Monday, May 24, 2010

Could it have ended any other way?

I'm definitely a glass-half-full Mets fan, and this site is dedicated to not getting sucked into the negativity that seems to surround the Mets 24/7.

That said, I was less than confident with K-Rod on the mound Sunday night.

A run-scoring double by Derek Jeter, an RBI groundout and ridiculous infield single on a chopper by Mark Texeira (who can't buy a hit otherwise) -- all against Frankie Rodriguez -- brought up A-Rod against K-Rod with two outs in the top of the ninth, the Mets holding onto a  6-4 lead that had been 6-1 when the inning started.

The count went to 3-1 and I was sure K-Rod was going to walk the bases loaded. Then a foul ball to make the count full, followed by two more foul balls. This was excruciating. This was the Mets.

Finally, Frankie fools A-Rod with the breaking ball, a swinging strike three, and the Mets win the game and the initial installment of the Subway Series, 2 games to 1. Joy and hope had returned to Flushing, where the Phillies would be starting Tuesday -- a Phillies team once again without Jimmy Rollins, and one that would not be featuring Roy Halladay this time around.

Thankfully, the series win over the Yankees should quell some of the anti-Manuel rumors, but that will only be temporary, unless the Mets go on a monumental winning streak. What is important is how the starting pitching performed against the Yankees and how the offense has improved.

Johan Santana was brilliant for almost eight full innings, one day after Mike Pelfrey shut the Yankees down, which came a day after Hisanori Takahaski stepped up with a strong outing in a 2-1 loss on Friday.

Takahashi and R.A. Dickey each pitched well enough to earn second starts against the Phillies, and they will be matching up against Jaime Moyer and Joe Blanton, respectively. Those are winnable games for the Mets, as is the Thursday game featuring Cole Hamels against Pelfrey.

The end of the Phillies series, coming on the heels of the Yankees series, has stood out all along as the first real landmark of the Mets 2010 season. The Mets will be 48 games into the season after this series is over, and will either be just above or a bit below .500. Considering their struggles -- and thanks to the mediocrity of the National League -- that ain't bad.

What the Mets need to do is keep the mojo going, and with Jose Reyes showing some signs of life, and with Jason Bay heating up (two homers on Sunday night), maybe the Mets are ready to break out. Not like the 9-1 homestand, but really start putting things together, winning series one after another, getting a few games up over the .500 mark as we hit the All-Star break and the possible return of Carlos Beltran.

Ryota Igarashi's return could also be a big factor. He looked bad against the Yankees, but make no mistake -- if he goes back to pitching the way he was pre-injury, it lessens Fernando Nieve's workload and gives the bullpen another weapon, especially big if Takahashi remains in the rotation.

With a five-run lead in the ninth, it was the perfect time to give Igarashi some action -- unfortunately, he wasn't up to the task and K-Rod had to come in after a five-out save the night before. Had he blown the save and had the Mets lost, there was no way you could blame Manuel -- but you know there would be those who would.

In the meantime, it was not only nice to see the Mets take a rubber game and win this series, it was also nice to see the national spotlight focus on the hitting troubles of a New York player not named David Wright.

Someone should really tell Texeira that the season has started. The guy is barely above the Mendoza line. Where are his boos?


  1. Teixera has a championship ring and plays flawless defense....and still has over 30 rbis...he'll be fine....As for the Mets, Johan is our ace and is supposed to pitch like that...I love big Pelf and Takashi could be a decent 3...As I said all along the 2 out hits with runners in scoring position will be our achilles heel all year...WE don't have the bats....Bay is our only real power and he should pick it up...but Francouer is a bust and Wright strikes out way too much...The NL may be average but the whole NL east is avg which makes the division games much harder this year than when we had easy wins against the nats....4th place like I said.

  2. Can always count on Schmitty to bring a ray of sunshine. If Texeira is going to be fine, so will Wright. As for Francoeur, ESPN's Chris Harris has a piece on BABIP that shows that Texeira and Francoeur have been among the 'unluckiest' hitters this season. So if they revert back to their career averages, the pendulum should swing back the other way and they'll start producing. See here: