Mets Update: Mets sweep Giants to extend winning streak
Coming back home to host the San Francisco Giants (39-50) the New York Mets (45-44) were riding a high, stemming from their hard fought series win over the division leading Phillies. Taking three straight on the road against your rival is all well and good but can the inconsistent, barely over .500 Mets keep it up. In game one on Tuesday night the Mets would be throwing dare I say their best pitcher as of late in Mike Pelfrey (6-6). Pelfrey hasn't lost in eight outings since dropping his sixth start in a row May 26 against Florida. His couterpart on the hill for the visiting Giants would be the young live-armed, first time All-Star Tim Lincecum (10-1).
There is no better way for a team to keep a winning streak going against an all-star pitcher than getting some early runs at home to get the crowd and the bats going. That is exactly what Carlos Beltran did when he knocked a 3-run homerun over the right field wall in the bottom of the first. That was all Pelfrey and the Mets bullpen would need, Pelfrey (7-6) allowed three hits over seven sharp innings two of which were infield singles. He struck out five and walked none in a dominant performance that propelled the Mets to their fourth straight win. Carlos Delgado and Fernando Tatis added solo shots (Tatis shot was 450ft) along with RBI singles by Beltran and Damion Easely pushing his hit streak to 10 games as the Mets blank the Giants 7-0 at Shea Stadium. The Mets have now won four in a row and now sit 1.5 games back of the Phillies and the NL East division lead as the Phils get blanked by the Cardinals 2-0. Looking to continue their winning ways the Mets would have their "Ace" acquisition Johan Santana (7-7) throwing against yet another young live arm in Jonathan Sanchez (8-4).
Johan would go five innings, allowing three walks and three hits with five strikeouts before the rains came. Santana would not be on the hill once the rain delay was over and play continued however Castro's 3-run homer to left in the bottom of the fourth put Santana in line for the win. RBI singles by Argenis and Jose Reyes in the 8th helped to pad the lead for the Mets as Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez and Joe Smith combined to retire San Francisco's last 13 batters and finish the Mets' first consecutive shutouts since September 6-7, 2006. Don't look now but the Mets have won 5 in a row, still 1.5 games back and are really playing some team baseball getting production up and down the lineup. With solid starting pitching and a lights out bullpen as of late, who knows how many consecutive wins the Metropolitans can run off.
Trying to lead the Mets to their six consecutive win and a sweep of the Giants was John Maine (8-6) taking the mound against Barry Zito (4-12). Maine exited his last start because of a cramp in his left forearm but that forearm did not seem to bother him as he struckout eight allowing 3 runs on 3 hits(he did walk 5) but would not get the win.
The Mets would take an early 3-0 lead with RBI singles by Carlos Beltran and Fernando Tatis in the bottom of the third. However Randy Winn's double to left in the top of the fifth scored two and tied the game at 3-3. New York was looking for a big hit and that hit would come once again from the bat of none other than Fernando Tatis, the man who's main reason to get back into baseball was to have money to by land so his family's church can be expanded. Tatis' 2-run shot in the seventh inning would help spark the Mets to a 7-3 victory, their second 3 game sweep of the season and six win in a row for the first time since 2006. This win marked the third straight game where the Mets bullpen allowed only three hits striking out ten on Thursday. The only bad news for the Mets after this sweep was the news that Moises Alou had torn his left hamstring and likely was done for the year.
With the win the Mets remain idle at 1.5 games back of the Phillies (won 4-1 over Stl) for the NL East division lead and are now 14-9 under manager Jerry Manuel. Next up for the streaking Mets are the Colorado Rockies who come into Shea with a record of 39-54.
Scheduled starters for the Mets:
By Wesley Scarbrough
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