I don’t know about you, but I just love when a manager foolishly takes out a starting pitcher who has dominated the Mets all game long and brings in inferior relievers to blow the game. That’s just what happened in Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.
Jose Reyes led off the game to a less-than-enthusiastic mixture of boos and cheers in his first visit back to Citi Field with that ridiculous new Marlins logo. He almost started with a bang — he hit a long drive to center that Kirk Nieuwenhuis was able to track down with a circus catch. Reyes would go 0-for-4.
Johan Santana was brilliant, going 6.2 innings, striking out 11 and allowing just two hits. He allowed one run in his final inning, and even that run shouldn’t have happened. With Giancarlo Stanton on first with two outs, Mets killer Gaby Sanchez hit a long drive off the wall in left. Mike Baxter slightly bobbled the ball, but it was enough for Stanton to be sent home. Baxter threw a less-than-perfect cutoff to Ruben Tejada, who had to spin around before firing home. Still though, the ball easily beat Stanton to the plate, but the throw short-hopped Josh Thole, and he could not handle it. Santana then left the game down 1-0.
Josh Johnson was just as dominant as Santana, limiting the Mets to just three hits and striking out nine. After getting the first two outs in the seventh, Johnson walked Lucas Duda. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen came to get Johnson, which proved to be a very bad idea. That’s because Randy Choate walked Justin Turner (who was shockingly pinch hitting for the struggling Ike Davis). Guillen then brought in Steve Cishek, who walked pinch hitter Scott Hairston. Guillen then tried his luck with Mike Dunn, who promptly walked Josh Thole to tie the game at one. Bet Johnson would have fared better than the bullpen.
Then in the eighth, Guillen tried Edward Mujica. Nieuwenhuis singled to first and advanced to second on a ground out. Daniel Murphy singled to make it first and third. Nieuwenhuis would score the winning run on an infield single by Lucas Duda.
Frank Francisco, struggling of late, nailed down the save for a very nice 2-1 win.