It’s easy to get enamored with the things that Kirk Nieuwenhuis can do. Sure, he let a fly ball drop in front of him in his first ever game in left field to accommodate the return of Andres Torres from injury. But it’s not like he didn’t let a fly ball drop near him while playing center.
But Nieuwenhuis’ bat is keeping the Mets in ballgames. His two-run single took R.A. Dickey off the hook and tied Monday’s game against the Astros in the seventh inning, and furthers the narrative that these Mets will not give up without a fight. But hey, that’s cliche … right? What’s important here is that the Cyborg has the third highest batting average for a Mets rookie in April at .325, which is exciting until you see the list and right up top is Rey Ordonez, who hit .354 his first month and finished his career at a sickly .246 clip. Just like it was exciting to see Nieuwenhuis tie the game until Manny Acosta coughed it up in the eighth to send the Mets to a 4-3 defeat.
Take heart in the fact that the Astros, at least so far, aren’t quite as putrid as they were last season … kinda like the Mets. And take heart in Dickey’s outing, in which he had a no-hitter going for five innings before the ‘Stros rallied in the sixth for three runs, while Matt Downs closed his eyes and swung hard at a Dickey knuckler. But most of all, take heart that none of the key players on the Mets got so mad after the game that they punched a glass window which holds a fire extinguisher. (Jason Isringhausen would be proud.)
Although perhaps they needed to put out the fire caused by burning their cowboy clothes that they wore on the trip in.