Thursday, September 4, 2008

Church on Wednesday

I know that most people, myself included, are still reticent to give the Mets their due. But let's face it. The Milwaukee Brewers were one of the hottest teams in Baseball through the month of August, cruising along, and the Mets just buzzsawed them. Even more impressive, the Mets had a chance to treat Wednesday afternoon's game like gravy, having already won the series. Under Willieball, this is exactly what they would have done. Now, they come out guns blazing, scoring 6 runs in the 1st inning and flattening the Brewers before they had any idea what was going on. Once Ryan Church's truly monstrous grand slam (both for him and for the Mets) left the yard and the Mets had a big lead, the rest of the game played out rather quietly. Sure, there were some mildly prickly moments for Ollie, who wasn't on top of his game, but good enough, and given that the bullpen remains the bullpen, you couldn't be too sure, but then the Mets tacked on some more runs and that pretty much buried the Brewers.

Afterwards, WFAN ran a replay of the radio broadcast for Super Bowl XLII in preparation for the Giants season opener tonight. They've been doing this all week, with the Dallas and Green Bay games as well, and me not having a life or anything better to do, I've been listening. The obvious comparison here would be to simply say that, hey, if the Giants can come back, with the uneven season and spotty team they had, and go all the way to the Super Bowl and cap off one of the most improbable seasons ever with the most improbable upset ever, beating the 18-0 Patriots, well, then anything's possible. Antonio Pierce even came by Shea earlier this year to share some of the good vibes. But listening to the Super Bowl in particular last night, and I knew this to be true from having watched the game, but the Giants radio announcers kept talking about the "Unusual Suspects" who would have to step up and make plays in order for the Giants to win. And more often than not, it was the Unusual Suspects. It's not always Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, Pierce, Strahan or the stars (although it was Manning and Burress hooking up for the winning TD). Usually, it's the guys you least expect. Corey Webster coming up with a pick in OT in Green Bay. Or it was Kevin Boss coming up with a major reception setting up a touchdown. Or it was David Tyree making a catch of Endy Chavez-esque proportions. Or it was Jay Alford, a special teamer coming in to make a key sack on the Patriots final, desperation drive. Guys you don't expect who come up in key spots and get the job done. The Mets know all about that, from both sides. They've had their own Unusual Suspects getting the job done for a while, guys like Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans, and yesterday, Ryan Church. But that's the Beauty of the Unusual Suspects. you have no idea when it's going to happen, you have no idea who's going to do it, but you know one of these guys is going to do something big. And when it happens enough times over the course of a season, great things happen.

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