I’d like to say I was on the edge of my seat the entire game and franticly pumping my fists after Shawn Green’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the eleventh, but truth be told I was flipping back and forth between the Mets and The Chris Benoit Tribute Show on RAW. Poor guy… I don’t think the cause of death for him, his wife Nancy and son Daniel has become public knowledge yet, but I’m presuming it was carbon monoxide poisoning. He didn’t show to the Vengeance pay-per-view on Sunday which led WWE officials to contact authorities (Chris Benoit was the ultimate professional and would never ever fail to show up for a card). I’ll miss Chris Benoit and his death is as painful as Owen Hart’s. As far as the game, though, I admit it took back seat to Benoit.
Mike Maroth was impressive in his first start for the defending world champions allowing two hits over seven and a third while striking out four. I wouldn’t call him lights out so much as I would call the Met’s bats asleep. He’s going to have some success before the National League hitters figure him out but his stuff just aint that great. His cutter had the Mets guessing all night but he was by no means dominant. Jorge Sosa was just as impressive striking out five over six innings. Would I call the game a pitcher’s duel? No.
The key to this game was the performance of the Mets bullpen. With runners on second and third and no outs in the top of the seventh, Joe Smith induced a So Taguchi ground out, struck out Aaron Miles and intentionally walked Albert Puljos. Feliciano came in and induced a Scott Spiezio and his stupid soul patch ground out to end the inning and followed with a one-two-three eighth. Billy Wagner took the ball and retired six straight in the ninth and tenth before handing the ball to Aaron Heilman in the eleventh who stuck out Adam Kennedy and Gary Bennet swinging. The Cardinals bullpen fared just as well allowing one baserunner – David Wright reaching on a Puljos error in the seventh – over their four innings of work leading to the eleventh inning.
I’d love to see the Mets clobber St. Louis, and with this Mets team over the last month I wasn’t confident that they would figure out a way to win this game. But they proved me wrong! I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the awful month of June is behind them. They’re playing New York Mets baseball over the last four days. They’re smiling again. Paul LoDuca is the first New York Met to show some fire all year… even though it’s going to cost him a two-game suspension.
Let’s see them take two of the next three during this four game series and take two out of three against my buddies, the Philadelphia Phillies.