Reyes and Beltran back in Mets Lineup and Izzy Gets the Save • Latino Sports

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Reyes and Beltran back in Mets Lineup and Izzy Gets the Save

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New York – Jose Reyes is the catalyst again for the New York Mets. Back in the lineup Tuesday night at Citi Field after a stint on the disabled list, he had his league leading 44th multi-hit game of the season. And his defense once again shined at shortstop as the Mets took the first game of a three- game series, 4-2 over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Carlos Beltran also returned to the lineup after missing the last three games with a bad case of the flu. And Beltran still heavily rumored to be traded before the July 31 trading deadline, also delivered. Beltran reached base five times. A single, walk and two more doubles adding to his league leading total of 30. “Our lineup certainly changes with these two guys in that order,” said Mets manager Terry Collins.

After losing two of three to the first place Phillies, and a makeup game to the Florida Marlins Monday night, where the Mets failed to score with runners in scoring position, New York banged out 14 hits but they left a man on base every inning. Still it was a productive night with Reyes back in the leadoff spot and Angel Pagan back in the fifth slot of the order.

Pagan told Collins before the game he was glad to see Reyes back, attributed because he was struggling. It showed, because in the fifth inning he drove in two runs with a drive over the head of right fielder Lance Berkman. That hit was the Mets first with runners in scoring position since Sunday.

Said Pagan, “It’s where I’m better for the team.” And for Reyes, who got an ovation when he took the field in the first inning, from the 34,000 plus at Citi Field, it was all the same on the field. His flawless defense also saved the game to give starter Dillon Gee the win. Gee, (9-3) went seven innings on two runs and three hits, in gaining his National League rookie leading ninth win

Reyes is still a subject of trade rumors, though indications appear that the Mets, fading from the wild card chase will keep him around in the walk year of his contract. He stopped St, Louis from scoring in the eighth inning and made a diving stop with runners on first and second. That brought Albert Pujols to the plate with the bases loaded. Bobby Parnell, still not the closer for Collins, threw a ground ball pitch that Reyes fielded to his right at second. It caused Pujols to end the inning and hit into a major league leading 22nd double play.

“It’s a relief,” said Reyes about his return. He had been itching to get back into the lineup and attended the all-star game, though not playing as voted in as the National league starting shortstop. “I had no problems, no setbacks.” And that was a relief because the last few years when hamstring injuries put him on the shelf, Reyes would return too quick and go right back on the DL.

The evening ended when Collins went to the pen and used Jason Isringhausen as the closer in the ninth. The Mets manager has a dilemma as to who the closer is with the departure of Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee. However, Isringhausen at the moment appears to have the job. He pitched a perfect ninth and got his first save since 2008 when he was with the Cardinals, career number 294, and first as a Met since 1999.

When asked if Isringhausen is the closer, Collins said, “Right now Izzy would be the guy, yes.”  He made the team coming out of spring training and got a call from Mets GM Sandy Alderson when he was eating lunch down in Florida with former teammate Chris Carpenter.

And it would be by chance that Isringhausen would get his first save of the season against the Cardinals as a Met. “I knew it was going to happen his way,” he said. “The baseball gods, that’s how they do it. I know I can do it. Tomorrow could be a different day. I could be here tomorrow singing a different tune.”

But the Mets hope it isn’t a different tune. Parnell, who threw 100-mile fastballs during the Pujols at bat could be a perfect setup man with Isringhausen coming in for the save.

NOTES: Beltran said about his at bats, “It was good to have quality at bats and hit the ball well. I saw the ball well and made quality contact and got on base.” He lost five pounds over the past five days but felt the strength return when he arrived at the ballpark on a hot and humid night…

Daniel Murphy hit a two out two-run double to left center in the sixth that increased the Mets major league lead to 85 runs scored with two-outs….Lance Berkman, the former New York Yankee, acquired in the second half last year continued his comeback player of the year status with his 26th home run in the seventh, a blast that went to right-center to the Shea Bridge, once of the deepest areas of Citi Field…

To make room for Reyes on the roster, as expected, the youngster Ruben Tejada was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Tejada is expected to return when rosters expand in September, or he could be back sooner if Reyes is traded. Collins spoke to Tejada before the game, and said he filled the void well at short when Reyes went down on the DL, and will be back. Tejada is expected to succeed Reyes at short if there is a trade or if the Mets do not re-sign him…

 E-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]

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About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.