It was as if someone took the old Ramon Martinez and replaced him with a newer, faster version. A night after committing two errors, Martinez was brilliant in the field making tough play after tough play. He more than made up for the previous night.
Martinez made a diving stop in the bottom of the ninth inning on a hard-hit ground ball by Mike Lowell, threw to Daniel Murphy at first base and ended the game. He was 1-for-4 on the night at the plate, but this glove was golden on defense.
The game turned into a pitchers’ duel after Mike Pelfrey gave up two runs off of a Kevin Youkilis single in the first. These runs came after Gary Sheffield hit an RBI single at the top of the inning. After that, both Pelfrey and opponent Josh Beckett were lights out. Pelfrey pitched seven, without a single “yip,” while Beckett pitched eight innings, both throwing more than 100 pitches.
The game headed into the ninth inning like it started, with the Mets trailing 2-1. Then all the magic started. The Mets were facing Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had not blown a save all season and had been dominant with a 0.94 ERA.
Papelbon walked Sheffield, then struck out David Wright and Jeremy Reed. Omir Santos came up to the plate. He proceeded to smash the first-pitch fastball way into left field. It appeared to hit the Green Monster and bounce off, holding Santos to a double. However, the expression on Santos’ face as soon as he hit it indicated otherwis4e.
The umpires ruled it a double but then quickly confabbed about it. Upon TV replay, it appeared the ball actually had hit above the line on the wall, indicating a homer. The umpires went to replay and shortly after called it a home run. Santos and Sheffield trotted home, taking a 3-2 lead over the Sox.
But it wasn’t over yet as the Mets still had to close the game out. Curiously, JJ Putz had been warming up in the eighth inning, indicating that Francisco Rodriguez was not going to pitch. It turns out K-Rod was unavailable due to back spasms. This, of course, raised concern all throughout Mets land and for the Amazin’ fans in attendance at Fenway Park.
Putz proceeded to give up a lead-off walk. If not for the amazing plays of Wright, who laid out for a bullet down the first base line and a nice stretch catch from Luis Castillo at second, and Martinez, the outcome could’ve been much different. Yet, the Mets held on to win their second in a row against the Red Sox and climb to within a half game of the Phillies, who blew a ninth inning save opportunity against the Yankees.
New York City fans were united tonight as both teams beat their counterparts and gained a game on them in the standings. It was probably the most exciting win for the Mets yet this season. It was also an amazing win when you think about all of the injuries this team has suffered lately. Just think how good they can be when they’re full strength.
The Mets try to sweep the series, a first, Sunday afternoon with Tim Redding going against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.