Well, that is most certainly an exaggeration, but it got you in here, right?
Yesterday's 4-5 loss to the Miami Marlins is certainly not the greatest baseball game ever played in March, but I enjoyed it the most, so far. It's spring training for us fans as well, as we practice rooting for our team again, and in the 9th inning, with our orange and blue squad down one run (as opposed to teal, black, orange and yellow), I found myself rooting hard for a come-from-behind victory. Also, what made it more enjoyable is that players seem to have their heads in the game and the situations, and that is translating to crispier play.
Unless you're Mike Pelfrey.
Look, I understand it was his first spring training start. Pelf hasn't normally done well in spring (or the regular season, for that matter) and this start should be taken with a grain of salt (4 runs in less than 3 innings, hard hit grapefruits the whole way through). But how more boring can you be as a pitcher? I will give Pelfrey his own write-up soon because I have a good amount to say about the hurler. Let me just say this for now: If Pelf can't get it together, you won't see him on the mound as a Met for very long.
Zambrano looked sharp early for the Marlins. He struck out the first two batters of the game with ease, and as Jason Bay walked to the plate, I said to myself, "Striking out isn't what Jason Bay's gonna do." Turns out my sarcasm was unwarranted because that's NOT what he did. Bay walked, as did Ike Davis, and up strolled Lucas May, a catcher brought in to compete for the back-up spot. May's numbers in AAA last year were quite solid (albeit Pacific Coast League), and a couple of pitches into the at bat, we soon found out why he was brought in here. Lucas May destroyed the baseball, and he slid into second base with a 2 RBI double. Lucas May tore the cover off the ball all day, a day that was the official beginning of what I have now coined as Lucas Mayhem (let the whole world know: you heard it here first). If he continues to hit the way he did today, we've got quite the competition for the back-up catcher on our hands.
Let the Mayhem begin.
Other takeaways from the game:
- Adam Loewen has a mighty cut. He is an interesting option for power off the bench if he continues to perform.
- There were horseshoe mustaches all around! Besides our Byrdak, Kevin Mattison and Chris Hatcher of the Marlins each have their own distinctive horseshoe 'stache. It would be awesome if this becomes an epidemic throughout baseball. David Wright should grow one.
- Quintanilla = nice depth at back-up infielder
- Miguel Batista = "The Handyman" (you heard it here first as well)
- Turner is a good option at third. Justin Turner is a solid piece for this team
- Den Dekker's got a good glove out there in center
- Spring Training might be competitive practice, but it is also the time for practicing winning, or put another way, practicing how NOT to lose. Valdespin hopefully will learn from his 9th inning mistake (He stepped in front of the catcher as the catcher was trying to throw down to second base. The ump called interference) He's got an immense amount of talent, but these are the same mistakes that have separated us from the good teams for too long now, and must be corrected before these players get to the big leagues.