Offense Rallies, Defense Faulters & Parnell can not Close the Door

 

Bobby Parnell was one out away from securing his sixth save of the season, before Aramis Ramirez poked a 100 MPH fastball through the right side of the infield to plate two runs and give the Chicago Cubs a 5-4 victory.

Photo taken by Michael Baron

Parnell started the ninth by inducing Geovany Soto to hit a routine grounder to third base for what should have been the innings first out.  Instead, Wright turned to his back hand and misjudged the in-between hop allowing Soto to reach base safely while committing his second — the teams fourth — error of the game.

“I was trying to retreat and catch and throw and just clanked it,” Wright explained, according to ESPN New York.

Bryan LeHair followed the error with a stand up double to place runners on second and third with nobody out.  With his back against the wall, Parnell induced Sterlin Castro to tap a weak grounder back to the mound before striking out Reed Johnson for what should have been the third out of the inning. However, the inning continued and with first base open, Collins elected to have Parnell pitch to Aramis Ramirez rather than go after Tony Campana; who replaced John Baker in the eighth inning.  The move would cost NY as Ramirez got a hold off a triple digit heater and plated both the tying and go-ahead run to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish. Following the game, Collins spoke about his decision to pitch to the Cubs best hitter:

I thought about putting him on first base, I just didn’t want to load the bases. The one thing that’s been killing us all year has been bases on balls. I know he’s a good hitter, but I just didn’t feel comfortable walking him. I should trust my guys better than that.”

Photo taken by Michael Baron

In the half inning prior, the Mets — as they have done so many times before — rallied to overcome a three run deficit scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a one run lead. After a Willie Harris walk to start the inning,  Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to a season high 13 games with an RBI double. Later in the frame, David Wright cut the NY deficit to one, 3-2 with an RBI single to right.   With runners on second and third and two outs, Jason Bay continued his torrid streak with a two run go-ahead single to left. Bay finished the game with two hits in four at-bats marking his fifth mutli-hit game over that span.  The left fielder has now driven in a run in each of the last four games (8 RBI) improving his season total to 56.

The Mets are back at it tomorrow night as the look to take the weekend series by sending Miguel Batista to the mound to face Matt Garza.

*Notes-

Chris Capuano who started the game for NY gave his best effort since his two hit complete game shut out by pitching seven strong innings of work, allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk, while striking out six.

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