After Johan Santana battled Josh Johnson to an even duel, Lucas Duda blasted a go-ahead infield single in the bottom of the 8th to give the Mets a 2-1 win over the Marlins.
The Good Stuff:
- It was Jose Reyes's first game back in Citi Field since his offseason move to Miami. After a mixed reaction from from the 20,000+ Met faithful, Jose launched a rocket to left center, which Kirk Nieuwenhuis snagged to take away a likely triple. Reyes would go 0-4 on the night, dropping his average to .215. Captain Kirk, on the other hand, reminded us all that while he may make mistakes like he did Saturday afternoon, he's going to make many more good plays than bad.
- While Reyes was off on the night, Johan Santana was locked in and on. Santana gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 6.2 innings of work, waking 2 and striking out an impressive 11, his most Ks in 3 years. His 105 pitches were his most of the year, and he looked infinitely better than he was a week ago in Atlanta.
- On most nights, that effort would have been good enough to earn Johan the W, which would have been his first of 2012. But tonight he was locked in a duel with Miami's Josh Johnson, whose numbers were basically identical, right down to the 6.2 innings. Johnson owns the Mets, but fortunately Marlins run out of energy, and JJ's walk to Lucas Duda with 2 out in the 7th led to his ouster. 3 more walks and 2 more pitching changes later, Josh Thole was on first with an RBI walk and the Mets had the score tied at 1-1.
- In the bottom of the 8th, Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off with a single and went to third two batters later on Daniel Murphy's base hit. After David Wright struck out, Lucas Duda came up and blasted an Edward Mujica splitter right back to the mound. The ball ricocheted off of Mujica's throwing hand and landed harmlessly in the middle of the infield, allowing Kirk to score and giving the Mets a lead they would not relinquish.
- The New York bullpen continued to build on their momentum from yesterday's doubleheader, as Ramon Ramirez got Santana out of the 7th inning and Jon Rauch picked up the W with another scoreless 8th (his ERA is still spotless). Frank Francisco then came in and earned his first save since opening weekend.
- Ike Davis's early-season slump continues as he went 0-2 with a strikeout and was pinch-hit for with Justin Turner in the 7th.
- Put in the 2-hole in a lineup experiment, Ruben Tejada had identical numbers to his Miami counterpart: an 0-4 day at the plate, dropping his average to a pedestrian .246.
- And that's just the on-field Bad Stuff. There's still the matter of the busiest injury day even the Mets have seen in a while.
- Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey were both place on the 15-day DL, Bay with a broken rib, Pelfrey with a much more serious possible ligament tear. For Jason, just another setback in a contract that has been full of setbacks. For Pelf, a much more disappointing revelation; he was pitching so well, leading the team in ERA and finally finding his groove. It's also disconcerting in that Mike has an image as a workhorse: this kind of thing doesn't happen to him. Now it has, and there's a chance this workhorse may be stuck in the stables for the rest of the year.
- Third baseman Zach Lutz and relief pitcher Robert Carson were brought up from the minors to fill the roster spots, and fortunately it appears Andres Torres (remember him?) may be able to rejoin the team in Houston next week.
A little bit of everything tonight: great signs from New York's Ace, bad signs from further bites from the injury bug. But a win is a win: no matter what happens on the field or off, it's still another W in the win column.