By Mike Steffanos
Game 4: Marlins 5 - Mets 4
Tough one tonight. I guess some will harp on the fact that Maine allowed those two solo home runs, but I came away from his 5-inning stint fairly satisfied.
Hopefully it's something he could build on. If Maine returns to his form from two seasons ago the starting rotation falls into place much better.
The story tonight was the lack of the big hit again. Jerry Manuel did the right thing by putting so much emphasis on situational hitting this spring, but some of the lessons haven't quite taken hold.
The bullpen was only fair. Sean Green wasn't very good, although I was somewhat impressed that he only allowed one run. Bobby Parnell was fairly unlucky in his inning, where only one ball was hit well. Pedro Feliciano can't seem to get anyone out in the early going.
Darren O'Day allowed Feliciano's run to score after coming in and walking Hanley Ramirez and then giving up the game-winning single to Cantu. In 2 appearances, O'Day has pitched 2/3 of an inning and allowed 2 hits, a walk and hit a batter. He hasn't been charged with a run, but has allowed 3 of 3 inherited runners to score. He could pitch himself back to Anaheim quickly at this rate.
All right, those were the dark clouds. Here's a couple of silver linings:
Both Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church continue to hit. Church was 3-4 and Murphy went 3-5 with a double. Beltran contributed a 3-5 that featured his first home run. Of 11 Mets hits on the night, 9 went to the 3 outfielders.
Jeremy Reed had one of the other two -- and it was a big, 2-out game tying single in the ninth. Too bad it didn't lead to a "W".
It's up to Livan Hernandez to break the first losing streak of the season. He'll have to beat Ricky Nolasco to do it.