Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Iron Rod

I was out last night and given a rare opportunity to actually watch the Mets game, and apparently I picked the right night to do so.

I didn't see any of the early part of the game, and when I finally found myself in front of a TV, things seemed to go from bad to worse for the Mets. It started out with Fernando Nieve getting two quick outs, and then giving up two long HRs to Votto and Rolen (who I thought died 4 years ago).

I really know how to pick my spots.

Nonetheless, I stuck around and drifted in and out of attention as the game moved to the 9th. I figured another extra-inning game was imminent until Rod Barajas stepped up and hit one out against Francisco Cordero. A night that had seemed to take a rather frustrating turn had unexpectedly become more palatable, and looked even better when Rodriguez locked up the win shortly thereafter.

Rod Barajas! Who knew? On Opening Day, I didn't even realize he was on the team. I figured it made sense, he seemed to fit in with the slew of Fat Hispanic Catchers the Mets seem to be so fond of (though Barajas is from California, he appears to be of Mexican descent). To that point, I'd only known Barajas as a seldom used backup catcher on the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks that Bob Brenly took a gamble on one night in the World Series and responded with a HR off Mike Mussina. A 34-year old retread, when I mentioned his age to El Guapo, he muttered some words about the Mets that I wouldn't consider family friendly. Then again, this blog isn't family friendly, so let's just paraphrase it to "What the fuck is the matter with this fucking team?" But Barajas came through with a pair of hits, and though he doesn't and hasn't ever hit for an average, he's made his hits count, to this point. Consider this: It's May 5th, and right now, Rod Barajas leads the Mets with his 7 HRs.

I don't know that anyone would have figured Rod Barajas would be leading the Mets in anything this season. But, here he is, and not only that, he's getting some HRs in key spots. Who knows if he'll keep this up; there's also a very good chance that he'll just regress to his usual lousy self, but last year, he did beef up his numbers to a career-high 19 HRs and 71 RBIs, which is perfectly respectable for a Catcher, and certainly more than respectable for Rod Barajas. Numbers like that from him this year would help quite a bit, and make the Mets catching situation, something that was probably more of a joke than a real threat at the outset, one of this season's more pleasant surprises.

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