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Pedro Shines, But Mets Drop Series

Mike SteffanosThursday, August 3, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Marlins 4 - Mets 1

Does it seems sometimes that the Mets are the only team against whom Dontrelle Willis still pitches well? Willis, who has been struggling lately, held the Mets to one run over 8 innings. Pedro Martinez also pitched well, but all he had to show for his 6 innings of 4-hit ball was another no decision.

The Mets wasted some chances against Willis tonight. They had 2 men on in the fourth with one out when Wright and Valentin singled, but Chris Woodward hit into a double play. With runners on first and third and one out in the fifth, Lo Duca had a hard-hit ball that Uggla turned into a double play. In the sixth Wright and Valentin again singled back-to-back, this time with 2 outs, and again Woodward could not come through. They finally scored on a Jose Reyes groundout in the seventh to get Pedro off the hook, but a David Wright double play spoiled another opportunity in the eighth.

Meanwhile Pedro looked like he was in mid-season form, allowing only Jacobs' solo home run and 3 other hits in 6 solid innings. He struck out 9 and didn't walk a batter. He deserved better for this performance, but the Mets have often failed to score for Pedro in 2006.

Willie's done a lot better with the pitching staff this season, but his decision to bring in Heilman into a 1-1 game, asking him to pitch for the third consecutive day, was not a good one. Aaron allowed the Marlins 3 runs in his inning of work, walking 2 batters and allowing 2 hits. Whatever momentum Heilman picked up over the past 2 games disappeared on Cabrera's 3-run dagger of a double that put this game away.

Thoughts on the game
The recap pretty much covers it. Pedro was really solid tonight, and that was a good thing, but the bullpen isn't the same without Sanchez. Others guys are going to have to step it up, particularly if Heilman can't get it together.

Wright isn't looking great at the plate, but a couple of base hits against a tough pitcher is a good start back. Jose Valentin, who was struggling for the first time since his awful start, chipped in with 3 hits. Chris Woodward, on the other hand, was 0-3 and left 5 men on base. After being a really nice clutch bat for the Mets last season he has struggled this year.

Roberto Hernandez pitched a scoreless inning tonight after being asked to pitch on consecutive days. All things considered, you would think Willie will really want to stay away from using him again tomorrow.

I don't know about my readers, but I'm a lot more forgiving of a guy who gives it up on hits rather than walks. Heilman was undone by walks to Ramirez and Jacobs every bit as much as Cabrera's hit. It's not his fault that Willie tried to use him 3 nights in a row, but he's just walking too many guys this year. Make them beat you with their bats -- there's no defense against walks.

This game is being discussed in the MetsMerized Mets Talk Forum.

Box Score

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