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Saturday, June 18, 2011
Mets 6, Angels 1: Three Up, Three Down

By Mark Saxon

Dan Haren pitched his worst game of the year and Mets starter Mike Pelfrey completely dismantled the Angels offense for nine innings in a 6-1 loss at Citi Field Saturday night.

The Good:

Relief. Three Angels relievers didn't let it get any worse, which is about all you can do in a game like this. Hisanori Takahashi, Bobby Cassevah and Trevor Bell, the three lowest-ranking relievers, provided good mop-up work.

Power. It comes sporadically for  this team, but any hint of power leads to a glimmer of hope. Mark Trumbo entered the game in the fifth inning and mashed a home run. Torii Hunter hit a double. That was about it.

Possibility. The Angels are still in the first half of their longest road trip of the year. If they can win Sunday, they'll be 4-2, not a bad way to start a long, but not particularly challenging trip.

The Bad:

Length. Haren has gobbled up innings like no other pitcher in the game for the last five or six years. Even when he's off, he normally gives a team at least six innings. In part because his spot in the batting order came up, Haren only pitched four innings. That means the Angels had to extend the bullpen a bit, which doesn't normally bode well for them.

Holding runners. The Mets gave the Angels a dose of National League style and Haren and the catchers didn't respond well. They stole four bases, helping fuel a bad night for Haren and the Angels' defense.

Aybar's slump. What has happened to Erick Aybar at the plate? He went from smacking hits all over the field to nightly 0-fers. He has two hits in his last 20 at-bats and not a whole lot better numbers this whole month.