Sunday, May 6, 2012

A 1-run Win from the Opposite End of the Seating Chart

Yesterday, on a whim, I woke up, stretched, and said to myself, “I want a Tom Seaver Bobblehead today.” After doing a little writing, I threw my Mets gear on and headed to the Citi for what turned out to be a fantastic 4-3 win by our Metropolitans, giving Johan Santana the first W next to his name since September 2010.
Of course, when you look at this game, the first things that pop out at you are Johan Santana gritting it out for a 7-inning, 3 run day, and Daniel Murphy going 4-4 at the plate. Then there is Andres Torres, who has an RBI in every game he has played in since arriving back with the team, including 2 yesterday. And of course, Cap’n Kirk Nieuwenhuis keeps doing exactly what we need for wins, getting on base 3 times and tapping home once. The man who got the scoring started, however, is Mike Nickeas, who plated Murphy and Justin Turner on a single in the 4th inning. I mark this as the turning point of the game. The Diamondbacks have a 1-run lead. The bases are loaded with 1-out and the bottom end of our line-up is on its way to the plate. The Dbacks, I am sure, are very confident they can get out of this unscathed. Nickeas had been hitting .188 in his limited playing time, and was made to look foolish swinging at 2 change-ups in a row to start the at-bat. He took a fastball inside, and then turned on an offspeed pitch outside, lining a single the other way into right field. With that the Mets had a lead the would not relinquish. I give him a lot of credit for adjusting and putting a great swing on the ball, and maybe, just maybe, this is a turning point for him up at the plate.
What a breath of fresh air it was to see the bullpen finally lock one down for Johan. Bobby Parnell has really turned the corner, and it is so much fun to watch him pitch. Frank Francisco had a great bounce-back game, and after a tiny scare with a runner on 2nd and Justin Upton at the plate with 2 out, what a thrill for myself and the rest of the crowd to see the slugger swing and miss to end the game.
Also, I want to correct something I said yesterday. It might look to a fan like me that Ike Davis didn't put much effort into the play where he failed to grab the grounder, resulting in a loss on friday, but this is a really hard game to play. After reading his explanation (and taking ownership of the loss) I decided that I am in no position to say whether or not the full effort was there. Had he made the play, it would have been because he's really, really good at baseball, and did something most of us cannot do, which is consistently grab a baseball coming at you really fast and slicing and curving and what not all different kinds of ways. And he makes those plays 9 times out of 10 (and really 99 times out of 100.)
RA Dickey and the Mets will try to take series today at 1:10PM against the right-hander Trevor Cahill. Let's miss some bats, Robert Allen.
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