Mets manager Jerry Manuel announced yesterday that he was going with an all-rookie platoon in left field. Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy will split time in left while Fernando Tatis will become the everyday right fielder.
This is a real stop-gap situation until Ryan Church gets back from his post concussion syndrome problems that have plagued him for much of this season. Church may be back with the Mets within the next two weeks depending on his progress.
Manuel’s done as good a job as he can with the pieces he’s been given in the outfield. Endy Chavez has some skills but he’s not an everyday player. So the Mets have to go with players that are naturally infielders in the outfield corners for now. We’ll see defensive shortfalls like the game winning hit that Tatis couldn’t make a play on in Houston last night. Unfortunately, we’ll have to live with that for now.
The bottom line of this game is that Johan Santana just needs to pitch a complete game every time out for the Mets to win. This was an incredibly frustrating loss for a multitude of reasons. But Santana was terrific. He went 6.1 innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run. What does he have to do to get a win?
The bullpen was complete disaster tonight. And Billy Wagner threw some gas on the fire tonight too with his 7th blown save of the season. Scott Schoenweiss gave up a long solo homer to Kaz Matsui, Wagner gave up three sharp hits and two runs allowing the Astros to tie the game, Aaron Heilman gave up a leadoff walk in the 10th inning and a hit, and then Pedro Feliciano gave up a sacrifice fly to Darren Estad for the Astros to win it.
Daniel “Don’t call me Dan” Murphy got a hit in his first Major League at-bat, and made a tremendous jumping catch against the wall in left and threw to second base for a double play. Nice start for the rookie.
So the Mets fall to third place in the NL East on this loss as the Phillies and Marlins won tonight. The Mets have lost three straight and have lost the series in Houston. They’ll try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon.