The Mets have never been shutout for an entire series in their 49 year history. And they won’t be in San Francisco, although after getting shutout in the first two games and falling into a 6-0 hole in game three, it certainly looked like a possibility. Four cosmetic runs in what ended up as an 8-4 defeat made sure history would be avoided, but did little to cushion the blow of a dismal start to the second half.
Sure you can chalk it up to the pitching minefield that is the Giants top three starters (Lincecum, Zito, Cain). These first three games also exposed the two most hopeful predictions for the second half as mere myths – that Carlos Beltran wold be an instant boost in the lineup, and that Jason Bay would put his struggles behind him and start clicking in the second half.
Bay continues to press, and SNY broadcaster and hitting maven Keith Hernandez was dead on when he noticed Bay bailing out his shoulder way too early as the pitch arrives. Just so chomping at the bit to get a hit that the mechanics go out the window and he’s a dead duck at the plate, his eagerness easily exploited by the experienced Giant pitchers.
Beltran’s swing looks fine, according to Keith, but the timing just appears to be a split second off. How long before those foul balls get straightened out into screamers down the line is anyone’s guess, and if Beltran starts to press himself before he gets there is anyone’s guess too.
Actually, Beltran did hit an important triple and Ike Davis clobbered two home runs, which would have been enough offense to win either of the first two games. But in game 3 the Mets were doomed by batting practice fastballs from soon-to-be-demoted Hisanori Takahashi, who seems destined to exit the starting rotation. Takahashi was so awful SNYs Gary Cohen was heard uttering the “O-word”. That’s right, Cohen spoke in positive terms about Perez, how the 3 earned runs he let up in his las minor league appearance were not a conern, because at least his walks were down. Ugh, please spare me!
Today Johan Santana gets the chance to be the stopper he as been of late as the Mets try to salvage one victory in SF. His value as the team MVP is evident in this situation.
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Written by Mark Reichman