Three Mets errors didn’t prevent the team from beating the Red Sox, 5-3, in the first game of their interleague series against the Boston Red Sox tonight, as Johan Santana pitched out of jam after jam to get the win. Santana gave up three runs, two earned, but struck out eight in seven innings.
With so many players injured, it didn’t stop the Mets’ offense. The Mets started off with a solo home run by Gary Sheffield in the second inning off of a pitcher he has done very well against in the form of Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka didn’t have his best stuff tonight and the Mets took advantage off it, scoring four runs in five innings against him.
Everyone contributed, except Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church, who left the game after the fourth inning after experiencing a tight hamstring. Angel Pagan came in the game for him and had a hit and an RBI. Murphy and Church were the only Mets who didn’t get hits tonight.
Even Ramon Martinez, who was playing in place of Jose Reyes, drove in a run. But the rest of his night wasn’t as good as he committed two errors and almost a third. His errors overshadowed even Murphy’s bad base running as he was thrown out at third with one out trying to stretch a fielder’s choice to first into two bases.
Despite the win, the news for the Mets got worse. In addition to Church’s tight hamstring, Carlos Beltran was moved from center field to designated hitter after he complained of soreness in his right knee. Jeremy Reed filled in, making a nice catch in center field running for a fly ball. He jumped up and caught it, slamming into the center field wall as he came down.
Bobby Parnell was excellent in the eighth, and Francisco Rodriguez closed the door in the ninth to seal the deal.
On Saturday afternoon, Mike Pelfrey goes up against Josh Beckett. It’ll be interesting to see how these recent injuries will affect the already depleted Mets’ lineup. It’s probable that Beltran will be the DH again and that Pagan will fill in for Church again. How many more injuries can the Mets sustain? If not for the guile of Santana, this game might have been lost. It’s a wonder how they’ll get through the rest of the series. Nothing short of stellar performances by Pelfrey and Tim Redding will be needed.