By Mike Steffanos
No television again, but some quick thoughts on today's game against the Indians:
Jason Vargas started the game and pitched 3 innings. The line was 3IP, 2ER, 3H, 2K, 2BB. He also gave up a home run to the immortal Ben Francisco. While he didn't earn himself a one-way ticket out of town (see Alay Soler), I think the chances have increased somewhat that he'll be in New Orleans come April. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Vargas retired the first two batters in the second before running into trouble. After Francisco took him deep, Vargas plunked Michael Aubrey and then wild-pitched him to second. He walked Hector Luna to dig the hole a little deeper, but induced Trevor Crowe to line out to Chavez and escaped further damage.
In his third and final inning Vargas retired the first two batters again, but a Travis Hafner double and a walk to Victor Martinez put him in trouble again, and Jhonny Peralta's single scored the third run against him. He got Francisco to fly out to end the inning and his workday.
Next up for the Mets was Ambiorix Burgos, who seems to have bounced back from giving up a grand slam earlier this spring. He wasn't scored on in two innings of work, though he did give up 3 hits and a walk to keep things lively. Getting Hafner to hit into a double play saved him from damage. Two of the hits came in his second inning of work, and while most of the time he will probably be asked to go one inning, he would probably help his cause to make the Mets out of camp if he demonstrated that he could give Randolph 2 quality innings out of the 'pen. With the uncertainty surrounding the starters, the Mets need versatility in the bullpen. When he gave up that slam earlier this spring it was also in his second inning of work.
Phil Humber was touched up for a run in his two innings of work. Hope he likes gumbo. Lino Urdaneta pitched a strong eighth inning, getting a groundout and 2 strikeouts, but when stretched to a second inning also struggled somewhat. With a 6-3 lead heading into the ninth, he allowed hits to Trevor Crowe and Jason Michaels sandwiched around a force out, then wild-pitched in both runners. He finally managed to retire the final batter and preserve a rare (at least lately) spring win for the Mets.
On the offensive side of things, Shawn Green homered off of Indians starter C. C. Sabathia. It was his only hit in 4 ABs, but at least he's shown some signs of life lately. Endy Chavez went 3-4 with a pair of ribbies, and Jose Reyes hit his third home run of the spring.
The Mets face the Tigers tomorrow in their third consecutive road game, hence no TV again. John Maine and Mike Pelfrey are scheduled to pitch.