Alou Returns, Mets Win, How Long?

Although a hitless debut clouded Moises Alou's return and perhaps Diamondback starting pitcher Micah Owings was performing some grotesque sort of Oliver Perez imitation, the Mets jumped on the D-Backs early and fast for a somewhat surprising 7-2 victory over the NL's best team.

Thanks for handing the Mets the game...

Yes, Alou's first at-bat did result in a run being scored but scored as an error Orlando Hudson, it meant that he's still hitting .000 on the season. Perhaps more exciting was what his return meant to the batting order, pushing Ryan Church back into the 2 hole where he has hit in 6 Met games, 6 Met victories.

And here's a little more info for Willie if he wants to secure his hold on the manager's job: in those six games with Church hitting #2, he is hitting .400 with two homers, five runs batted in and 10 runs scored. Church's presence, perhaps but probably not coincidentally, has seen Reyes hit .500 in 28 at-bats with 2 homers and 9 runs scored with Church hitting behind him. Seems like a no-brainer.

What can not be argued is that when Jose Reyes is on, as he was last night leading the game off with a triple, scoring the first run of the game and three altogether along with 4 hits, nearly hitting for the cycle again, so is the Mets' offense.

The Mets have a successful history in the desert having won 12 of their last 13 played, and last night was no different.

John Maine
suffered a nightmarish 2nd inning wherein he threw two wild pitches and walked the D-backs pitcher, allowing a pair of runs to shave the Mets early lead to 4-2.

To his credit however, he regained control and concentration, making the adjustment from fastballs to off-speed pitches, pitching four more innings and earned only his 3rd win of a stuttering season.

The combination of Joe Smith, Feliciano and Duaner Sanchez combined to shut the D-Backs out over the final three innings.

But in reviewing Owings' line, which seemed to contradict his 4-0 start to the season, 10 hits, 3 walks, 7 runs, 6 earned over less than six innings of work, you might wonder if this was a D-back pitching meltdown which the Mets were fortunate to benefit from rather than a clear Met victory. On the other hand, after some repulsive outings at home against the Pirates the Mets will be grateful for any crumbs thrown to them inclusive having the other sides' pitcher look like he wasn't sure if he belonged in the Majors for a change.

Celebrating victory, not another David Wright error...

What all this proves yet again, as it will time and time again this season is that one victory, no more than a lone loss, spells the season's destiny. It is important to bear in mind that as ugly as the Mets' loss to the Pirates was, Friday night's seemingly easy victory on the road against the NL's best against a pitcher who had started the season 4-0, showed what the Mets can do on occasion when they put their minds to it.

Facing the NL's best pitcher this season (sorry, but Santana still has to earn that honor) Saturday, the Mets might not be as lucky.

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