He’s written poetry. He’s published a novel. He’s working on another one. And tonight, wearing Glavine’s 47, Miguel Batista collected career win number 100. He gave up 2 runs early on but then settled down and finished up with 6 solid innings of work, throwing 97 pitches and striking out 3. Batista became just the third starting pitcher to make his Mets’ debut at the age of 40 or older and when you’re that old and have played for ten teams in your career, the understanding is generally that you know what you’re job is and Batista certainly gave off that air. He was workman-like in going through the Marlins’ order, at one point retiring 8 in a row, and gave as good of a spot start as anyone could ask for.
From there, Beato and Acosta worked two scoreless innings. Of course, Carrasco couldn’t close it out, giving up two runs in the 9th. So Parnell was called upon to get the final out and gave up a pinch-hit opposite field RBI double to John Buck (credited to Carrasco for his 3rd run) before inducing a Dobbs pop up to second on a 101 mph fastball. Win 7-5. Carrasco should be banned from baseball.
On the offensive side of the ball, all the action was at the top of the order. Duda showed great patience at the plate, drawing a walk to bring home a run in the 3rd. After that, Wright collected 2 RBI on a single and Duda scored on a passed ball shortly after. I wonder how many times a guy has walked in a run and scored on a passed ball in the same inning… Then, in the 8th, who else but Duda came up big with an opposite field double, giving the Mets a 3-run lead as he drove in Tejada. Duda then scored again on an overthrow by Cishek and shortly after, Nickeas drove in Wright to break the game open.
Thole left the game after getting hit in the left hand by a pitch, giving way to Nickeas. Tejada was hit twice in this one, the second time a clean shot to the left hand which looked pretty painful. Tejada stayed in to run but I’m sure the Mets’ crack medical staff will be taking a closer look at that.
This was a big series for the Mets as they took 4 out of 5 and have now won 6 of their last 7. It was the 54th 5-game series in team history, but just the 2nd one in the last 15 years. The other one? A 2004 series against the Braves in which the Mets took 3 of those games. A fun fact, the Mets actually once had a 7-game series against the Cubs in 1967, the only series in their regular season history to go more than 5.
Aside from Duda and Wright, the offense for the Mets in this series was fairly poor. Yes, the Mets put up a bunch of runs in this one but it should be noted that they were helped out tremendously by the Marlins’ atrocious defense throughout the series and tonight most of all. A total of 5 errors in this series doesn’t even give the full story as there were botched scoops by Sanchez, poor throws by Infante, and a general lack of attention all around. The horrific defense of the Marlins has become a staple for them and, though it’s expected when such a young team takes the field everyday, they would do well to fix it. In the meantime however, we’ll take the wins.
Going forward, the Mets go into Washington tomorrow for a 3-game set and then it’s down to Florida for another series against the Fish. That’s a total of 8 games against the Marlins in just 11 days. After that, it’s a double-header against the Braves but then 7 games against the Cubs and Nats. This soft part of the schedule will hopefully not only give the Mets some W’s but also get them on a roll going into tougher opponents at the end of the month. The Mets finish the season with successive 3-game series against the Braves, Cardinals, Phillies, and Reds. That will be the time when a boost in confidence will be needed as the quest for .500 will likely be decided then.
In feel-good news, Endy Chavez collected an RBI triple in the second inning of the Rangers’ game tonight. Always like to see Endy doing well.
Dickey takes the mound tomorrow night to open the series at Washington as he looks to continue his string of 7 straight quality starts. Hopefully he’ll keep adding to that total and notch some wins.