By Mike Steffanos
Game 97: Reds 5 - Mets 2 (Friday)
Game 98: Reds 7 - Mets 2 (Saturday)
Game 99: Mets 7 - Reds 5 (Sunday)
Going into this series I wouldn't have called a 2-2 split a bad result. The Reds have been playing well and they were throwing a couple of tough pitchers at us. Of course, the Mets wound up winning those two games, but losing to Bronson Arroyo (who came into the game with an ERA just under 6) and the legendary Josh Fogg.
After allowing Arroyo to breeze through 8 innings against them on Friday night, the Mets allowed Fogg to handle them for 6 on Saturday. The Arroyo game seemed over early as John Maine struggled again, but they wasted a pretty good effort by Ollie Perez on Saturday night.
And for all of the frustrations of those past two nights, the Mets go into the Phillies series tied for first and at least coming off a win. It just scares me to think that they were a Thursday night comeback against a good closer and an extra innings win away from being swept this series. But maybe that is progress, I don't know.
John Maine is starting to worry me. This was his third consecutive bad game, and he doesn't look like he's figuring it out, either. On the other hand, you can almost feel the confidence that Oliver Perez brings to the mound again. You really do get the feeling Maine kind of misses Rick Peterson while Perez has been freed by his departure.
On Sunday, I thought Mike Pelfrey was as impressive as you can be while allowing three home runs that were crushed. He gave up the big inning in the fourth, but then managed to go three more with only the one mistake to Brandon Phillips. It was a good sign, but I wonder if he gets hit hard again next time out if Pelfrey might start getting a little gun shy about throwing strikes like he was during his early struggles. It will be interesting to watch.
Carlos Delgado continues to impress -- not just because he's been hot, but because the quality of his at bats have improved so much. If he can really keep this going, and if Ryan Church is able to get past the post-concussion syndrome and contribute, this offense is a lot more impressive. Maybe even good enough to get them to October if the starting pitching holds up.
The 10-game streak was nice while it lasted, but now I'm curious to see if the Mets can sustain solid play or revert back to that win one, lose one type of inconsistent ball from earlier this season.