Capuano slips; Mets take rubber match, 9-1

The moms of Long Island had a little bit better day than the moms of southern Wisconsin.
As did Mets’ pitcher Oliver Perez have a better day than Brewers’ starter Chris Capuano.
After Mets’ second-baseman Damion Easley’s 2-run homer off of Capuano in the bottom of the first, Oliver Perez had all the run support he’d need; and Perez 2-hit the Brewers over 8.33 IP, allowed a lone earned run, as Perez and the Mets won the rubber match, Sunday, 9-1, sending a clear signal to the Brewers and their fans that any NL pennant hopeful will have to go through New York.
Chris Capuano only lasted 4 innings and allowed 4 ER…Cappy had only thrown 65 pitches, but was lifted in the top of the 5th for pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn, Jr., as Corey Hart was sitting on first with two outs…skipper Ned Yost must have felt that his club needed some sort of spark to get back into the 4-0 game…but Gwynn fanned to end both his and Chris Capuano’s afternoon. Carlos Villanueva, now seemingly Ned Yost’s #1 choice for long relief, pitched 3 innings, allowed 0 ER’s, and struck out 5. But Elmer Dessens, who was initially slated for the long relief role at the start of the season, came in the game in the 8th, and gave up 5 ER in just 1 IP, clinching the victory for the Mets. If not for his $1.7 million contract, Dessens would likely be released or sent down, and could still be if the Brewers’ don’t see some improvement in his performance.
Next up: Four games in Philly against the 17-20 Phils; the Brewers took 2 of 3 at Citizens Bank Park in ’06.
The Ryan Braun watch: Ryan was given the day off Sunday, but still leads the Sounds with his .358 average, .716 SLG, and 1.142 OPS (if you don’t count Laynce Nix’s 8 AB’s, which I don’t). Braun also leads Nashville with 8 HR’s. With Craig Counsell starting against righties and hitting .218/.291/.343/.634 against them, while Tony Graffanino is hitting .237/.263/.286/.549 against lefties, Doug Melvin has got to start thinking about which player will go when Braun is called up…my guess is that it will be an outfielder, with Gabe Gross the most likely (as Mench, Jenkins, Hall, Gwynn and Hart have had more playing time and are putting up decent numbers)…if Gross weren’t needed for the 2008 OF (as either Mench or Jenkins will likely be gone next year), Gross would be put on the trading block…but for now, let’s hope he’ll be happy playing everyday, even if it is in Nashville.

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