Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Dose of Power and Johan the Great

I gave Terry Collins crap before the game yesterday for the lineup he put out there against the lefty Clayton Richard, and boy, did I look foolish quickly. The Mets had their first multi-homer inning of the year in the 1st, when Scott Hairston hit a 3-run one and Vinny Rottino hit a solo shot, his first as a Major Leaguer. Johan overpowered the Padres lineup and got his first shutout since August 12, 2010, as the Mets won 9-0.

I do not like Scott Hairston in the clean-up spot. Ever. My qualm with it is that while he has a lot of power, he can also be a double-play machine. Yesterday, however, was exactly why you put him there. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Richard balked and they moved over to 2nd and 3rd, making me stop worrying in the moment about that dreadful double-play. With a 3-2 count, Clayton had to throw a strike, and Hairston took advantage. Sweetness. Later in the inning, when Rottino hit his just left of center, I was very surprised to hear it was his first Major League dinger. I figured he had been around the block, but I guess that block was in a Minor League town. Congratulations to him.

That 8th inning came out of nowhere. Firstly, I was very proud of the ovation we all gave Ike Davis when he walked up to the plate to pinch-hit. We are standing by our young 1st baseman, and while I was on the side of sending him down a few days ago, I understand the decision to let him work through the slump up here, and he has taken full advantage of it. It was a good sign to see him hit singles, but it is an even better sign to see him driving the ball the other way for a double to plate the 5th run of the game. Awesome. Secondly,  Mike Nickeas hitting a Grand Slam was an extremely surprising treat. I cannot come close to remembering the last time I saw one in person, so thank you, Mike Nickeas, for that.

Johan. Santana. What else can you say? Before any of us knew it, we were in the 8th inning and his pitch count was somewhere in the eighties. An extremely efficient day, and you see him getting more and more comfortable every start. I was extremely hopeful that Terry was going to send him back out there with such a low pitch-count, and let's face it. There was no way Johan would let anybody else pitch the 9th. I was extremely pumped to see him in the on-deck circle after Nickeas' Slam. I am looking forward to his awesomeness throughout the summer.

The Mets aim to take the series on Banner Day at 1:10PM. Our favorite Knuckleballer, RA Dickey, will face Edinson Volquez. Let's lock this one down before the Phillies come to town.


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