The Mets bullpen threw 11.1 scoreless innings surrendering only five hits during the three-game series vs. Washington; Nelson Figueroa looks good in  his second time around, but the third game took extra effort to win.

NEW YORK:  Angel Pagan sat on a chair in the New York Mets clubhouse taking the last bite of an ice cream bar. The culmination of a long Thursday for the outfielder and his team, at Shea Stadium, after a 14-inning 3-2 win and three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals.  The last Mets three-game series at Shea over the Nats was September 29-Ocotber 1, 2000 when they were the Montreal Expos.

“Games like this are what make baseball interesting,” commented Pagan who had a long and worthwhile day. Earlier he met with members of the Latino media, the first of more press conferences the Mets and Latino Sports coordinate with the Latino Sportswriters and Broadcast Association.


It was the Mets longest game since July 7, 2007 when they beat the Astros 5-3 in 17 innings at Houston, also the longest contest at Shea since May 23, 2006 when they topped the Phillies 9-8 in 16 innings. Pagan though wasn’t the hero this time. Last Thursday evening he was, driving in the game winning run in an extra inning win over the Philadelphia Phillies.


The Mets bullpen threw 11.1 scoreless innings surrendering only five hits during the three-game series vs. Washington and won six of nine on their first home stand of the season. Damien Easley scored the winning run on a wild pitch that gave New York a big boost as they headed for a road trip to Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington.

“I was just looking for an opportunity for something to happen,” said the veteran Easley who got the word from third base coach Sandy Alomar Sr. that Washington pitcher Joel Hanrahan (0-1) was throwing wild. Easley started the 14th win a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a throwing error.


“He was wild and Alomar said to watch for a ball in the dirt,” said Easley. He would play left field and bat at the bottom of the order, as manager Willie Randolph in the marathon just about used everyone on the bench and out of the bullpen.


Pagan had a chance twice to end the game earlier that saw starter Nelson Figueroa pitch 7.0 innings, striking out seven. In the series New York starters pitched more than 6.0 innings in their last three starts. Mike Pelfrey 7.0, John Maine 6.2, and Figueroa 7.0 and the bullpen did their job also.


It seemed, though that the Mets would never get to Nationals rookie starter Joe Lannan who recorded a career high 11 strikeouts. His previous best was four strikeouts on April 6, 2008 at St. Louis, most by a Nationals pitcher since John Patterson registered 13 on April 15, 2006 at Florida.

“Figueroa has been doing well for us the past couple of starts. The bullpen kept us together,” said Randolph, also encouraged how his bullpen threw 11.1 scoreless innings surrendering only five hits during the three-game series. Jorge Sosa, (2-1) the last of seven pitchers used by Randolph, threw two innings on two hits and got the win.  


“Sosa gave us some length right down to the end,” Randolph said. “We need to continue to get that support. It was one of those games we had to win Easley got two big hits for us tonight.”


Figueroa has now pitched 6.0 innings in consecutive starts, which has been a tremendous boost to the Mets starting rotation that is minus Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez. On where he was when the game ended:


“Just stayed around hopefully waiting to find a way for us to pull it out; I put a rally cap on so it worked,” he said. 

About Rich Mancuso

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