Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mets' hitting virus has passed. We hope.

When you have a virus, what does the doctor say?

Plenty of rest, plenty of fluids, and let it run its course. Antibiotics and medications do nothing when you have a virus.

The team hitting slump that the Mets hopefully broke out of Friday night is exactly like a virus. It comes in from out of nowhere, and no matter what remedy you try (extra batting practice, less batting practice, lineup changes) you just have to let it run its course.

Viruses come and go. You're sick for a while, but eventually you get better. Same with hitting slumps. It's bad while you're in it, but it doesn't last forever.

Team slumps are worse because a couple of guys stop hitting, and while they're pressing to end their slump their teammates start pressing to do more to make up the difference, and before you know it the shutouts are piling up. Ron Darling mentioned this in the booth on Thursday night, that it's amazing how all team hitting slumps are alike.

Which is why the renewed talk of Jerry Manuel's job being in jeopardy is laughable. If he was doing such a great job before the slump, wouldn't you want him around after it's over? Can't he just weather the storm? It's been a bad road trip, but the pitching and defense have been fine. If he was being praised just a couple of weeks ago, why would you fire him just to "shake things up?"

Hopefully, the bases-clearing double that secured the Mets' 6-1 win over the Dodgers will eradicate the horrific slump that dropped Jason Bay down to the seventh spot in the order. Bay had a terrific night, not only at the plate with two hits, but he made a highlight reel catch at the fence in left, smashing his face against the gate latch. Ouch. Lots of hockey references after that one.

It was a great defensive game by both clubs. Angel Pagan made two sliding catches in right and Carlos Beltran added one in center. The beneficiary was Johan Santana, who was brilliant yet again. Joe Torre helped by pinch-hitting for an equally effective Vicente Padilla, but he didn't have much of a choice at the time. The Dodgers are having as much trouble scoring runs as the Mets.

We'll see if the Mets can use this win to take the series and build some momentum, not only for the upcoming homestand but for the rest of the season.

As for Bay, remember his great numbers from last season were generated by two hot months. He's yet to have one hot month this season. When he does, and when Beltran gets going, runs won't be as hard to come by.

1 comment:

  1. Viruses comes and go but running the bases hard and having a good approach at the plate have been avoided like the plague by the melts.......SEASON OVER!.....Bring back Bobby V even though he may go the Chicago.....