Betty's No Good Clothes Shop And Pancake House
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
  Mets 5, Pirates 0

At last, the Mets have found a pitcher able to get the Pittsburgh Pirates out. Orlando Hernandez pitched an excellent game, pitching well for the third time in four starts. Add to that an offensive explosion by the Mets in the first inning and this game was never in doubt.

Hernandez pitched seven shutout innings and allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out seven. It was his first scoreless outing of the season aside from a game on May 16th in which he left after just two innings due to injury. He's now pitched 45.2 innings with the Mets, the exact number he'd pitched with Arizona before the trade, and he's posted an ERA of 4.14 as compared to the 6.11 he gave the D'Backs. He's struck out fifteen fewer batters with the Mets, but he's also cut down a bit on his walks from twenty to fourteen and given up nine fewer hits. His home runs are still far too numerous, but he's allowed just six after the trade after giving up eight beforehand. Shutting down a poor team like the Pirates doesn't prove a whole lot, but he has also pitched well against some good offensive teams lately. If he can keep up an ERA around 4.00 he won't be a great option for a playoff start, but he can be solid filler at the back of the rotation.

His job did get a bit easier as the Mets jumped out to a big lead in the bottom of the first. Jose Reyes led things off with a triple and altogether they put up four hits, one walk and one hit by pitch en route to five quick runs. Jose Valentin's double was the biggest blow of the inning, driving in two runs. Paul Lo Duca and Endy Chavez also had RBI hits. The Mets didn't have another hit all game, but they didn't need one.

Chad Bradford and Duaner Sanchez each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Bradford gave up one hit and struck out one. Sanchez got into a bit of trouble with a pair of ground ball singles up the middle, but was able to escape and preserve the shutout.

This series will conclude tomorrow night with Steve Trachsel (7-4, 4.70) on the mound for the Mets. Trachsel has won each of his last five starts despite allowing four or more runs in three of those games and not pitching more than six innings in any of them. Perhaps he's embarked upon a subtle campaign to point out the uselessness of the pitcher win statistic to the public. Perhaps he's just been lucky. Tom Gorzelanny (0-0, 3.60) will make his second start of the season and the third of his career for the Pirates.
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Disseminating descriptions and accounts of New York Mets games without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball or the New York Mets since 2003.

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