It's nice to see the smiles again. The New York Mets scored the most runs since the third game of the season and their starting pitcher, Chris Capuano, pitched one of the better games all year against the Houston Astros (7-12) Thursday night. The Mets (6-13) put a nine-spot on the board, beating up on Houston's starter, J.A. Happ, and giving the pitching staff some room to breathe, with a 9-1 victory at Citi Field -- their first win in eight games at home and just their third win in their past 15 games. A rare occasion this season, indeed, so let's concentrate on all the good things in this much-needed win.
The man to get the Mets on the board (in the third inning) was none other than Mike Nickeaus, who launched a ball to left field off of Happ for his first career homerun. With Nickeas' time in the big leagues numbered as Ronny Paulino is about to rejoin the team, it's really a very nice outcome for someone who's been a career minor leaguer.
David Wright snapped an 0-for-20 slide with a great night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a homerun two runs and three RBI. He followed Nickeas' blast with a homerun of his own in the fourth inning to get the scoring started again as the team put two more runs on the board -- via a wild pitch from Happ and an Ike Davis sac fly. Wright would then step to the plate in the fifth inning and promptly smacked a double to centerfield, scoring Capuano and Jose Reyes.
Notice, the Mets' pitching hasn't been mentioned yet, which has to be taken as a good thing. Capuano was stellar on the mound tonight, throwing 68 of his 100 pitches for strikes and keeping Astros hitters off balance all night. He tossed seven innings, allowing six hits and one run, while striking out four. Capuano didn't allow a run until the seventh inning, when the Mets had a 6-1 lead already in hand. Taylor Buchholz followed up with two scoreless innings in relief.
Bay made his season debut -- his first start since July 25 -- and got his first hit in his second at bat, a ground rule double to right field. He also scored that inning and scored in the eighth inning as well.
Davis, who is now slotting in the seventh spot in the order with Bay back, swatted a homerun in the eighth inning to complete a 1-for-3, two-RBI day.
But with the Mets, not all news is ever good news and tonight was no different. Angel Pagan left the game in the sixth inning with a pulled side muscle after colliding with Justin Turner in the fourth inning. He's said to be expected to be out for just a few days, however.
New York will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks (8-9) tomorrow night -- and look to capitalize on another weak opponent, something they were only able to do in the last game of the series with the Astros.
|Final - 4.21.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Mets||0||0||1||3||2||0||0||3||X||9||8||0|
|WP: Chris Capuano (2 - 1)
LP: J.A. Happ (1 - 3)