August 17th, 2011
by Andrew Rizzi

The Mets had gone 36 games without a starter allowing less than 2 runs. The last time it happened was July 5. It was the longest streak in the Majors since 2002, and the longest for the Mets since 1982. But that infamous streak came to an end Wednesday night at Petco Park, as Dillon Gee’s 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball led the Mets to a 7-3 victory over the Padres.

Dillon Gee became the first Mets rookie to win 11 games since Ron Darling.

Gee had his best outing in several weeks and picked up his 11th win, the most for a Mets rookie since Ron Darling in 1984. Dillon’s most troublesome inning was arguably the 1st, when he faceda sticky  2nd and 3rd with 1 out situation. But he struck out Jesus Guzman and got Orlando Hudson to ground out to escape the inning unscathed. Gee used an accurate change up all night and cruised from there, until the 7th inning when he finally found trouble again. With a 4-0 lead Gee allowed an RBI double to Aaron Cunningham to ruin a shutout bid. After walking Kyle Blanks later in the frame and bringing the tying run to the plate, Gee’s night was done.

Tim Byrdak came in and walked the bases loaded, and Gee looked visibly stressed in the dugout. Eventually though Manny Acosta came in and struck out Jason Bartlett with the bases loaded, and the Padres never came that close again.

The Mets got on the board in the 3rd inning when David Wright connected on a 3-run homer off Mat Latos. It was Wright’s 10th homerun of the season. and gave the 2-out kings 3 more runs when staring the 3rd out in the face. The Amazins made it 4-0 in the 7th on an Angel Pagan RBI ground out, and then broke it open in the 8th. Pagan drove in 2 more with a bases loaded single, and Willie Harris added an RBI hit to make it 7-1. All 3 of THOSE runs were with 2 outs as well.

Ryota Igarashi came in to pitch the 9th and struggled again, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk, but managed to finish the game before Terry Collins had to go to Izzy. With the win the Mets get their first series win at Petco Park ever, and their first in San Diego period since 2002. They finish their 6 game road trip at 2-4.

Three Up:

1) David Wright- DW had the big offensive blow with his 3-run blast, but his defense was superb as well. He made two web gems in this game- first he robbed Logan Forsythe of an RBI double with a diving stop down the line. He had no play at 1st, but faked a throw and totally caught Cameron Maybin, who was rounding 3rd thinking the throw occurred. Wright tagged Maybin out and ended the inning. Later, in the 8th he bare-handed a slow chopper and gunned out Jesus Guzman on a sparkling play.

2) Dillon Gee- A huge start, both for the Mets and Gee himself. He looked like the Dillon Gee of April and May, and his off speed pitch was working like it hasn’t in months. He even made a great play in the field, back handing a hard grounder up the middle and starting a 1-6-3 double play. Gee also showed guts, getting drilled in the knee cap with a pitch when he was up in the 7th, and staying in the game to start the bottom of the frame. Hopefully he is ok, and can continue to pitch well the rest of the season.

3) Angel Pagan- Three RBI and 2 hits for Pagan, who is now 8-13 with 12 RBI this year with the bases loaded. On a team that has been notoriously disgusting with the bags full the past 4 years, Pagan’s streak is a breathe of fresh air.

Three Down:

1) Ryota Igarashi- When Igarashi came in to pitch the 9th of a 7-1 game I pretty much assumed it was Terry Collins giving the guy one more chance. Ryota failed miserably, and I have to think his time as a Met is just about done.

2) Jason Bay- After a red hot 2 weeks Bay is slumping again. He went 0-4 tonight, and is now 0 for his last 20.

3) Tim Byrdak- The lefty came in to relieve Dillon Gee, but walked the only man he faced to load the bases. Luckily Manny Acosta got out of the jam, or this game could have gone very differently.

Rizzi’s Rants:

- Well, it only took 8 years, but the Mets have finally won a series at Petco. Thank the Lord.

- This was a complete win all around- good pitching, timely hitting, and excellent defense. The only time I got stressed at all was watching Igarashi in the 9th. That guy HAS to go.

- The good defense was kicked off immediately, when Jason Pridie made a great catch running towards the wall to rob Will Venable of extra bases leading off the 1st.

- The SNY guys interviewed Paul DePodesta in the booth, which was an interesting watch. That guy travels and scouts baseball all over the world every day. I am not sure how he has a life, but as a Mets fan I guess I don’t care- I just hope he does a good job. DePodesta was asked of one guy in the minors that’s quickly accelerating, and he responded saying AA pitcher Jeurys Familia.

- Kyle Blanks made a great catch in the 9th, leaping over the wall and robbing Lucas Duda of a line-drive homerun. He didn’t have to leap very high since he’s 6 foot 8, but it was still an impressive catch.

- With the win the Mets move to within 4 games of .500 at 59-62. They now face a BRUTAL schedule with the 3 best teams in the NL- the Brewers, Phillies, and Braves all coming up.

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