Saturday's 8-4 win against the Washington Nationals marked several steps forward for the New York Mets and put an end to some cold streaks. It not only snapped a three-game losing skid, it was the longest outing for a Mets starting pitcher since the third game of the season and the team went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
After jumping out to a first-inning 2-0 lead on a Carlos Beltran two-run homerun, Chris Capuano promptly gave up a three-run homerun of his own to Danny Espinosa in the top of the second inning. Beltran belted another homerun in the fourth inning, his second of the year and his second one of the day batting right-handed. Again, though, Capuano was victim to the long-ball as Ian Desmond hit a solo shot against him in the fifth inning.
After that the Mets' offense kicked it into high gear in the sixth inning -- David Wright walked, Beltran reached on an error and Ike Davis tripled them in with a gap-hit to right centerfield. Daniel Murphy then singled Davis in and the Mets turned a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead. Jose Reyes would chip in on the fun with his first RBI's of the year in the eight inning, doubling home Jerry Hairston and Brad Emaus.
Altogether, Capuano pitched fairly well, totalling six innings, allowing seven hits and four runs while striking out eight. Beltran and Davis each finished with two hits apiece, with Beltran knocking in three and scoring three runs. Taylor Buccholz, Bobby Parnell (with some shaky command) and Francisco Rodriguez combined to pitch three innings of scoreless relief to close out the game.
Chris Capuano makes his regular season starting debut for the New York Mets (3-4) against the Washington Nationals (3-4) tonight (7:10 p.m. EST, SNY) hoping to put an end to the Mets' current three-game losing streak. The Nationals will send their own left-hander, Tom Gorzelanny, to the mound.
The Mets' demise of late has been due to their starting pitchers giving up far too many runs early and not pitching deep enough in games. The bullpen is starting to get overworked as well. Plus, the team itself has struggled mightily with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-10 yesterday.
Capuano made a relief appearance earlier this season, going two-thirds of an inning, allowing three hits and a run. He is 1-2 with a 3.58 ERA against Washington in his career. Capuano sports an underwhelming fastball but he has a decent changeup, and a slider as well that makes it play up. When he's on, he useually has good command, will give up about a hit per inning and will have a strikeout rate around seven per nine innings. Mets could use at least six innings from him today.
Gorzelanny is similar to Capuano in that he's not overpowering and is also a fastball-slider-changeup guy. He is 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA against the Mets in his career and is far less overpowering than yesterday's starter, Jordan Zimmerman, is. The Mets should be able to get some offense going in this one, but again the x-factor will be whether Capuano gives the team quality innings.