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Mets Waste Quality Start, Then Boost Bench

After the lineup can’t get the job done, the Mets made a move by releasing Frank Catalanotto and bringing up a minor leaguer.

The New York Mets wasted a quality start last night in the lose to the Washington Nationals. The two teams entered the night tied for second place in the National League East.

John Maine took the mound for the Mets and put together a very nice outing. The right went six innings for New York, giving up two runs on seven hits. The two runs came on back-to-back solo home runs by Adam Kennedy and Ryan Zimmerman in the third inning.

Maine walked four batters but struck out five in the no decision. Most would think if your pitcher holds the Nationals to two runs through six innings, you should win. Not the case last night as the Mets lineup struggled to put anything together against Nationals rookie Luis Atilano. New York managed just five hits off Atilano in 51/3 innings.

The Mets would score a run in the seventh and a run on the ninth on a Angel Pagan solo homer but the rally would stopped. The Mets had 12 hits in the game, but left 11 runners on base. Seven of those runners were left in scoring position.

The Mets bench was rather unproductive once again. Gary Matthews Jr. and Frank Catalanotto each had a pinch hit appearance in the game. Matthews Jr. , struck out when pinch hitting for pitcher Hisanori Takahaski and is now batting just .136 on the season. Catalanotto led off the ninth by pinch hitting for pitcher Jenrry Mejia. Catalanotto promptly grounded out for the first out.

After the game, the veteran utility player was designated for assignment and the Mets made a call to the farm for outfield prospect Chris Carter. The 27 year old had an impressive spring and likely would have made the club if he did not have any more minor league options. Since he did have options left, the Mets decided to keep Catalanotto instead. Carter went to Triple-A Buffalo and continued his hot streak. In 29 games for Buffalo, Carter hit .336 with an OPS of 1.001.

Some may wonder why Catalanotto was let go and not Matthews Jr. who has worse numbers. The fact that the Mets owe Matthews Jr. $2 million over this year and next likely played a part.

Sometimes a move like this gives a team a jolt. Mets third baseman David Wright thinks this one might do it.

“He’s a competitor,” third baseman David Wright said of Carter. “He really is. He’s a workaholic. He’s a guy that is usually the first one here and the last one to leave. He really outworks pretty much everyone in the game, so hopefully it’s a shot in the arm for us. You know he’s going to go out there and give us everything he has every day.”

Carter can certainly give a boost to a Mets bench that is fairly weak. I can also see him getting his fair share of playing time, especially if players like Jeff Francoeur continue to struggle.

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