Tagged: Cincinatti Reds

Mets drop finale against Reds 8-6

OLIVER Perez looked unhittable through the first two innings of work on Thursday, but he ended up surrendering eight runs against the Reds as he failed to make it through the fifth.

Cincinatti’s Joey Votto hit his second three-run home run in two days and went 3/4 with four RBI and the Reds won their first game of the 2009 campaign 8-6

The Mets had jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Bronson Arroyo in the top of the 3rd inning, but the Reds put up a pair of four-spots in the 3rd and 5th inning to help them improve to 1-2 on the season.

The Amazins had loaded the bases in the 1st inning against Arroyo, but they broke the tie in the 3rd on Carlos Beltran’s RBI single after Arroyo had walked David Wright and given up a base hit to right from Delgado.

Ryan Church then burned Arroyo going the other way on a deep fly ball to left to score Beltran and Delgado to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Oliver Perez came out throwing strikes, retiring the first six batters he faced, but Darnell McDonald pulled a run back for the Reds in the home half of the 3rd inning with an RBI single up the middle after Perez had given up a pair of walks.

Things didn’t get any better for Perez who then gave up a three-run bomb to Joey Votto – his second home run in as many days – on a hanging slider to make it 4-3.

The Mets tied things at 4-4 in the top of the 5th inning. Daniel Murphy singled and advanced to third on David Wright’s bloop single that dropped just fair down the right field line.

Delgado then hit a bullet at Phillips who knocked the ball down and threw on to second base for the force out, but scoring Murphy.

The Reds regained the lead moments later after Willy Taveras bunted his way aboard, McDonald walked and Votto singled to Beltran in centre field.

Brandon Phillips hit a sac fly to centre to score McDonald and give Cincy the 6-4 lead and when Jay Bruce walked, that was the end of the line for Perez.

He pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs – all earned – on five hits with five walks and seven strikeouts.

His replacement, Darren O’Day, hit the first batter he faced but he got Hanigan to pop out to shallow right field with the bases loaded.

He couldn’t escape the inning though and Paul Janish scored Votto and Bruce with a single up the middle that was just out of the range of Alex Cora.

That would give the Reds the lead they needed, and they never looked back.

Mets’ 2B Cora – playing in place of Luis Castillo who was given the day off after starting the team’s first two games – hit a sac fly to score Church and chip away at the lead in the top of the 6th inning to make it 8-5 and even though the Mets brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the 7th inning, they only scored once on Delgado’s sac fly.

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FINAL: Mets @ Reds 6-8

             1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10  R  H  E
Mets 0  0  3  0  1 1  1  0  0   x
 6  10  0
Reds 0  0  4  0  4 0  0  0  0   x  8  9  1
Mets (2-0)

Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, BB
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Alex Cora, 2B
Oliver Perez, P

Reds (0-2)

Willy Taveras, CF
Darnell McDonald, LF
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jay Bruce, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Ryan Hanigan, C
Paul Janish, SS
Bronson Arroyo, P

Mets withstand late rally to see off Reds

THE New York Mets bullpen wasn’t as convincing as fans wanted it to be on Wednesday night, but K-Rod, Putz and co had just enough to get the job done.

The Mets made hard work of the Cincinatti Reds in the second of a three-game opening series as they edged out a 9-7 victory with the bases loaded.

It wasn’t a game for the purists from start to finish and both starting pitchers ran into difficulties, but the Mets brought just enough offense to the yard to squeeze out a narrow win.

The Mets trailed 4-2 after the 1st inning, but they plated three runs in the 5th and another four in the 7th to take a 9-4 lead.

The Reds scored twice in the bottom of the 7th inning and one in the 8th to make it 9-7, but closer Francisco Rodriguez escaped a bases-loaded jam to record the save.

Starting the game, Edison Volquez retired the first two batters he faced, but he walked David Wright on five pitchers and left a 1-1 fastball low and inside to Carlos Delgado who turned on it and crushed it to right field.

But the Mets’ lead was short-lived as Mike Pelfrey struggled through a 44-pitch first inning as the Cincinatti Reds batted around and plated four runs at the Great American Ballpark.

Pelfrey came out throwing fastball after fastball, offering up a single to Jerry Hairston Jnr, a walk to Chris Dickerson and a line drive home run to Joey Votto.

Brandon Phillips doubled off the wall in right-centre field and advanced to third base on Jay Bruce’s groundout.

Edwin Encarnacion then walked to put men on the corners, but Jose Reyes threw away a certain double play ball as Phillips scored from third.

Ramon Hernandez chopped it weakly up the middle to Luis Castillo who flipped it to Reyes for the force. But Reyes’ throw to Delgado was in the dirt and, although it looked like a play the first baseman should make, it skipped all the way to the dugout to bring home a run.

Threat

The Reds had a chance to extend their lead in the 3rd inning, but Pelfrey escaped more trouble. He walked Phillips to start the inning and balked him over to second. Bruce then narrowly missed hitting one out of the park before flying out to deep centre field.

Edwin Edcarnacion could only pop up to Castillo with one out, holding the runner at third and Ramon Hernandez hit a soft fly ball to Ryan Church in right field to end the threat.

It was the Mets turn to put ducks on the pond in the 4th inning but, like the Reds in the home half of the previous frame, failed to put anybody across.

Church lined a two-out double down the line in left field and Volquez walked Schneider and Castillo to bring Pelfrey to the plate.

The Red’s starter fell behind his opposite number 2-1 and 3-2 but got him to hit a weak grounder to third base to keep the 4-2 lead intact.

A similar situation arose in the 5th inning, but this time the Mets made their chance count.

Reyes hit an 0-2 fastball back through the box for a single to centre field and Daniel Murphy slapped one past the diving Encarnacion to left.

Wright then hit a grounder straight at Alex Gonzalez but the shortstop, who had a limited view of the ball coming towards him as Reyes took his lead off of second base, bobbled the play as all runners were safe.

Delgado worked the count full and brought home Reyes on a softly-hit ground ball to Joey Votto at first base as Volquez crossed the 100-pitch mark and the following batter Beltran laced a two-rbi single up the middle to knock Volquez out of the game.

The Reds had a chance to respond immediately in the bottom of the 5th inning when they put Votto and Bruce on the corners with two outs – just their second and third baserunners since they batted around in the 1st inning.

With Encarnacion batting, Bruce tried to steal second base but got caught in a run down. As Bruce backtracked towards first, Votto broke for home but got tagged out by Schneider on the throw from Castillo.

Relief

Mets Bobby Parnell pitched around a pair of two-out walks to see the Reds did not level things up and the Mets added an insurance run in the top of the 7th.

David Wright lined a double to left field and beat the throw home on Delgado’s RBI single.
Delgado advanced to second on the play and Mike Lincoln intentionally walked Beltran to get to Church.

But Church walked to load the bases up again and Brian Schneider cleared them off with a 3RBI double to make it 9-4.

Votto scored the Reds’ fifth run on a groundout in the bottom of the 7th against Pedro Feliciano and Ramon Hernandez cut the lead to three with an RBI single off the wall in right centre.

Chris Dickerson’s sac fly scored Willy Taveras who had hit a one-out triple, but JJ Putz worked around the hit to hand K-Rod a two-run lead.

Rodriguez walked Phillips but got Jay Bruce to pop up. Encarnacion grounded out to Wright who threw on to first base, but Delgado’s foot left the base early as he tried to throw Phillips out as he rounded second and slid into third.

With men on first and third, Rodriguez walked Hernandez, struck out Gonzalez on a high fastball and got Lance Nix on a deep fly ball to the warning track.

Other notes: Luis Castillo was the only Mets starter not to get a base hit, Reds’ Joey Votto went 3/4 with three RBI, a walk and two runs and Jerry Hairston Jnr had to leave the game after fouling a ball off his foot in the 4th inning.

FINAL: Mets @ Reds 9-7

             1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10  R  H  E
Mets 2  0  0  0  3 0  4  0  0   x
 9  10  2
Reds 4  0  0  0  0 0  2  1  0   x  7   9  1
Mets (1-0)

Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ryan Church, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Mike Pelfrey, P

Reds (0-1)

Jerry Hairston, CF
Chris Dickerson, LF
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jay Bruce, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Ramon Hernandez, C
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Edison Volquez, P

Santana, Murphy, bullpen see Mets past Reds

THE New York Mets spent money in the offseason to tighten up a bullpen which cost them a trip to the playoffs for each of the past two seasons.

On Monday, it looked like money well spent as JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez shut down the Cincinatti Reds to give Mets fans hope that ’09 may just be their year.

The Amazins continued their Opening Day tradition of success by edging a tight pitching duel in Cincinatti 2-1, winning their fourth consecutive Opening Day outing to improve on their league-best record.

Santana pitched 5 2/3 innings of three-hit ball to record his second straight first day victory, and Daniel Murphy went deep for the Mets as they got their season underway on the right note at the Great American Ballpark.

Shaun Green recorded four consecutive outs in his 1 1/3 inning of work and new acquisition JJ Putz worked around a one-out walk to Chris Dickerson to get the ball to closer Francisco Rodriguez who recorded his first save in orange and blue.

Bases loaded

The Mets loaded the bases in the 4th inning on a walk, bloop single and intentional walk, but Harang got Santana to fly out to centre field on the eighth pitch of the at bat – the 85th of the game – to end the inning and keep the score tied.

The Reds got their first hit of the ballgame in the bottom of the 4th inning when Jay Bruce drove a low two-out pitch down and away off the centre field wall for a stand-up double.

Daniel Murphy hit the Mets’ first home run of 2009, driving a 3-2 pitch to right centre field after fouling off a pitch up and away to stay alive the previous offering.

The Mets almost added a second run shortly after, when David Wight and Carlos Delgado hit back-to-back bloops to shallow centre field to bring Carlos Beltran to the plate.

Beltran singled to right field, but Wright got a bad jump from second base and Jay Bruce threw him out on a two-hopper despite bobbling the transfer.

Aaron Harang gave up one run – the solo shot to Murphy – on seven hits, walking three and striking out a pair on 114 pitches through five innings of work.

Difficulties

Harang’s replacement Daniel Ray Herrara fell into immidiate difficulty in the top of the 6th inning.

After Brain Schneider grounded out to lead off the inning, Herrara gave up a double to Luis Castillo and then walked Santana and Reyes.

With the bases loaded, Murphy lined a grounder down the first base line. Joey Votto knocked it down to get the out, but Castillo scored easily from third to make it 2-0.

The Reds started to get something going in the home half of the 6th inning. Darnell McDonald led off the inning with a broken-bat single to left field and Joey Votto singled to right.

Both runners advanced on Church’s throwing error to third base, and only Santana backing up Wright at third stopped McDonald from scoring.

Brandon Phillips hit a 2-2 92mph fastball to left field to drive home McDonald with a sac fly to cut the lead in half, but leftie Jay Bruce popped out to Wright to keep the tying run at second.

That was the final batter Santana would face as Shaun Green came out of the pen to get Edwin Encarnacion to line out to Murphy in left.

Santana threw 99 pitches, 62 for strikes, and he gave up just the one run on three hits and four walks, striking out seven.

Bullpen

Shaun Green pitched a perfect 7th inning for the Mets, getting three ground balls and former Met David Weathers matched him pitch for pitch, getting Castillo, pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson and Reyes on ground ball outs on eight pitches.

JJ Putz walked Chris Dickerson with one out in the eighth, but he got sothpaw Joey Votto and All Star slugger Brandon Phillips to end the threat and keep the one-run lead intact.

K-Rod got Jay Brice on a soft tapper back to themound, Encarnacion on a pop-up and Hernandez to strike out swinging.

Other notes: Ryan Church and Carlos Delgado both went 2/4 and David Wright went 1/3 with two walks. Jose Reyes also stole his first base, taking second in the 1st inning against Aaron Harang.

FINAL: Mets @ Reds 2-1

             1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10  R  H  E
Mets 0  0  0  0  1 1  0  0  0  x
 2  9  1
Reds 0  0  0  0  0 1  0  0  0   x  1  3  1
Mets (0-0)

Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, BB
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ryan Church, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Johan Santana, P

Reds (0-0)

Jerry Hairston, LF
Darnell McDonald, CF
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jay Bruce, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Ramon Hernandez, C
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Aaron Harang, P

Series at a glance: Mets @ Cincinatti

AFTER waiting six months for baseball to resume after the winter break, it took me precisely 13 pitches to start shaking my head in disgust.
 
That was how long it took for the Atlanta Braves to figure out Brett Myers and the fact that he has no fastball, no curveball and definitely no changeup.
 
But that’s ok, because I’m not going to be cheering for the Phillies much this year. So, with Opening Night out of the way, let’s get to those Mets.
 
Here is the first Series at a Glance post from the blog that wants to be a train driver when it grows up.
 
The Mets have the best Opening Day record out of any team and they will be keen to get off to the best possible start when they travel to the Great American Ballpark in Cincy.
 
The Mets are 248-294 (.458) lifetime against the Cincinnati Reds, including 108-159 on the road.

In 2008, the Mets were 4-3 against the Reds, marking the third straight year they have won the head-to-head series. In fact, the Mets have not had a losing record against the Reds since 2001.

On the road against the Reds last year, the Mets split the four-game series 2-2.
Duaner Sanchez got both Mets wins in this series, with Wagner picking up a pair of saves.

johansantana.jpgJohan Santana is 1-0 in three career starts against the Reds, although he struggled both times out in 2008.

In his outing last June he gave up five runs (a pair of home runs) on six hits and three walks in four innings, picking up a no decision.
The second time he faced them in ’08, he gave up ten hits through six innings, allowing three runs and getting the win in a 12-6 Mets victory.
Santana made four spring training starts last month and will be making his second consecutive Opening Day start for the Mets.
His 6.75ERA is the most against any team he has faced.

 

Aaron Harang will face the Mets on Monday. He has faced six of the Mets’ likely started before, but only three of them have more than 10 at bats against him.

Delgado has seen Harang the most, batting 6/21 (.286) against him. Also of note, Castillo is 6/9 with three walks and Wright is 5/7 with a homer and a double.

Mike Pelfrey will get the ball on Wednesday to face Edison Volquez.
He earned a no decision and a loss when he faced the Reds in ’08 and his only trip to the Great American Ballpark marked the only time he gave up three home runs all year.
 
He finished the game with five runs on six hits, in the Mets 7-5 win.
 
No Met has had more than three at bats against Volquez, so the sample size is small. Reyes is 3/3 against the sophomore and Ramon Castro homered off him last time out.

davidwright.jpgOn Thursday, Maunel will hand the ball to Oliver Perez – a man who has seen plenty of the Reds.

He is 9-4 in 18 lifetime starts, including 4-2 in 10 appearances in Cincinnati where he has a 3.91ERA.
Perez lost his last start there, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits in as many innings of work.
 
The Mets may have their best chance of taking a game against the Reds in this opening series against Micah Owings.
 
Church, Wright (2) and Beltran have all hit home runs off of Owings in limited at bats, and the three Mets who have at least double-digit plate appearances against him are all batting .400 or above.
 
Key pitcher: Johan Santana
Key batter: David Wright
 
Opening Day is hours away. Let’s put the last two Septembers behind us and play ball.