Our apartment has some semblance of a layout now, so by 6 pm last night, I was sitting on our couch cuing up some baseball. Extremely raw baseball, but baseball nonetheless. The Mets game against the Nats clearly showed how much everyone needed to freshen up.
They lost to that team from DC by a score of 3-1. But who cares about that? Spring Training games are just competitive practice. Arguably more than any other time in the season, we as fans are dissecting every little play, every little situation, and dreaming of what it could mean for our 2012 New York Mets.
The game wasn’t the most enthralling game I’ve ever seen, but there were some nice takeaways. After Dillon Gee and his Goatee sat the Nats down in the first, the Mets came out aggressive and with some hustle, which was thrilling to see. Andres Torres walked, and then briskly stole second with Daniel Murphy up. Murph then proceeded to single up the middle, and Torres sprinted home from second. The Mets had a run on the board before the 3rd spot was up; a sequence I hope repeats itself many times this year.
Kirk Neuwenhuis (I refuse to look it up. Did I get that spelling right?), a gentleman we all hope can show star power up with the big team, made a great diving catch in center field. He later, however, called off Jordany Valdespin only to not use two hands to catch the ball. He might be ready sometime in June, but for now, he definitely needs to play a little Wallyball.
Matt Harvey, somebody else who needs some more Wallyball seasoning, got them pretty easily in the first, throwing mostly fastballs. In the second, he got into a little jam (he walked 3 of the 8 batters he faced in the 2-innings.) With some good defense behind him he was able to get out of the jam. He showed us his curveball this night, and, man, that 12-6 drop is beautiful. He ain’t far off, and we should all look forward to his major league debut.
There’s some other things that were nice. Mike Baxter looked good in left field throwing out a runner trying to stretch a hit into a double. He also had a nice opposite field single. His main competition, Adam Loewen, has an excellent spring training beard but did not look pretty on a striking out. The SNY truck messed up a pitching count before quickly catching up, and sometimes you forget it’s spring training for them, too.
Also, Frank Francisco reminded me of Armando Benitez on the mound. Let’s hope he comes through in big spots much more often than Benitez did.
Some Nats shortstop farmhand made a sick play up the middle to take a clear single away against some Mets farmhand. It was sick.
And Daniel Murphy looked good turning two.
And it’s nice to see that sweet Ike swing back.
So, I look forward to more games as we watch this team take shape. There are two games today, one which we can view. Johan Santana makes his spring debut and we all hope it goes swimmingly. Here’s to getting off at work to watch it on the DVR.
And here’s to having the play at first back.
And the snag up the middle.
And the outfielder running a long drive down.
And a swing and a miss.
And the hustle down the line.
And the 12-6 curve.
And, today, the knuckleball.
Here’s to having baseball on every day for the next 8 months.
Here’s to having baseball back.