Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Wasn't Supposed To

If the Mets played like they did last night in Atlanta a little more often, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess.

That statement can be taken two ways, and both are correct.

1) If the Mets played like this every time they played in Atlanta, that is, to fall behind the Braves like they usually do, and then come back and pretty much overwhelm them by the end of the game, then, perhaps, the past 12 years of misery inflicted on us in that stupid ballpark might have turned out differently.

2) If the 2009 Mets played like this a little more often (and they have at least looked like they have some ability to come back the last two games), that is to say that if they fall down by 3 runs they don't fold up their tents, suck their thumbs and walk on home, maybe we would be in a bit better standing in this early going.

It seemed like, early on, this game had all the makings of just about every other game the Mets played in Turner Field, particularly last season. Remember, when the Mets played 9 games in Atlanta and won all of one? And they had to scrape and claw out a late comeback to do it? Just about every other time, the Mets fell behind early and never woke up. And after Maine slogged his way through a difficult 2nd inning, you figured this game was headed down the same path.

Maine continues to look uneven. He has started to show more instances of looking sharp in his last two outings, but he continues to run into that "Oliver Perez inning," where everything that can possibly go wrong, will. Last night, the 2nd was that such inning, where he starts missing spots, walking guys, getting that hangdog look on his face and making you think, "Come on, man, what are you doing!? Throw a strike! You're Killing Me!" Generally, there's an error mixed in there somewhere as well. And it happens once a game, and until Maine can eliminate that one bad inning from his games, he won't have fully retained his "Death Cab for John Maine" status.

On the other side, the Mets continued to look like the Mets, and not hit. Javier Vazquez continued to mow them down until the 6th, when Beltran and then Wright hit a couple of out-of-nowhere, jarring HRs to somehow give the Mets the lead. Where had this been all season? Last year, the Mets thrived on a quick-strike offense that would put up a big inning and bury you, at least early on in the season. Lately, that seems to have eluded them. Last night, it returned, however spread over two innings as it might have been, but once the Mets were able to turn the ball over to Putz and Rodriguez, things seemed well in hand.

(Though, Putz officially earned his Met stripes by allowing a HR to beloved Larry, his 40th against the Mets, and I would guess his 2nd or 3rd that wasn't in a particularly damaging situation)

And thus, for the 2nd time in the last 3 games, the Mets managed to win a game that they normally tend to lose in some horrible, excruciating fashion. Once again, however, the question remains whether or not they can follow it up tonight with another good performance. Or will they just have another one of their idiot games where they get 13 hits and score 2 runs?

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