The New York Mets used the long ball to get ahead, and stay ahead for good, Wednesday night, beating the Washington Nationals by a score of 5-2.
John Maine made the start for the Mets, his third of the season, going 6 2-3, allowing five hits and two earned runs. Maine was a little wild, walking four, but also striking out four. Maine walked Christian Guzman to lead off the game and allowed a single to Ronnie Belliard before a sac-fly from Ryan Zimmerman, brought in the first run of the game. He then loaded the bases with a walk before getting two straight fly balls to end the threat.
In the fourth, Maine allowed a solo home run to Austin Kearns to deep left field. In the seventh, with two outs, Maine walked Guzman and Belliard, and was removed from the game in favor of Joe Smith.
Maine hasn't carried his hot spring training over to the season, but he had a pretty good outing tonight. Still a little wild and a little inconsistent, but there was definetly improvement tonight. Maine seems to be coming back to form, which is excellent news. Good stuff, Maine.
Smith struck out Zimmerman with two men on to end the seventh. Smith came out for the eighth, striking out Nick Johnson to start the inning before hitting Lastings Milledge on the forearm. Smith then induced a double play off the bat of Kearns to end the inning. Smith went 1 1-3 hitless, striking out two.
Smith has been absolutely stellar so far this season. He came on strong at the end of spring training and has been even better during the regular season. The question is: What happens to Smith when Matt Wise comes back?
Billy Wagner came into the game in the ninth inning to try and earn the save and close out the game. Wagner set the Nats down 1-2-3, striking out Aaron Boone to end the game. Wagner is yet to allow a hit so far this season.
Hey Wagner, why don't you take off your coat and stay awhile. It was nice to see you again. Keep on truckin'.
The Mets knocked around Matt Chico for seven hits and five runs in only five innings of work.
After going down 1-0 in the top of the first, the Mets answered back as Ryan Church crushed a solo home run to deep right field, over the Azek sign in the Mets bullpen. Remember: Chico is a lefty. Two home runs for Church, both off of lefties. Church went 2-4, scored twice and drove in one run.
Church is proving he's an everyday player. I absolutely love this guy and have been singing his praises since the day we traded for him. Side note: Lastings Milledge went 1-3 tonight and missed a diving play in center field. Tough play, but he got leather on the ball and couldn't complete it.
The Mets were held scoreless until the fifth inning, when Jose Reyes led off with a solo home run to deep left field. Reyes went 2-4 tonight, driving himself in, and therefore, scoring once. The team kept at it, as Church and David Wright singled to follow Reyes. Carlos Beltran came to bat and crushed a three run home run to deep left field. This was Beltran's first home run of the season, and his third straight game driving in a run.
Reyes, Wright and Beltran all seem to be hitting their stride's right now. Can you imagine the whole team getting hot right now? It'd be perfect and set the tone for the rest of the season after a bit of a rocky start.
Numbers to note - Luis Castillo: 3-4, three singles...Carlos Delgado and Angel Pagan: 2 K's each...One double play turned...Seven left on base...
Game Ball: Maine and Beltran.
Beardless watch: 5-2.
Check out The 'Ropolitans!