The first Hug-of-the-Day award goes to Fernando Tatis (who apparently never quite retired), being congratulated below for his 12th-inning two-run double against the Marlins Wednesday night. The sorely needed win marked the Mets’ first victory in a game they were trailing after the 7th (they’re now 1-20).
Fernando Tatis (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
(Disqualified for not meeting the technical requirements of a hug):
Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, and Matt Cameron coordinate a three-way high five in their one-nothing victory over the Braves.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Mercifully, they can blame it on the rain…this time.
Interleague play begins tonight, and New York has to be grateful that someone is going to win a game — even a series — assuming the rain stops. The Yankees look to climb back over .500 and out of last place, while the Mets look to save Willie Randolph’s job. Unless they want him out, in which case they’re right on track.
A Mets starter finally pitched past the 7th inning Wednesday, with John Maine coming just two outs short of a complete game against the Dodgers. The position players did their part, pounding out 12 runs on 13 hits, and knocking Dodger ace Brad Penny out in the 5th. After a rough opener to the series and passive play throughout April, the Mets offense played out the three-game series with renewed aggression, combining for 24 hits and 4 stolen bases. Perhaps a corner has been turned.
Ryan Church went 5-for-12 with 2 HR in LA. Jose Reyes went 1/11, David Wright went 1/13. The Mets have suffered too many overlapping cold streaks early in the season, but if they can carry some momentum from Wednesday, that offense could get scary.
On a side note, former Met Carlos Gomez hit for the cycle against the White Sox, with a lead-off homerun in the first, a triple in the 5th, a double in the 6th, and a single in the ninth.
In it’s final season, Shea Stadium may have undergone a last minute change of heart. Long considered a pitcher’s park, with spiral winds knocking down many a high fly ball, Shea has been a little extra power friendly of late. At least if you ask Aaron Heilman. As he told the NY Daily News last week, the rising Citi Field is blocking the outfield winds.
With the way Santana got knocked around on Saturday (3 solo shots), it’s worth keeping an eye on. Combine this with Santana’s bad habit of pitching like a mere mortal in April (.249 BAA) and May (.257 BAA) and his genuine and regular vulnerability to the long ball, and I wouldn’t bench anyone with the slightest bit of power against him.
One more note on Santana – don’t bother checking splits stats on him. Aside from his mediocre Spring stats turning into dominance around Memorial Day, Santana is as consistent as they get. Check out these career stats:
BAA vs lefties: .222
BAA vs righties: .220
BAA home: .219
BAA away: .222
Lesson: Do the math, and his BAA dips under .200 by mid summer. Bench everyone except your hottest hitters against Santana come June.