Angel Pagan scored the go-ahead run, Jeff Francoeur played the hero and Pedro Feliciano played just well enough to earn the victory.
It was just another unflashy win for the most successful home team in the majors. It took more than a year, but the Mets — stars and role players alike — have finally made themselves at home at Citi Field, where they improved to 22-9.
“I think there comes a time where you continue to put yourself in position to be one hit away or a pitch away, and eventually in the course of 162 [games], that somehow [evens out],”?said Mets manager Jerry Manuel after his team’s 7-6 win yesterday over the Marlins, their eighth straight at home. “Hopefully, we’re getting that opportunity and we’re giving ourselves a chance to do that.
The Mets finished off a sweep of the Marlins by erasing deficits of 5-0 and 6-3. Francoeur’s three-run homer in the seventh knotted it up at 6, then Manuel played to aggressive small ball to jump ahead.
Pagan led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk and advanced to third on Jason Bay’s groundball single. Ike Davis grounded to Hanley Ramirez, who instead of throwing home, inexplicably opted for the 6-4-3 double play.
“Once [Bay] fouled off a good fastball, we pretty much felt that even if [Marlins pitcher Clay Hensley] threw a breaking ball, that we would have a chance to steal a base,” Manuel said. “At the time, if it’s a breaking ball and [Bay[ swings and misses, we have a shot. If he hits it on the ground, it’s first and third, or we stay out of the double play.”
Pagan and Francoeur combined to go 4-for-8 with five RBIs. Francoeur is on a 14-for-26 tear since vowing to only accept hitting advice from Manuel and hitting coach Howard Johnson during the last road trip.
“He is staying on pitches,” Manuel said. “He’s in a good spot right now. We just have to keep him there.”