Saturday, June 23, 2012

...And The Chicken Lays An Egg

I was very surprised to wake up Friday morning and hear, after radio silence from mid-evening Thursday to when I woke up, that Frank Francisco had called the Yankees chicken and said he couldn't wait to strike the whole side out. "Are you kidding me,?!" I said. "Well, that was stupid." Frank Francisco, at his realistic talent level, had no place calling the Yankees chicken. But hey, he's got quite the personality, and if he wants to throw that into a pot (that could use being downsized to a 2-home-game-four-game-series), then as a competitor it is his right to do so. And while he made it interesting with some spotty control, he gutted a save out (with some help from Andres Torres) and, for the moment, did not look like the creature he called those Grey-shirted fowl. The Mets weathered 3 Yankee bombs and rode a 5-run 1st inning into a 6-4 win.

Jon Niese knows he needs to step it up.  What we hopefully have for the remainder of the season at the front of the rotation would be so well complemented by a Niese doing what we all know he is capable of doing. He was pretty solid last night but by no means dominant. There were some control issues at certain parts that led to many base runners and a couple of solo shots. And yes, he got around those base runners, but let us remember that the Yankees haven't been, well, the Yankees when it comes to getting those base runners home this year. Jon Niese, I believe, could one day look like a Cy Young candidate, but it probably won't be as a 25-year-old. Why am I complaining, though? For the most part, he has been a perfect 3rd starter, and he gives us a chance to win most of the time he takes the mound.

How is it that the Mets have instilled so much confidence in us when it comes to runners on base with 2 out? It has been something that separates the good teams from the mediocre teams, and the Mets keep proving to us that they are not that mediocre team. Justin Turner keeps doing what he has done best since being called up last year, and that's get big hits like the one he got in the 1st inning last night. And you gotta give credit to Terry Collins for the way he scattered the righties throughout the lineup against the southpaw Andy Pettitte.

After taking forever to hit a home run in Citi Field this year, and then doing so in dramatic fashion with a Grand Slam, last night's home run to make it 5-0 was one of the sweetest moments all year. We had yet to see one that mimicked a Yankee Stadium fly ball drop-in, and to occur off of Nick Swisher's glove 16 feet farther than the Yankee Stadium right field corner was pure, unadulterated awesomeness.

I had recorded the game so I could see Brave with my family since it was the only time all of them could get together. On my way out of the theatre and back to Queens I avoided all peripheral bar windows that came my way so I could make it home with no knowledge of the game. The 1st inning for me did not begin till 9:30, and even then I discovered a 54-minute American Dad rain delay I had to fast forward. By 9:48, I had made it to the 1st pitch. By the 8th inning, I had the couch to myself and was enjoying it in a very comfortable, sprawled out position, not even thinking I would fall asleep. Miguel Batista lets up a single on a relatively well-pitched sequence to Mark Teixeira. I watched Alex Rodriguez strike out swinging, then, before I knew it, Justin Turner was on 2nd and the Yankees had closed the gap to what ended up being the final score. I didn't know how the 3rd and 4th runs were scored until listening to Evan Roberts on the FAN this morning, when he said that Robinson Cano's homer was an absolute bomb. I just watched it. I'm glad the only time I saw it was after the Mets had locked down the win. I wouldn't have thought it was as awesome as I think it is had I seen it live last night.

The Mets aim to lock down the series tonight when the righty Chris Young takes on Ivan Nova, another righty, at 7:15PM on Fox. Why not set it up for Dickey to go for the sweep tomorrow night? I'm certainly fine with that. Lock it down, Mr. Young.


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