Monday, August 13, 2012

It Can Never Be "Niese" and Easy (Badum Cha)

I sat there in the 9th inning, completely believing what I was seeing, as absent of stress as a fan could possibly be when their team is potentially throwing away a 5-run lead with 2 OUT. The extent that the bullpen can blow it isn't new to any of us, whether you sat through the inferior ESPN broadcast or you were actually at the ballpark (or if you are Terry Collins.) I sat there actually impressed with the fact they didn't blow it, especially since that strikeout-Rob-Johnson-throw-down-to-1st was RIDICULOUSLY close. 

Only this team. Only the 2012 New York Mets.

Niese did a fantastic job keeping the Braves off-balance all night. After that 1st inning mess, where Michael Bourn softly got his way on early in the count before Martin Prado walked, Niese was excellent.  Other than the pitch to Freddie Freeman that resulted in a mammoth home run that the folks at ESPN couldn't get over, Niese hit his spots, selected his pitches nicely and did not abandon his curveball. We need this kind of execution from Niese in every outing. It's one thing to not have your best stuff on any given night, but Niese's problem is usually all in game plan, execution, and adjustments mid-game, as has been infamously reported this year. Niese was completely in the game this time out, and I look forward to him finally having some consistency as we enter the home stretch.

The offense finally looked like it had some juice in it. They got to Ben Sheets early, with a Mike Baxter 1-out single and a David Wright bloop double, just weakly hit enough to get Ron Burgundy's dog home from 1st. And my fellow half-Jew Ike Davis made us proud by going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Jordany took advantage of a high-inside fastball and TATTOOED the ball Giancarlo-style to the middle of the right field porch. More Mets batters should be using that porch to their advantage in the future. Andres Torres got it done with the bat and glove (I like rootin' for the guy.) Tonight's offense, with solid hitting and a 2-out mentality, is what this team can still be.

And speaking of Jordany's home run, ESPN didn't give us one single replay right after that home run occurred. We saw the Freddie Freeman dinger from 3 different angles in the inning he hit it, plus another replay in the middle innings. And hey, if Freddie Freeman were my player, I'd marvel at how level his body is through the home run swing just like ESPN did tonight. All the director had the broadcast do for our guy's homer, however, was follow Jordany around in the dugout, which was cool and all, but I wanted to see a close-up of where that pitch was, and they for some reason didn't. Come on, ESPN. Pick up your game. Your baseball broadcasts suck.

And oh, the bullpen. Whattya gonna do? Josh Edgin is growing and Francisco hasn't gotten into any kind of rhythm 'cause we've been losing. I'm almost glad this is the way it went, because there's no doubting we've needed to practice gettin' it done in 1-run games. That's what this one ended up being, a 6-5 tightrope that I'm happy they put in the books.

The funny thing is that The Newsroom made a joke this evening:

"(You've managed to go) from 2nd to 5th place in the course of 5 days, a feat I previously thought was only accomplishable by the New York Mets."


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