What a great way to go into the All-Star break. The Mets ended their first half of the season by winning two games in a row for the first time since July 2 and opening up their offense. They also hit their first home runs in more than 75 innings.
The acquisition of Jeff Francoeur continued to pay dividends as he had two more hits today. He now has four hits and two RBI since joining the Mets on Saturday.
The Mets offense continued to roll for the second consecutive day. It gave starter Mike Pelfrey plenty of support to win the game, despite a turbulent fifth inning when he allowed three runs. He settled down after that, ultimately pitching seven innings.
The Mets jumped all over Reds starter Aaron Harang, scoring seven runs and knocking him out after the third inning. Francoeur, Gary Sheffield, David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Alex Cora each had two hits. Luis Castillo, who had a great batting average against Harang coming into this game, had three hits. Sheffield and Murphy, who also made some excellent plays at first base, combined to drive in five runs.
With the game well in hand in the seventh inning, Brian Schneider and Fernando Tatis hit back-to-back home runs. They were the first home runs by Mets at Citi Field since Sheffield’s on June 26. Maybe because there have been so few home runs hit lately, the Big Apple out in center field forgot what to do. There were delays with it rising on both homers.
The Mets bullpen almost blew the game for Pelfrey. Although Sean Green was tagged with three earned runs, Bobby Parnell and Pedro Feliciano helped to bring in those runs by allowing five hits in the eighth inning. Thankfully, Francisco Rodriguez closed the door in the ninth inning and got his 23rd save.
The Mets now head into the All-Star break with a little momentum that hopefull won’t be muted by the time off. It does provide some much-needed rest for a weary and beleagured team.