Wednesday, April 8, 2009


In the span of two days, the Mets bullpen went from being invincible to merely human.
Just two days removed from a nearly perfect 3.1 innings in Monday's season opener, relievers Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, J.J. Putz and closer Francisco Rodriguez combined to allow 3 runs, 4 hits and 2 walks in 4 innings, yet the Mets survived a 9th inning threat to defeat the Cincinnati Reds, 9-7 at Great American Ballpark.
Rodriguez, who earned his second save in as many games, followed his flawless inning Monday by leaving the bases loaded and retired the Reds' final hitter, Laynce Nix on a deep fly ball to centerfield. Rodriguez put himself in peril by walking leadoff hitter Brandon Phillips, but looked to have an easy inning when Jay Bruce popped a hanging breaking ball that fell harmlessly into second baseman Luis Castillo's hands. The next hitter, Edwin Encarnacion appeared to make the second out on a routine ground ball to David Wright, but the first base umpire ruled Encarnacion safe at first base because first baseman Carlos Delgado came off the bag early. Phillips scooted to third on the play, then Rodriguez walked Ramon Hernandez to load the bases.
But Rodriguez, who last year set the Major Leagues single-season saves record with 62, rebounded to strike out Alex Gonzalez swinging on a 3-2 fastball, then put away Nix.
It was no easier for Mets' starter, Mike Pelfrey, who lasted five innings and earned a win, despite allowing 4 first inning runs, 3 of them courtesy of a Joey Votto home run. But Delgado, who hit a two-run homer in the Mets' first inning, added RBIs in the fifth and seventh innings, while centerfielder Carlos Beltran struck the key blow, a go-ahead two-run single off Reds' starter and losing pitcher, Edinson Volquez, in the fifth.
Beltran's single was preceded earlier in the inning by a fielding error by Gonzalez and later in the seventh inning, the Mets benefited from Bruce's slipping and failing to field a Brian Schneider bases-loaded base hit, which cleared the bases and put New York up, 9-5.


Winning pitcher -- Pelfrey (1-0)
Losing pitcher -- Volquez (0-1)
Save -- Rodriguez (2)
2B -- Phillips (1), Church (1), Wright (1), Schneider (1)
3B -- Taveras (1)
Home runs -- Delgado (1), Votto (1)
RBI -- Delgado 4, (4); Votto 3, (3), Beltran 2, (2), Schneider 3, (3), Bruce 1, (1), Hernandez 1, (1), Dickerson 1, (1)
Stolen bases -- None
Caught Stealing -- Beltran (1/2nd base, Hernandez/Gonzalez); Votto (1/home, Pelfrey/Castillo/Schneider)
Runners left on base -- Mets 6, Reds, 9
Runners left in scoring position -- Mets 4, Reds, 6
Errors -- Reyes (1, throw); Gonzalez (1, fielding), Delgado (1, fielding)
Balk -- Pelfrey (1)Wild Pitch -- Volquez (1)
Web gems -- Reds: Top 1st, shortstop Alex Gonzalez makes diving catch of Jose Reyes line drive

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