Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daniel Murphy dropkicks the Nats

We said early on last season that we loved us some Daniel Murphy. And while Ike Davis has been tremendous at first base, we still felt bad for Murph, who got hurt, went to the minors to learn second base, and then got hurt again on a dirty takeout slide.

At the time, it seemed like that was that for Murphy, at least as a Met. But give the Mets credit for seeing value in Murphy's offense and his work ethic. They held onto him and plugged him into the second base mix, figuring he could at least be a lefthanded bat off the bench. Lo and behold, the guy has played decent defense and has shown that he knows how to swing a bat.

The latest proof came Wednesday night in game two against the Nationals, a game that could have turned on an absolutely awful blown call by third base umpire Marvin Hudson. Jose Reyes was clearly safe at third on what should have been a triple, but Hudson somehow saw him come off the bag and called him out. As Keith and Gary pointed out on air, neither Reyes nor Collins were thrown out despite vociferous arguing, a sign that Hudson knew he blew it.

Murphy was the next guy up, and he battled Tyler Clippard in an eight-pitch at-bat that ended when Murphy blasted a 3-2 changeup for a home run that should have given the Mets the lead; instead, the game was tied, 2-2.

The Reyes call was the kind of play that would have doomed the Mets two weeks ago. The fact that they bounced back showed guts. The fact that they had to bounce back again — after giving up a run in the bottom of the eighth after a failed diving catch by Bay, Murphy failing to cover second, and a passed ball by Thole — and succeeded proved that this team knows how to fight and win.

Give Murphy credit again, making up for his defensive lapse by ripping a two-run double that gave the Mets a three-run lead in the top of the ninth. But it was only part of a huge inning that saw a leadoff hit by Bay, a bloop single by Davis, a bunt single by Harris and then a pinch-hit sac fly to deep right by Chin-lung Hu.

So many contributors. Igarashi with another huge inning out of the pen. K-Rod closing it out. Beato getting the win and pitching well again despite the hard luck in the eighth.

But the biggest thing was seeing the passion of Reyes and the will of Murphy lead to a Mets win, their first after trailing in the ninth inning since Sept. 25, 2009. The Mets never win those games, right?

They do now.

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