How Quickly Things Can Change
April 28th, 2011 by slangon

Admittedly, I was disgusted by the Mets this time last week. After an acceptable 6 game road trip against all N.L. East opponents which they split 3-3, they lost a series to the Nats, got swept in 4 games by the Rockies, lost a series to the Braves, and lost the first 2 games of a series against Houston. They looked terrible in pretty much every possible way a baseball team can look terrible. They weren’t hitting much and when they were getting guys on base, they were unable to get them that last 90 feet. The starting pitchers would take turns with the bullpen pitchers as far as who could suck worse. One day, a starter would pitch well, leave with the lead, only to see it vanish in a blaze of poor relief pitching. The next day, the starter would be horrendous and the bullpen would stand up only to have the offense fizzle. Along the way there was a cavalcade of sloppy base running and Little League caliber defense. It was embarrassing and frustrating and nausea inducing. Not to be overly dramatic, but it really felt like the season was over before it even began.

Then, they won a game. They looked good doing it, too. The pitching was effective both at the start and middle and the end of the game. The offense exploded for 9 runs, including homers by Wright, Mike Nickeas (his first) and an absolute monster shot by Ike Davis that landed about 25 feet past the fence in the deepest part of center field. Awesome to watch, but it was just one win among a gazillion losses.

Then they won another game. And another. Then they swept Arizona. Then they went on the road and won another game. And then last night, on the brink of seeing all these good feeling evaporate, they got mad and hammered their way back into the lead in their final turn at bat. And a lot of that has to do with this guy.

In case you didn’t catch any of last nights Mets/Nats game, it was a pretty crazy one. After a 45 minute rain delay, the Mets got out to a slim 1-0 lead. Then the Nats came back to tie it. Then the Nats took a 2-1 lead, which they held through 7. Then with 1 out in the 8th, Jose Reyes ripped a ball that went all the way to the wall in deep left center. Of course he was thinking 3 bases all the way, and former pitcher Rick Ankiel made a pretty awesome throw, but Reyes slid in ahead of the tag. Or at least that’s how every conceivable camera angle SNY could come up with saw it. The 3rd base ump Marvin Hudson, however, did not see it that way. He apparently took Washington’s 3rd baseman Jerry Hairston Jr.’s word for it that Reyes took his hand off the bag. In the 8 years that Reyes has been with the Mets, I have never seen him even come close to how pissed he was, and rightfully so. That was an incredibly bad call on what could’ve, and should’ve been a game changing play. I know the Mets have had their troubles getting guys in from 3rd with less than 2 outs, but being down 2-1 late in the game with a man on 3rd and 1 out is a far cry from being down 2-1 late in the game with no one on and 2 outs. As Keith Hernandez pointed out, the fact that both Reyes and Terry Collins were both still in the game after the way they exploded on Marvin Hudson probably shows that Hudson knew he blew the call.

So Reyes was apparently “out” at 3rd and it just seemed like all the air went out of my chest. It was just such a “Here we go again” feeling, that I was about a second away from turning the game off. Then I figured, at least let me finish this inning. After all the hootin’ and hollerin’ was done and Reyes was safely in the confines of the Mets dugout smashing stuff, our hero Daniel Murphy came to the plate. He took a ball or two, fouled off a ball or two. Then out of nowhere, it seemed, he smashed one to right that sailed into the bullpen. After all the frustration and disappointment of the Reyes play, having that happen from a guy who, although he is certainly capable of hitting the long ball, you weren’t expecting it from, was such a good feeling. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like that watching this team.

Anyway, now the Mets were tied, but there was still more game left to be played, and this being the Mets, of course they gave up the lead again in the bottom of the 8th , thanks to a couple of sloppy defensive plays (one of which was thanks to our hero up there) and a passed ball. Again, the air was sucked out of my chest, and “here we go again” and blah blah blah. Somehow though, my heart wasn’t quite in this new round of disappointment, somehow, dare I say it, I actually felt a faint twinge of faith in my team. In their final turn at bat, thanks to a bunch of small ball including 2 singles, a bunt single, a sac fly, a fielder choice to score a run and a walk they were able to retake the lead. Then with 2 outs and runners on the corners, once again our hero stepped to the plate, this time drilling a 2 run double to the right field corner to drop the hammer on Washington.

The best part about Murphy last night to me was during his post game interview with Kevin Burkhardt from SNY. He asked Murph how it felt to win 6 games in a row. Murphy just said let’s try and make it 7. No dwelling. Just let’s go out an win another one. I love it.

3 Responses to “How Quickly Things Can Change”

  1. nice recap. I didn’t have a chance to see the game, but I really liked your description of it. I hope they can keep on the right track. It was a miserable start to the season, but hopefully things will turn out better.

  2. Hopefully they can continue this trend, but I suspect it is going to be a long year of ups and downs. I do have hope that while the Mets lineup is healthy (including Pagan, Bay, and Beltran) they will steadily be able to score runs.

  3. You nailed the Hudson call exactly right – he appeared for all extents and purposes to just take Hairston’s word for it, which, of course, is a joke. Hudson was poorly positioned, could not see the play, and when Hairston helpfully yelled “He came off the bag!” Hudson punched Reyes out. Hudson didnt see crap on the actual play, and the call was an embarassment. I understand that bang-bang plays can be tough, but that was just inexcusable.

Leave a Reply