With Win, Manuel Decides to Wait One More Day

April 25, 2009

As Nationals catcher Jesus Flores began rounding the bases in the top of the ninth inning last night, Mets manager Jerry Manuel may have felt compelled to turn towards the larger-than-life Pepsi-Cola sign in right field and ask himself, “Why me?” Flores had just slammed a two-run homerun off Mets closer Frankie Rodriguez which reduced a comfortable Mets 4-1 lead down to 4-3. Before the game, Manuel made sure his constituents were well aware that even though his starting pitching was beyond lackluster, he was not going to “jump off a bridge” anytime soon.

Further on into the Mets dugout, the game’s starter, Johan Santana, could be seen opting out of an early shower in exchange for the right to experience how this one would eventually end up. Santana had already done his job. The left-hander pitched brilliantly for six innings recording ten strikeouts and was looking forward to earning his third victory of the season. His only blemish was a solo shot by Washington first baseman Nick Johnson that caused his ERA to jump from 0.46 to 0.70.

Rodriguez, who hadn’t pitched in six days, finally found his groove. He closed out the inning and the game by forcing former Mets castoff Anderson Hernandez to fly out to center. Good job! The Mets, for the time being, are on the upswing and more importantly, they have given their manager good reason to live another day.


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