Game 25 - Mets
Mets 5, Pirates 4 (11 inn.)
Well, that took a little more doing than it needed. This game was in hand, it was just that nobody told the Mets that. Or the Pirates. Or Hunter Wendelstedt. Ugly baseball plays and calls marred this game, but to sound like Hawk Harrelson, the good guys came out on top.
Johan Santana continued his early season-pattern, one of relative dominance except for a few walks, high pitch counts, and some outing-sullying long balls. No matter. The Mets were set to blow open the game after Freddy Sanchez ripped a tailor-made double play to shreds. Bases loaded, 3-2 count on Ryan Church, and the Bucs pitcher threw one well -- well -- into the right-side batter's box. Strike Three called. Inexplicable. That, of course, brought up the talk radio topic of the hour, Carlos Delgado, who naturally fanned.
Hunter Wendelstedt, or as he's known around the bigs, Mr. Wendel, has the freedom to make such lousy calls -- a freedom that you and I think is dumb. Free to be without the worries of a quick-to-diss society, for Mr. Wendel's a bum.
Mr. Wendel helped us out right back, however, later on when he turned a "safe at home" into an "out at home" for the Pirates. Close play; Gary Cohen deferred to the man in blue, I did not. Thanks, Mr. Wendel. I never thought twice about spending on an old bum until I had the chance to really get to know one.
Duaner Sanchez had thrown a series of very tidy innings up until last night. That he dirtied up his impeccable record nearly cost the Mets the game, but it was bound to happen, and that Sanchez muscled up and got out of it with but one run permitted was actually very nice to see. I continue to be a very big fan (above the belt, Rob might chime in) of Duaner's.
Enter Wagner. Enter Sandman. Enter the Dragon of all save situations, the error on the first play of the 9th inning. Jose Reyes was calm, cool, composed . . . and about two steps late as he scooped up the grounder in the hole, so to compensate he fired the ball somewhere in the direction of Delgado's cleats. Like the office of beat writers for The Virginia Gazette, there aren't too many big scoops happening there. Wild pitch and a single later, game tied. Unfortunate for Wags, but again -- he responded. Good to see.
And then, predictably, our hero and savior David Wright knocked in the game-winner in the 11th. And we can breathe easy, having not botched one of the 35 gonna-win games.