Jeff Francoeur, who was picked up from Atlanta in an almost straight-up trade for Ryan Church, came into Saturday night’s game against the Reds and provided an immediate lift to the offensively challenged Mets. He had two hits, two RBI and a really bad steal attempt.
The change of scenery seems to have helped Francoeur who was batting .250 with five home runs and 35 RBI when he was with the Braves. Better yet, it helped the Mets. Church’s first game with the Braves, however, didn’t go as well. He went 0-for-4 at the plate and left four runners on base.
Francoeur’s two RBI were accentuated by his solid play in right field. The only blemish on his night was when he was thrown out at second in the seventh inning when he tried to steal. He was caught in the middle of his run when the pitcher never delivered the ball to the plate. He was easily thrown out.
But his bat is what helped the Mets win behind Johan Santana, who got his 10th win of the season. He was back to his old self, shutting out the Reds through seven innings. Hopefully, he can continue that through the second half of the year.
The Mets had plenty of offense, scoring four runs early. They were shut out for the rest of the game, however. Angel Pagan returned to the lineup, playing center field. He also made an immediate impact, hitting a single and a triple and scoring two runs. His play in the field was also an upgrade over other players who have filled in in that position since Carlos Beltran went on the disabled list. He made an important catch almost against the center field wall to save some runs.