Washington's center fielder #42 Lastings Milledge hits a one-out double off New York Mets' starter, #42 Mike Pelfey as the two former prospects in the Mets' organization face off in the Majors. New Mets' catcher #42 Brian Schneider catches Lastings Milledge trying to steal third. DC third baseman #42 Ryan Zimmerman belts a line drive to center and Mets' center fielder Carlos Beltran, #42 on New York, makes a running grab at a full sprint to end the top of this incestuous matchup.
Jose Reyes lines a 2-2 pitch under the outstretched glove of Cristian Guzman at short for a leadoff single. New York Manager WIllie Randolph has decided to bat Ryan Church 2nd in the lineup. Jose Reyes gets caught leaning towards second, and Odalis Perez picks him off and erases the runner in front of Church, who lines a single to center field. David Wright backs Wily Mo Pena up to the wall...and it's GONE!!...into the bleachers in left for a two-run blast and a 2-0 NY lead.
Nick Johnson finds the hole at short and pushes an outside fastball into left for a single. Austin Kearns follows with a tailor-made DP. Johnny Estrada takes one off the elbow, (ed. note - "Don't do that just to get Lo Duca in the game!!"), WIly Mo Pena likes fastballs, but Pelfrey saws him off with a low heater inducing a grounder to end the top of the frame. Odalis Perez retires the Mets in order to end the second, still 2-0 NY.
Ronnie Belliard starts the third with a sharp grounder up the middle. Odalis Perez's sac attempt dies in the dirt at home, allowing Brian Schneider to take out the lead runner at second. Cristian Guzman singles to left, Milledge walks, bases loaded for Ryan Zimmerman...Zimmerman pops out to the infield. Nick Johnson, two outs, bases loaded...Mike Pelfrey blows two fastballs by Johnson to end the Nationals' third.
Jose Reyes starts the bottom of the third with a blast over Lastings Milledge's head for a leadoff double. Ryan Church lays down a drag bunt, that moves Reyes up, but doesn't get him on base...is that a selfish sacrifice? Odalis Perez walks Wright. First and third for Beltran...Beltran groounds to Guzman to Belliard to Johnson, inning ending DP...
At this point I receive a response to a text I'd written to an old friend Runner earlier in the day, who just happens to be a Mets' fan...I'd originally written:
"Today at federalbaseball.com...Top 5 Reasons YOU Can STILL Hate The METS!!"
...the response I received from Runner read in part:
"You're a jerk. Pelfey and that mouthpiece, don't you just want to rip it out. He sure throws gas though."
"Laser straight fastballs usually..." I respond, "...has some movement tonight though."
"You're more than welcome to come over and watch it on the big screen in HD."
A little while later I arrive at Runner's home in the top of the fifth. Still 2-0 Mets. Odalis Perez has the lone hit of the Nationals' fifth, with a one-out single to center, but the Nationals fail to score their pitcher, and then Perez goes back on the mound and gives up a leadoff triple to Jose Reyes, who is now just a home run away from the cycle. Odalis Perez strikes out Ryan Church, walks Carlos Beltran, hits Carlos Delgado, and eventually ends the inning when Angel Pagan lines out to left, as Perez works his way out of a leadoff triple.
Odalis Perez lasts, 6.0 IP, allows 6 hits, 2 ER, 4 walks, and 1 HR, with 3 K's and a 4.35 ERA to end the day. Perez is replaced on the mound by Ray King, who gives up a run, Luis Ayala, who give up another, and Joel Hanrahan, who gives up two, as the Mets take a 6-0 lead over the Nationals. Mets' starter Mike Pelfrey pitched 7.0 IP and gave up 5 hits and 2 walks with 5 K's to lower his ERA to 1.50 and raise his record to (2-0) on the young season.
"Pelfrey has got to lose that mouthpiece," Runner rants, "...not even boxers wear mouthpieces that big." Ryan Church goes 1 for 3 with 2 runs scored against his former team. "He's hitting .326, Schneider's close to .300(.293 after tonight), who got the best of the Milledge trade now?" Runner asks.
"Milledge is batting .300 too, (.309 after the game), I'd take the deal any day," I say, "...and as for Church, he may be hitting .326 now, but he'll even out to .270 in no time at all."
Tonight though, it's all about David Wright and Jose Reyes. Wright, is batting .311 after the game, in which he went 3 for 4 with a walk and 5 RBI's on a HR and two doubles. Reyes hits two singles, 1 double, and 1 triple to end the night batting .273. For the Nationals, it's Cristian Guzman and Lastings Milledge, who both end the night batting over .300, with Guzman 2 for 4 at .333, and Milledge 1 for 3 on the evening and .309 on the season.
The Mets bring on Aaron Heilman and a returning Duaner Sanchez, who combine to preserve Pelfrey's win with an inning each in relief of starter. The Mets win 6-0 in the first meeting of the season with the Nationals.
Nationals now 4-10.