The Inter-League Tour continued tonight when the Mets travelled to Tampa to get a W. The Mets turned to Chris Young to do it; he pitched with tenacity and grit. Young was opposed by 24 year old Alex Cobb. Besides the game, the highlight of the night was the advertisement for Kieth Hernandez Bobble Head Day. Kieth was hamming it up for the camera and it was a clear hysterical moment.
The Mets got a nice gift run in the bottom of the first when, after a Captain Kirk Nieuwenhuis base hit, Jordany Valdespin hit a nice double play ball but beat out the throw. After a Valdespin steal, David Wright hit another custom made out that was booted and thus the Mets grabbed the lead. David Wright would steal second and advance to third on a errant throw but he would be stranded.
Young had a tough bottom of the first when after a fly out, Young walked Carlos Pena and then gave up three base hits in a row-one with the bases loaded by Matsui which drew the Rays even; a sac fly would give the Rays a lead. Young needed 26 pitches to get out of the inning.
Ike Davis took advantage of a shift and laid down a real good bunt for a base hit in the top of the second. After Bay flied out, Josh Thole hit a nice base hit that advanced Davis to second but the runners would be left on base when Quintanilla hit into a double play.
The Tampa Bay dome helped the Rays in the bottom of the second when Duda lost a ball in the background that put Sean Rodriguez on second but Young clamped down and got out of the inning unscathed. The Mets outfield had an adventure again in the bottom of the third when Nieuwenhuis lost a ball in the ceiling and gave the Rays a chance to break the game open with two men on and no outs: but again, Young battled through getting out of the inning striking out the last two batters.
Alex Cobb went through 9 Met batters in a row before Omar Quintanilla got a single in the top of the fifth, Nieuwenhuis hit him over to third on a double down left field line. It would be DH Jordany Valdespin who would give the Mets a lead with a two out, two RBI bloop single.
Chris Young pitched into the sixth inning and just couldn’t get that third out…..he was lifted after 106 pitches and left a man on first via a walk. John “I don’t have a tender elbow” Rauch came in and got the third out.
The two out magic returned for the Mets in the top of the seventh inning…and it all began with a Nieuwenhuis walk. Jordany Valdespin then hit a double down the first base line scoring the Met fourth run and chasing Cobb from the hill. David Wright was walked intentionally and Lucus Duda hit a cue ball shot up the third base line to load the bases for Dan Murphy, who struck out three times earlier in the game, hit a two run single putting the Mets up 6-2. The inning would hit a high point when, with two men on, Ike Davis went yard. By the time the Mets took the field, they had a 7 run lead.
The Mets would tack on two more runs in the top of the eighth and the Mets cruised to an easy victory.
R.A. Dickey will take the mound tomorrow and try to make it two in a row.