Friday, July 6, 2012

All That and a Softball Home Run Derby

In a night that began with the Long Haul Bombers crushing softballs into the Citi Field stands, us fans were treated to the 2nd best home baseball game of the year (I wonder what the 1st is...) The Mets' offense AND (GASP!) the bullpen bailed a shaky-but-battling Dickey out with a fantastic 6-5 win to take the series right from under the Phillies' nose.

It was pretty clear early on RA did not have his best stuff. Control has been seemingly easy to come by lately, but in the 1st inning, the knuckleball wasn't cooperating for strikes. This was the 1st time all year he has given up 1st inning runs, so you knew something was up. The Phils kept playing our 2-out hit game against him. Jeesh. It was the most hits he's given up all year. But as usual, he limits the damage, gets us into the 7th and gives us a chance to get back in the game. His bat helps us get back in the game, as he is such a good contact hitter, getting a crazy, low and inside hit and scoring the 2nd run to tie the game in the 3rd. He is a true winning player, and I'm glad he's on my team.

When Murph's line drive knocked off Papelbon to tie the game, it was only fitting after the night Wright had that he drives in the winning run. Wright came up in the 3rd with 2 out and the tying run on 3rd...he has a 7-pitch at-bat and knocks a single to tie the game. Another 2-out run. David comes up in the bottom of the 5th with 2 out and a runner on 1st, down 1 run...he crushes the ball to give the Mets the lead. More 2 out runs. The New Franchise comes up in the Bottom of the 9th, 2 out, bases loaded and we've just tied the game...on a 2 out run...he fights the first-pitch fastball off the outside of the plate and dips it in the field just enough in front of a awkward Hunter Pence (he does EVERYTHING awkwardly.) Another 2 out run, another win over the Phillies, another series for the Metsies.

There were 3 plays, outside of an overall individual performance, that, to me, were the differences in this game. 1st, there was Murph's sliding play to grab the ball up the middle to open the 8th, miraculously throwing out Placido Polanco. 2nd, there was Scott Hairston throwing out Mike Fontenot at the plate in the 8th, with Thole holding the ball in his glove on a charging runner. 3rd, there was the Ruben Tejada at-bat in the 9th with 2 out and a runner on 3rd. He saw pitches. He got the walk (and the call.) Without those plays, we're talking about a completely different outcome. Honorable mentions include Ike Davis' 9th inning leadoff double and Jordany Valdespin's at-bat.

I love having DVR so I can record the 2:00PM encore.

And that Softball Home Run Derby pre-game was awesome.

(I was getting the Meet the Mets slice at Two Boots when he hit that bomb. Oh, well. It's always fun to find out about something based on the sound of the crowd.)

Kirk's really reeling right now.

Anyway, that was the 2nd most fun I've had at the ballpark this year. Citi Field is rocking right now, and there is no doubt that none of us had yet to feel this kind of electricity in that new building. 1st, it was winning baseball. Then, it was the no-hitter. Last night was one of the most thrilling wins in the last few years (most of the thrilling wins in the last few years have come THIS YEAR.) Last night was an important moment in our season, and you could have argued it was a must-win for a team that MUST CHARGE ON. Now, I want a sweep. Tranquilize those Cubbies. Put those Baby Bears to sleep.

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