Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Duda Abode

You know that feeling you've gotten this 2nd half, and many times in your Met fandom, that they were yet again going to squander a 0-out RISP opportunity? I got that feeling when The Duda was up in the 7th last night. Having the game a few minutes behind on the DVR, I found my finger on top of those two forward triangles, ready to push past the next round of commercials. It wasn't even like the idea of The Duda swinging and missing a low breaking pitch was perturbing me all that much. I've been almost conditioned to believe that's what would happen. Of course I had visions of a home run that would turn the game around, but those are only natural as a fan. Foul after foul after foul after foul, the Atlanta crowd going crazy, as juiced as they've been all year with it being Chipper Jones Night in the land of Georgia. Those home run visions didn't go away, but neither did that swing and miss image.

And then, on the 9th pitch...

It happened.

"He did it!" I exclaimed.

"He actually got a mistake and he CRUSHED IT!"

Tim Hudson, who was dealing all night, left a sinker up, and The Duda took full advantage. THAT'S the way you win a ballgame.

Of course, I naturally thought this might only set up a vintage Braves-'gainst-Mets-bullpen-blown loss where the man of the evening is the 3-run-home-run hero or something along those lines. When Larry came up with no one on and 2 out in the 8th, those fears were pacified some.

And so, the bullpen, including Bobby Parnell with the save, looked solid in locking down a late-season "Let's ruin their plans for making a run at the division lead" win.

Jon Niese was fantastic this year. I got very picky at certain times about his performances, and at certain times we still saw the big inning that can ail him. But Jon Niese definitely turned that metaphorical corner a good amount of us said he should turn. He will be a solid rotation piece for years to come. He was real sharp last night and literally, literally, made one mistake, which Freddie Freeman absolutely crushed. I applaud Niese's effort in the first year after signing the extension, and I look forward to even more growth in 2013. 

It's hard to figure out what we have in The Duda. You first think he can be a great hitter who will run into 30 to 40 baseballs that go traveling far distances every year, then you think he's never going to adjust to opponents' adjustments because his confidence is too low. THEN, he has an at bat like that against one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Who knows what the future has in store between our favorite ball club and The Lumberjack?

But for one night, at least...

The Duda Abode.


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