Saturday, May 26, 2012

Baxter. You’re Like a Miniature Buddha.

Dillon Gee was in a little bit of a pickle in the 1st inning Friday night. With 1 out and runners on the corners, Gee was trying to swing the momentum of the series back into the Mets’ favor after a 5-11 rain-delayed loss the night before. The Goatee-less-but-stuble-ful Gee glared towards the catcher, Rob Johnson, and the batter, Jesus Guzman. He checked both the runners. Looking in, he set and pitched a fastball that trailed upwards. The batter drove it towards the left-field corner. Yonder Alonso took off at 1st, thinking the ball was going to drop. Will Venable smartly waited to tag up at 3rd. Mike Baxter followed the ball back towards the wall. Sinking fast, Baxter leaped, reached out, grabbing the ball and smacking against the New Era advertisement. The runner at 3rd tagged up, while Alonso, who had rounded 2nd, attempted to make his way back to 1st. Baxter threw to Ronny Cedeno at short, who turned and threw a strike to Ike Davis at 1st, doubling up Yonder. The run had scored, but the momentum was back in the Mets favor and they cruised to a 6-1 win.

The most trouble Gee got into was that 1st inning. He was fantastic last night, using all of his pitches effectively. The only other inning where there was the least bit of trouble was the 7th, where a single and a walk led to runners on 1st and 2nd and no out. He then struck out the next 3 batters. Outstanding.

With Lucas Duda on his way up to the plate in the 2nd inning, I leaned over to my friend and said, "When did Lucas Duda become a singles hitter? He needs his power back." BOOM!!!!! Tie game. Last year he took a while to get his power goin', so I'm looking forward to that same pattern this year and for him to go on a tear. The Duda.

What can you say about Baxter? On top of that 1st inning catch, he also drove in the go-ahead run with a double (which improbably was Dillon Gee, who had just smacked a double of his own to the left-center field wall.) On both sides of the ball, he keeps doing what it takes to win.

Baby steps for Ike. Since being told he wasn't going to Triple-A, he has had a two-run single two nights in a row. These are the signs he might be on his way out of his funk. We all know he can hit home runs. It's this kind of hitting that makes me believe he is going to be alright.

A couple batters before Ike drove in those two, Daniel Murphy broke out of his only slump so far this year (0 for his last 15) to plate Kirk Nieuwenhuis with a double. So, that was cool, too.

The Mets send Johan Santana out on Rusty Staub Bobblehead Day. He will face southpaw Clayton Richard at 1:10PM. Let's keep this good thing goin'.


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