Though the defense for both teams struggled mightily, the Brewers, Mets, and their respective aces put on a pretty good show this afternoon. After giving up two runs in the first inning because of a wild pitch that eliminated the double play ball, Ben Sheets pitched 6 scoreless innings, retiring 18 in a row after allowing two on to start the second. Johan Santana, on the other hand, pitched around long balls and quality base running, and was pretty much dealing until Gabe Kapler chased him away with a two run bomb in the top of the 7th inning. Coming into the 7th inning, their lines weren't much different, but in the end they looked like this:
Ben Sheets: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Johan Santana: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Speaking of Weeks, he may be the only guy I've ever seen who has an absurd amount of success against Johan Santana. He's something like 5/6 with 2 HRs, one of which was his first major league homerun in a come from behind victory against the Minnesota Twins three years ago. And today, he was no different. A solid single to start the game and a go ahead homerun in the fifth. What doesn't make sense is how he can pound on a Cy Young award winner, but can't tap a single against a nobody like Nelson Figueroa.
Finally, Eric Gagne went through the 9th without a hitch. After a few rough looking pitches, Gagne found his fastball location and had a good looking changeup. Yes, it was only Ryan Church, Damion Easley and Brian Schneider, but for once, they all looked over matched.
And on a final note, Hernan Iribarren had his first major league hit and appearance today, only to be picked off two pitches later. Hey kid, it's not that easy.
Game Changing Play:
Nothing really pivotal sticks out in my mind. This was a battle through and through for both teams, but the dagger was Gabe Kapler's 2-run homerun in the top of the 7th. Not only did it chase away Johan Santana, it took all of the wind the Mets had left in their sails and kept the Brewers building confidence solid.
Well, I guess I was pretty close to right all around. Jose Reyes didn't play, but the leadoff hitter for the Mets, Angel Pagan, was responsible for Sheets' first run of the year. Johan and Ben dealt like the Aces they are, pushing through tough situations, getting strikeouts when they needed them and over matching hitters who weren't up to the task. Ultimately, the Brewers right handed heavy lineup would not be handled three times through the line-up. Weeks pulled through, but Braun struggled, which surprises me a little because they usually go hand in hand.
What's on Tap?
A good ol' rubber match pitting Oliver Perez and Jeff Suppan starts tomorrow at 12PM. It will be the last time the Brewers see the old Shea Stadium unless they get their in October when games really matter. If Suppan plays anything like he did on Tuesday, expect a good match, but David Wright and Carlos Delgado may be too much for him.