Monday, May 18, 2009

Yipped Sweep

For the past couple of weeks now, the Mets have probably been playing as good ball as they've played in about two seasons. This past weekend in San Francisco, they continued down this particular road, even when they lost and in a few instances looked particularly bad.

What has helped, more than anything else, has been the offense. Playing mostly shorthanded for a while now with Delgado ailing, and even more shorthanded with Reyes missing the entire weekend with a calf injury, the offense still managed to generate runs. Particularly, the culprit here has been David Wright, who stopped swinging for the fences and started to go with pitches and hit line drives, sort of like the David Wright we were used to seeing. It's been an awful lot of overreaction after his slow start that's made it seem worse, but it was more or less a foregone conclusion that he would adjust and start to hit, and this past weekend, he certainly did that.

Wright and Beltran lead the way, but everyone seems to be chipping in as necessary. Friday night, after the Mets went down 5-1 to Tim Lincecum, most Mets fans might have, and perhaps did, shut the game off completely. I was out for the evening and basically caught glimpses between 4-1 and 5-1 in the early going, and figured the game was toast. I tuned it out until I put on WFAN much later in the evening and was surprised to find that not only was the game still going on, but the Mets had an 8-6 lead! How the hell did that happen? Last month, the Mets would have lay down and died with that sort of a deficit and we'd be writing about how Livan sucks and the team can't show any signs of life when they fall behind. Well, not anymore. Now, it's just a matter of when are they going to start pinging hits all over the place, score a few runs and get back in the game. It's much better to look at your team that way.

Saturday seemed more of the same. Johan pitched what was for him a poor game (For Livan, this is an outstanding effort), though in all reality you can't expect him to go 7 innings and give up 2 runs every time out. These games will happen, and it's all a matter of how his team responds behind him, and his team responded by lighting up Randy Johnson like a Christmas tree for 7 runs in 5 innings, and held off a late rally to win their 3rd game in a row going away.

By Sunday night, you had to feel pretty confident in the Mets ability to sweep the 4-game series. Pelfrey was coming off a great outing his last time out and the offense was clicking. So, of course, the Mets had one of those idiot games where they start hitting into double plays and leaving runners on base. It started early with Cora in the 1st getting stranded on 3rd, was followed by the Jeremy Reed DP, and by the end of the night, a Mets team that was more or less patched together had finally fallen to the Giants. Not that it was a massacre, despite the fact that Pelfrey's case of the "Yips" led him to commit an unfathomable 3 balks (last pitcher to accomplish this was Al Leiter in 1994, the last Met pitcher to do so was Don Rowe, way back in 1963). Despite all this, the Mets were in the game to the end because Pelfrey was able to overcome himself and get out of some jams, keeping the game at 2-0. It's unfortunate that this all unfolded on The Biggest Game In The Galaxy on Sunday night, because the happy-talking trio, particularly Steve Phillips, seem to just love to dump on the Mets and figure out how terrible they are and what they should do to fix it. I didn't watch the game, but I've heard the talk. Trade Carlos Beltran? Give me a break.

So, from San Francisco, the Mets head down the coast to La-La Land where they get to face off with the Sad Dodgers and their best record in the Majors. Another week of late-night starts. I'll be up.

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