More Injuries Equals More Wins

May 31, 2009

In the fifth inning of Saturday’s 7-3 loss to the Florida Marlins, Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran left the game with a stomach virus. With Beltran out for the remainder of the game, the Mets lineup resembled something very similar to that of a spring training game in March coincided with the World Baseball Classic. In defense of Mets manager Jerry Manuel, the core of his starting position players were in desperate need of a day off.

Nonetheless, left fielder Gary Sheffield, third baseman David Wright, and second baseman Luis Castillo were back in the Mets starting lineup for the final game of this current home stand against the Marlins today and, wouldn’t you know it, produced a better result. Even with their starting pitcher, John Maine, experiencing the same fate as their absent centerfielder, (Maine was pulled prior to the beginning of the seventh inning Sunday with the same type of stomach virus as Beltran) he managed to propel the Mets to victory and take the series from the Marlins, two games to one.

Maine continued his dominance with the help of his trusty bullpen at Citi Field this season with his fourth win in his last four starts at home. Against the Marlins, the right hander went six full innings giving up only three hits with no runs to go along with five strikeouts to just two walks.

“Not many foul balls were hit. I had a low pitch count. I wanted to keep going but what are you going to do.” Maine said. “I couldn’t help it.”

Today’s 3-2 victory concludes a 5-1 home stand for the Mets. Overall, the Mets are 17-9 at Citi Field. “It’s always important to play well at home,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “Our starting pitching has stepped up for us.”

With that said, right-hander Livan Hernandez will take his 4-1 record for the season with him on the road Monday as the Mets begin a four game series in Pittsburgh. They will then head to Washington to take on the Nationals this weekend before returning home to play the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets currently have an 11-12 record on the road.

Adding to the Mets long list of injuries, outfielder Angel Pagan left today’s game with discomfort in his right groin. Pagan’s status has been listed as day-to-day.

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