudaism" shirt being handed out. Too bad I can't go.) Dillon Gee takes on Zack Greinke.


(So, my girlfriend hates it when I put disclaimers up here, but regardless: I have wanted desperately to get the 2nd part of my Danver trip up but have had setbacks. It will most certainly be posted by Friday. If you haven't yet, read Part 1 here.)

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