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Pedro Rights the Ship

Mike SteffanosSunday, April 23, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


Mets 8 - Padres 1

In a game that ended mercifully earlier and with a happier result, Pedro had his best outing of the year, striking out 11 in 7 innings and completely dominating the Padres offense. In the process, Pedro raised his record to 4-0, and ensured the Mets of at least a split of the four game series with the Padres. SNY had a graphic up showing that Pedro has a 10-2 record in his Mets career in games he starts directly after a Mets loss. He's been worth every penny. The offense even seems to relax when he pitches.

Pedro's 7 innings gave the Mets bullpen a nice break, but then to top it off, Jorge Julio pitched 2 terrific innings to wrap things up. Coming into a 6-1 game in the eighth, Julio was terrific, throwing strikes and putting the Padres down in order. Then in the ninth, he struck out leadoff hitter Josh Barfield with a slider in the dirt that got by catcher Ramon Castro for a wild pitch, allowing Barfield to make it to first. Julio made a good pitch to get Brian Giles to hit a double play grounder to David Wright, but Wright booted it for an error. When Mike Piazza followed with a hard single to load the bases, the Mets got Sanchez up in the bullpen despite the 8 run lead. You figured for sure Julio would completely blow up, a couple of bad breaks and now he's looking at bases loaded, no outs. You were wrong.

Julio strikes out Adrian Gonzalez on a filthy pitch, then got Khalil Greene to ground into a game ending double play. It was a great performance by Julio, and I have to give the Mets credit -- I thought for sure it was a waste of time not sending Julio down, but he's stopped trying to overthrow the ball, is pitching down in the zone, and is looking more and more like a viable reliever every day. Still, the Jorge Julio project has a long way to go.

Thoughts on the game

I'm exhausted, so pardon me if I'm brief. Xavier Nady had a nice offensive game with a homer to start the scoring and an opposite field single to drive in another run. Delgado and Castro also homered.

Wright took a nasty hit-by-pitch to the ribs, but was able to stay in the game.

Jose Valentin had a single to raise his average over .100

Home Plate umpire Mark Carlson had a very inconsistent strike zone tonight.

The Mets have the only non-10 PM start of this west coast swing tomorrow. They'll be on channel 11 at 4 PM. Victor Zambrano will face Clay Hensley.

Box Score

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