Monday, May 5, 2008

OK, Alright

After winning 2 of 3 in Arizona over the weekend, knocking the team with the best record in the Majors down a peg and winning against two of their top 3 starting pitchers, I'm going to be positive. I'm not going to rag on Willie or Omar, I'm not going to kill Delgado or the Bullpen (though Sanchez threw up a stinker on Saturday) and I'm not going to stick my head in an oven. This will be a positive Blog today.

The Mets did come into Arizona looking rather bleak. But for the Mets, a trip to Arizona seems to have been a cure-all, at least over the past few seasons. We know about the Mike Jacobs escapades in 2005, and the middle leg of the legendary 9-1 road trip in 2006. Last year, the Mets again went into Arizona and won 3 of 4, looking sharp in the process.

It's as though there's something in that Desert air that agrees with the Mets.

Right from the get-go on Friday, the Mets looked fast and loose, sparked by Jose Reyes, backed up by Ryan Church and finished off by David Wright, blitzing Micah Owings and backing a strong 6 innings from John Maine, who might have been able to go further, but with the game fairly well in hand at 7-2, why burn him out? Saturday, the Mets got buzzsawed by Brandon Webb in a somewhat sloppy 10-4 loss, although Delgado did supply a bit of power in the process. Going up against Owings, Webb and Dan Haren was certainly a difficult task, so you could easily excuse the Mets for losing at least one of those games. Sunday, it was Haren against Santana in a sparkling matchup that came down to a pair of throwing errors. On the Mets side, Ryan Church (notice how he's been everywhere) came up with the game saving play after Pedro Feliciano threw away a bunt attempt in the 8th inning. On the D'Backs side, Conor Jackson's error was the difference as he threw away a grounder in the 9th, allowing the winning run to score for the Mets.

These victories for the Mets once again proved that the quick strike offense that I've spoke of so often in the early going this season is absolutely essential if the Mets are going to go anywhere this season. Friday, and again on Sunday, the Mets got ahead and then stepped on the D'Backs throats. They did it early on Friday, making the game a relatively drama-free affair. Sunday, it happened late, but once the Mets took the lead in the 9th, they tacked on runs and salted the game away. This is something that has happened sporadically for the Mets this season. But there were positive signs this weekend that might lead me to think it's going to be a bit more frequent. First, Reyes. Reyes seemed to be on base all weekend long, coming a HR short of the cycle Friday night and in the thick of things on Sunday. Second, Church. Back in the 2nd hole where he really should be on a permanent basis, Church has basically done what he's been doing all season long: stinging the ball. With Reyes on ahead of him, he's been able to run and then score on hits. Third, Wright. With 2 HRs over the weekend, Wright looks primed to be pulling out of his recent slump. Finally, Moises Alou. He's back. He looked a little rusty over the weekend, and lord only knows how long he'll be in the lineup, but he's there, and when he's there, he hits.

Up next, Midnight Baseball in LA.

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