It’s important not to get crazy just yet.
And I tell this more to myself than to all of you. The temptation is huge for me to say that the Mets have turned the corner and have arrived for real with their impressive 9-1 win over the Phillies to make it 10 wins out of 11. This game, like all of them, are just 1/162nd of a season … even the ones against the Phillies. Oh, and May has barely started yet … there’s that.
But it was still as sweet as April wins against the Phillies can get. Not only because Rod Barajas basically came up with half of his entire output as a Phillie in one night with the Mets. Not only because David Wright continued his comeback from the abyss. And not only because Jeff Francoeur basically gave life and limb for this game. This was the one they had to have if there was any hope of winning this series. And Jon Niese was fairly dandy in this one as he outdueled the struggling Kyle Kendrick and gave the team a strong seven innings. Rest for the bullpen is going to be paramount going forward to make sure that their arms don’t fall off in September, and to keep Snoop Manuel from becoming the first manager in history to have five relievers with over 120 appearances … and for no good reason.
The one dark spot was Frenchy leaving the game after getting plunked by Danys Baez in the elbow. In fact, there were some interesting pitches that followed … mainly: Jenrry Mejia nailing Chase Utley with a cut fastball, and J.C. Romero making Jose Reyes dance with a pitch near his feet. But let’s face it: Baez wasn’t exactly a strike machine out there, andRomero’s coming back from injury. Mejia, meanwhile, is a rookie still trying to find his way, and a runner was already on base with Ryan Howard on deck. So you can say that all three pitches were accidents and I’d be inclined to believe that.
But Mejia was also the one pitcher that had a strike:ball ratio significantly higher than 50/50, and he was the one that was responding to an injury in a blowout. So if there was one pitch that had purpose, it might have been Mejia’s. And if that’s the case, wouldn’t you know that the first Met to stand up for his teammates on the mound in that manner in a long long time … is a rookie?
In any case, accidents or not, this was a big April win for the Mets. And with Santana on Sunday night, Saturday’s game almost becomes gravy with the pressure square on Doc Halladay to win this game. It’s a perfect opportunity for the Mets to come out loose, worry free, and in first place. When was the last time a Mets team was all three?