I have to say, and I'm not sure what it was, but I felt very early on this was our game. I know I've been talking about "a feeling" for a couple posts now and how I didn't have that "good feeling" for a good amount of last week's games. And clearly, there are times when my "feeling", whether good or bad about the Mets, won't dictate the outcome. Their aggressiveness early, which kept the Rays on their toes and led to some costly errors in the 1st, set the tone solidly. Although Chris Young couldn't find his fastball control early and looked very hittable on anything that was over the plate, he settled down after the 1st inning and gave us a very clutch 5 2/3 innings.
He was not helped by the blending of the ball and the roof in two outfielders' eyes. Yes. This is Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda's first time in that place and I'm sure it's hard to pick up the ball. With Young being a predominantly flyball pitcher and since the roof is an issue you will have to deal with, it would make sense for the outfielders to take that many more extra drills. And something I asked myself last night was, "If the white roof has been a problem in the past, then why haven't they changed it's color?" And I answered myself quickly thereafter, saying, "Because the Rays have gotten used to it." And it's probably a lot harder to do than just me and a bunch of other fans saying, "They should change the color."
Kirk broke out in this game with some clutch hits, one a double with 2 out and Omar Quintanilla on in the top of the 5th. And Jordany Valdespin did some serious clutch hitting with 2 out, first with a go-ahead 2-run single in that 5th and then with a double in the 6-run 7th. Did anybody else notice, however, Jordany Valdespin rub his eyes in a crying motion towards his dugout after arriving on 2nd? I know I'm making a little thing a big deal, but this appeared to be one of those "claw-like" motions runners have done the last few years when they arrive on a base after a clutch hit. This one involving the faux act of crying, "WaWa-ing" if you will. Was this towards the Mets dugout or was it mocking the Rays? Since Reyes left, do we really want another player showboating like that? With Reyes no longer on the team, you have not seen this 2012 New York Mets fall into that kind of camaraderie. They'll slap their hands together when they arrive at 2nd and give each other props with big smiles on their faces on the way back into the dugout. I like the way this team is keeping their mouths shut and letting their play do the talking. Next time Valdespin does that gesture, he'll be humbled after he misfields another ball out there. Luckily, with him at DH last night, he did not have a chance to look like a bumbling buffoon. I know, I know. I'm making something big out of nothing, but seriously. I loved Reyes when he was here, but I don't want another personality that will bunt for the batting title only to take himself out of the game before anybody is really in their seats because he knows he won't have to answer to anyone because he's gonna take his talents to South Beach (Sorry. Clearly still sour about that bunt.)
A bunt I'm not sour about is the Ike Davis bunt single! I like the spontaneity and the action. "You're gonna do that extreme shift 'cause I'm that predictable? Fine. I'll bunt down 3rd base on you." He probably needed that more than he needed his 3 run homer. Then again, he needed to make some serious contact with runners on base. What are you gonna do, Jason Bay? Probably whiff at a really low, outside breaking pitch again.
Murph really looks out of it. He struck out 3 times on inside breaking pitches, the kinds of inside breaking pitches he normally lays off when he's goin' good. Luckily, he got a clutch 2-out single to make it 6-2 in the 6-run 7th. Hopefully, he's on his way out.
They needed a game like this one where they got clutch 2-out hits and tacked onto their short lead. Now, they need a game where they win 3-2. They might get it tonight.
The Mets aim to take the series with the amazing interleague match-up of RA Dickey against the southpaw David Price. Time of 1st pitch is 7:10PM. Will the dome help the control of the knuckleball? We shall see.
Hello, AL East powerhouse?
Meet The Knuckler.
LET'S. GO. METS.