Last night's game was just another example of the Mets never really being out of a game. And, again, it was a few of the lesser known Mets, the ones not expected to make the big contributions getting the job done in crunch time.
Easley popped his second key, clutch time HR in the last 10 days off Valverde in the 9th inning, which came after ex-tall-Met Tony Clark gagged on a sharp grounder by Green and a walk--just barely--to the Mets newly minted #7 hitter, Paul LoDuca. That walk was key, especially with Green running on the 3-2 pitch. If LoDuca is called out on that, the game would likely have ended with Green being thrown out at second (Yes, I was listening on the radio, so I don't know if that pitch was really borderline or not, but Howie Rose made me think it was).
Valverde's been off to a good start this year, with 10 saves already, but he can be rattled. We saw this last year when he blew a 1-run lead at Shea before even getting an out, and then incinerating the game entirely for the D-Backs.
And after Easley homered on a 2-0 count, the wheels just came off for Valverde. He walks Franco (and anyone notice that Franco has walked an awful lot this season?), gives up a sharp single to Reyes. And he's toast. Dustin Nippert fared no better, allowing Franco to get in his head before serving one up to Wright, who nailed his 2nd HR in 3 games (I bet he was on the phone with Sarah Hughes before that one...) and, since it looks like he's finally starting to get going, with a pair of HRs drilled well into the RF-CF gap--The Mike Piazza Zone, as El Guapo would say--maybe we can stop all the negative phone calls and the boos at Shea. And a nice, nifty win to kick off the road trip, and a good win to pick up Glavine, who was good, but obviously didn't have his sharp stuff.
But, again, a prime example of how the Mets do not panic when the game is late and close. Even in the Chan Ho debacle on Monday night, the Mets did not panic, and very calmly put themselves back into the game, and, again, it's a tribute to the intangible quality of this team.
Tonight, April's NL Pitcher of the Month against the pitcher Joe McEwing likes to face most. The action never stops!