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The recap: Giants 4, Mets 3

Mets rookie Jeurys Familia faced three Cardinals, gave

Mets rookie Jeurys Familia faced three Cardinals, gave up one hit and struck out one in his major league debut at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Sept. 4, 2012) Credit: Getty

Well, that was weird.

Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia have been so good in the bullpen that until Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Giants, there hadn’t surrendered a run in the same game all season.

“We have been spoiled,” said Mets manager Terry Collins, who was still a bit red after being ejected after the seventh. (He was arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Ben May, a no no).

 

For starters

Righthander Dillon Gee entered his start 0-3 with a 8.10 ERA since the All-Star break. Against the Giants, he made progress, allowing two runs before leaving with one out in the sixth.

“I was a little hit or miss today,” Gee said. “I wasn’t exactly on, but I battled pretty well out there.”

Command is a Gee thing. So is feel. Without it, he struggles. But he showed some signs of both against the Giants. Gee finished with six strikeouts, thanks in part to a changeup that looked sharp.

Said Gee: “I feel like I’m almost back to where I should be.”

However, he also walked three batters, including two to Buster Posey (who finished with four). And in the third, Pablo Sandoval hammered a fastball over the heart of the plate for a game-tying double.

 

In relief

Maybe it was Throwback Monday. In the seventh, Familia allowed the tying run, mostly because he lacked his command. And in the ninth, Mejia got beat on a pitch out of the zone by Sandoval.

But the Mets also benefitted from some sharp relief work. In the sixth, Vic Black took over for Gee, who left a runner at second base. After a walk to Juan Perez, Black struck out pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa. At the time, Black preserved the Mets’ one-run lead.

In the seventh, lefty Josh Edgin helped the Mets hold it to 3-3 after Familia’s wild pitch allowed Hunter Pence score the tying run. Edgin got Brandon Belt to hit into a 6-4-3 double play before getting the first two outs of the eighth. 

That added up to 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Edgin, who lowered his ERA to 1.89 in what has been a nice bounceback season.

 

At the plate

The Mets entered the series with just two walks and one homer in the first three games of the series. But leadoff man Curtis Granderson worked a nine-pitch at-bat to walk ahead of Daniel Murphy, whose first at-bat after a rare day off resulted in his ninth homer of the year. His two-run shot put the Mets in front 2-0.

But the Mets saved their best work for Giants starter Tim Hudson, who was chased after allowing seven hits (three runs, two earned) in just five innings. Four Giants relievers teamed for four scoreless innings and held the Mets to just two hits.

Juan Lagares went 3-for-4 to cap a terrific homestand. In seven games, Lagares hit .440 (11-for-25).

 

With the glove

To start the game, Curtis Granderson ran down Hunter Pence’s opposite field drive just in front of the fence in rightcenterfield. Also in the first, first baseman Lucas Duda backhanded a hard one-hopper by Gregor Blanco, knocking it down in time to feed Dillon Gee when he covered the bag

Gregor Blanco’s powerful throw in the second inning cut down Lagares as he tried to go from first to third on a single by Ruben Tejada. But Lagares got his revenge with one of the best throws of the season, a laser beam in the seventh inning to peg Blanco as he tried to score on a single by Pablo Sandoval. It was Lagares' third assist and his first since July 5.

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud endured a rough day. He was charged with his NL-leading 11th passed ball and made an errant throw on Blanco’s stolen base in the ninth. D’Arnaud also had trouble blocking Familia’s wild pitch in the seventh. When d’Arnaud scrambled for the ball, his toss wound up well behind Familia as he tried to cover the plate.

 

Randomly

David Wright rarely loses his cool on the field. But the slumping third baseman jawed at the home plate ump May after taking a called third strike to end the third

Hudson threw a breaking pitch that spun up and in on Wright, who looked shocked when May called it a strike. Wright immediately argued then angrily tossed his bat and helmet. That triggered a second round of harsh words.

Third base coach Tim Teufel stepped between Wright and May to diffuse the situation. Wright finished 1-for-4, with his only hit coming on an infield single to the hole, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead in the fifth. 

Wright wasn’t alone in his displeasure with May. In the seventh, Murphy took a low strike. Two batters later, Duda did the same. By then Collins had seen enough, earning his second ejection of the season after shouting at the umpire from the dugout.

 

On deck

The Mets are 1-5 against the Nationals and have been outscored 35-20 by their NL East rivals. But on Tuesday night in Washington, the teams will face off for the first time since May. The Mets will send righty Zack Wheeler (6-8, 3.60) to face lefty Gio Gonzalez (6-7, 3.88 ERA).

 

 

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