I remember when the Mets used to have fun in Arizona. From 2005-2008 (otherwise known as “when the Mets were good”), the Mets went 13-2 in Chase Field, outscoring the Diamondbacks by a cumulative score of 113-40. And I think there were a couple of those seasons when the Snakes might have actually been good. But I suspect that even when the Diamondbacks were bad, they weren’t as awful as Arizona is playing right now. It’s nice to see them on the schedule this early when the Mets could really use a boost.
And boost they did, as they climbed to the .500 mark for the first time since Jerry Manuel decided to make Jenrry Mejia a mop-up reliever.* And Mejia, despite Snoop’s efforts to ruin him pitched very well on Tuesday with five scoreless innings, walking two and giving up two hits in 77 pitches. Of course, he had to leave because of a blister on his right middle finger the size of Godzilla. The upside is that if Mejia decides to send Manuel a very special message, it’ll be redder and bloodier.
Speaking of injuries, it was indeed Kirk Nieuwenhuis who came up to the big club to replace the injured Juan Lagares after Cyborg tore up Vegas the way Mejia tore up his blister. And Kirk didn’t disappoint, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and a home run into the swimming pool. (The ball was retrieved and brought to the Diamondbacks dugout, where it was reprimanded by the team.) He led the way in the Mets’ 9-0 win, and the most surprising aspect of it all was that it came against Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo was 8-3 with three complete games, a shutout, and a WHIP of 1.08 before Tuesday night’s pool party.
The only question now, according to Gary Cohen, is what happens to Chris Young if Kirk Nieuwenhuis stays hot? To which I respond … until when, Friday? When Chris Young comes back? And if Kirk Nieuwenhuis stays hot, is that the “world shaking event” that last night’s blood moon was supposed to foretell?
The only downside was that Oliver Perez faced the Mets for the first time since 2004, and pitched two shutout innings against them. (And that was backed up by a scoreless inning from J.J. Putz, which turned this game into the end of the Starsky and Hutch movie where Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul showed up.) Winning 9-0 and not scoring at least three runs off Perez is akin to the Jets going 14-2 and losing to the Dolphins three times (once in the playoffs). It’s bitter-sweet because that bum, who only seems to pitch well when he’s pitching for a meal, deserved to be pulled from the game by Kirk Gibson in full view of everyone.
Then again, Oliver Perez is Kirk Gibson’s karma comeuppance for 1988.
*It only seems like it. Actually, it seems longer.