Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Welcome Back

Tuesday Night saw the Mets provide me, and the rest of their fans a reason to not boo them. 4 hits from Jose Reyes, a Home Run and 5 RBIs from David Wright and 7 shutout innings from Mike Pelfrey added up to a resounding 6-0 victory over Washington that provided several encouraging signs.

Pelfrey was able to build on his successful outing against Philadelphia last week, in better weather, this time spreading his 100 pitches over a 7 inning effort that probably ranks among his best performances in the Majors. Yes, he was pitching against a mostly punchless Washington team. But considering that he had been on thin ice to begin with, and considering that the news on Pedro and his hamstring was pretty far from good, Pelfrey needed to step up and put together some consistent outings. Last night, he did just that, pitching the kind of game we've been expecting out of him for some time.

But perhaps more encouraging than that was the return of Duaner Sanchez, after the injuries, the inconsistency, the attitude problems, and the lengthy rehab. Adding Sanchez to a bullpen that has been lacking in reliable depth, and has been an increasing cause of concern to everyone is more than a good sign. In March, I anointed Sanchez the Most Key Met for this season. I fully expect him to play a major role from here on out, taking pressure and innings away from guys like Jorge Sosa and Aaron Heilman, who are already suffering from overuse. Whether or not he'll be as effective as he was in 2006 remains to be seen. But he did the job tonight, allowing a single, making Ronnie Belliard look silly in striking him out, and basically held the fort in the 9th inning to close out the game. Great to have him back.

42, Redux
After last season, when select players on each team wore #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson's first game in the Majors, most teams this season had their entire roster suit up in #42. Willie Randolph was the Mets lone #42 last season. This year, everyone wore #42. It is always a symbolic gesture for a great, groundbreaking ballplayer. However, it must have been hell for the official scorers, or anyone at the game watching. I only saw brief parts of the game, and every time I looked at the TV, I saw 42 at the plate and thought Butch Huskey was batting. Unless it was a lefty batter. Then I thought it was Mo Vaughn. Then, I remembered that nobody on the Mets is quite as large as Vaughn was.

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