Murphy's Law Has Cincinnati Seeing Red as Their Defense Gives Mets an 8-6 Win; Two Teams Increase Efforts for Beltran

While it is important to keep Daniel Murphy’s bat in the lineup, Murphy’s law can sometimes apply when it comes to his fielding.  Defense was a huge factor in last night’s game, and anything that could’ve went wrong, went wrong – for the Reds.

The Mets scored six unearned runs against Reds All-Star Johnny Cueto, as his defense committed three errors behind him.  It easily could’ve been five blunders, but a hometown scorebook saved Cincinnati’s defense from further shame.

Runs by Carlos Beltran and Justin Turner were direct results of defensive lapses in the first inning.  Turner doubled, before Beltran hit a line drive to Joey Votto who had it clunk off his glove.  David Wright hit a slow ground out that allowed Turner to score.  Then Murphy hit a line drive to Jay Bruce in right field that should’ve ended the inning, but Bruce drops the “RBI single.”

The Mets added two more in the fourth, as the Reds defensive nightmare continued.  First, Jose Reyes reached base when gold-glover Brandon Phillips booted an easy ground out.  He scored on Beltran’s bloop single, and Beltran scored on Jason Bay’s one out bases-loaded sacrifice fly after Wright singled and Murphy was hit by a pitch.

Jon Niese was cruising on the mound with all the runs the Reds were giving away.  He had a comfortable 4-0 lead, but lost it when the Reds volatile offense exploded on him.  Votto made up for his first inning error following an Edgar Renteria two run double, with a two-run homerun hit to the opposite field in the fifth inning.

Niese then got groundballs from Phillips and Bruce to end the inning, but the damage was done as the Reds took a 5-4 lead.

But anything that could’ve went wrong for Cincy, went wrong, as their defense gave up even more runs in the sixth inning.  After Bay led off with a walk, Ronny Paulino hits a sure-bet double play ball that first went under the glove of Miguel Cairo at third, before Renteria kicked it into left field.  They both scored on Jason Pridie’s double, that ended Cueto’s day.

Despite giving up six runs, Cincinnati’s defense assured that Cueto’s terrific ERA would remain in tact.

The Mets bullpen carried the lead for the rest of the night, despite having Jason Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell unavailable.  They did give up one run, but not before the Mets scored their first two earned runs on the night to preserve Niese’s 10th win.

Tim Byrdak got the save when he came on with an 8-6 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  Just like he did two night’s ago, he struck out Bruce in a tight spot as the tying run to end the game.

The Amazins have taken a two game lead in the series, and can leave the Queen City at worst with a series split.  They remained at 7.5 games behind Atlanta, as the Braves were assisted by an umpire’s call in the 19th inning of their game against the Pirates.  The Mets will send Mike Pelfrey on the mound tonight against the Reds' Bronson Arroyo, who despite his bad numbers this year, has pitched well against the Mets in his career.


Mets Notes:

According to the NY Daily News, Johan Santana will start a rehab game tomorrow night for the Mets St. Lucie Single-A affiliate.  He will be on a 45-pitch limit in his first test.  This starts his 30-day rehab clock, which should put him on pace to rejoin the Mets by late August.



Carlos Beltran’s three runs scored might have increased the efforts that the reigning League Champions Rangers and Giants are making to acquire him.  According to ESPN, sources have said that talks progressed for those two teams.  The Braves are also said to be in contention for Beltran’s services.  Baseball’s trading deadline is this Sunday.

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