The Mets moved a small step closer to October tonight, shaving one off their magic number. It’ll still be awfully tough from here because the Brewers rallied back from two deficits to beat the Pirates 7-5 so the Mets have just a one-game lead. Their deficit in the NL East was trimmed to 1 1/2 as the Braves finally manned up and beat the Phils.
It was a pretty wild night, what with broken bats hitting ground balls, Ramon Castro hitting infield singles and a fan briefly interrupting a huge AB by running on the field. Here are a few notes and quotes:
â€” Johan Santana is now 8-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 15 starts. His last loss came against the Yankees on June 28, when the Yanks were still playing meaningful games. (You get it â€” that’s how long ago it was.) … The Mets are 12-3 in those games.
â€” Santana’s 125 pitches were a career-high. Not 225 (“100 short,” as Jerry Manuel told Santana), but good enough.
“I didn’t even know I had that many pitches, to be honest to you. All the intensity in the game and everything that we went through, I was just out there trying to help.”
â€” David Wright had a two-run single with the bases loaded to tie the score 2-2. Wright had been 3 for 16 with the bases packed this season. Here’s what he said about the hit:
â€œIâ€™m having problems with runners in scoring position, but Iâ€™m glad I could come through. Itâ€™s a big at-bat for my confidence and the team. Itâ€™s something hopefully I can feed off of. I needed that.â€
â€” Wright’s 122 RBI are second in club history. He needs three more to surpass Mike Piazza.
â€” Jose Reyes (right), who hit .205 last September, had a three-run triple that gave the Mets the type of cushion they’ve lacked lately. Reyes let out his frustration upon arriving at third, slapping his hands repeatedly. Reyes said it felt good to back up Santana, and called this “one of the biggest wins of the season for us.”
â€” While John Maine is pushing to return to the ‘pen, Damion Easley is pushing to return to the field. Easley continues to take ground balls and run in controlled settings. He told me today he believes he can play second again this year, despite Jerry Manuel’s pessimism. I asked Easley if Manuel knows he has hopes of playing before the week is through. “He knows,” Easley said grinning. “He knows.”
â€” All indications are that Omar Minaya has indeed received a four-year extension. The Mets just won’t announce it until after the year.
â€” Manuel deemed his pregame meeting with Fred Wilpon “positive,” saying he always enjoys hearing the owner’s ideas and discussing strategy with him. However, they did not discuss a possible contract extension for Manuel. Apparently, the interim manager must wait until his fate is determined.
â€” A few players mentioned the case of Met fans vs. Luis Castillo, who is now 4 for his last 27 and was roundly booed tonight. Santana, who is close to Castillo, tip-toed around it but you could see he doesn’t think it’s right. Wright said they’ll cheer Castillo’s next big hit. “We’ve all been booed before,” Wright said.
â€” Clearly, Wright was ignoring the charmed existence of Dan Murphy, who raked another pinch-hit base hit tonight. Murphy is now 6 for 12 as a pinch-hitter, and get this â€” he has reached in 12 of his 17 plate appearances thanks to five walks. No booing that.