The Mets took the first game of a three-game series, 7-1, against the Florida Marlins tonight as starter John Maine pitched brilliantly and catcher Omir Santos hit the Mets’ first grand slam at Citi Field.
It was the first home run of the season for Santos, putting him in some rare company as only the third Met ever to hit a grand slam for his first homer with the team. That gave Maine plenty of support to cruise through six innings allowing only one hit and one earned run, which came after Gary Sheffield dropped a ball in left field for a two-base error. Maybe it’s not the greeness of Daniel Murphy but a cursed left field that has caused so many problems. OK, maybe not.
Everything was going right for the Mets tonight. Even David Wright got in on the action, hitting an RBI single and a triple, which led to another run. The greater feat by Wright was that he didn’t strike out all night. Hopefully, this will get him off his schnide.
It was like watching the Mets we all know and love, the team with so much potential.
Mets pitching only allowed two hits all night. Sean Green, JJ Putz and Frankie Rodriguez closed out the game with three shut-out innings. Even though it wasn’t a save situation, Putz and Rodriguez came in, presumably to get some work since they hadn’t pitched since Friday night.
But the big hero was Santos, whose play is giving manager Jerry Manuel a tough decision: keep starting a good hitter who can also throw out runners and be a good signal caller or go the more traditional route by staying with your original starter and backup, Brian Schneider and Ramon Castro. Manuel has said in the past that he’s going to reward good play with playing time, so the right move is to stick with Santos. Luckily, Manuel won’t have to make a decision right away with Schneider still on the disabled list.
In other news from the game, Luis Castillo left the game after the fourth inning with back spasms, and Manuel decided to sit Carlos Delgado in favor of Fernando Tatis, who had a hit and a run. Sheffield, despite his error, finally got a hit and another RBI.