After getting swept by the Yankees and looking rather miserable in the process, it certainly looked as though this was when the Mets would turn back into pumpkins and fall off the proverbial cliff into nowheresville and out of relevance for the Summer. Going off to Tampa, to play the Rays and their plethora of great pitching and excessively potent offense, things certainly appeared grim.
So, of course, the Mets go out and set a season high for runs in support of Chris Young, who escaped imminent disaster in the 1st and settled down afterwards in a solid 5.2 innings. Young handed things off to the much-maligned bullpen (only now are people starting to scream things like "THIS IS THE WORST BULLPEN IN THE LEAGUE!!! THEY ARE WHAT WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!!!") who kept the Rays quiet the rest of the way, while the Mets put the game away behind a 4-RBI performance from Jordany Valdespin (maligned for screwing up last week) and Ike Davis (maligned for screwing up all season) chipped in with his first Home Run in over a month. All in all, a once again unexpected lively effort from the Mets, who continue to rebound when a rebound victory is needed most.
Admittedly, I didn't get to see much of tonight's game for one reason or another, and by time I did get home and get to put the game on, things were pretty much settled at 9-2 Mets. By that point, I already knew that things had been going rather well. What I didn't know was who had been supplying the production for the Mets, and under what circumstances. First, Jordany Valdespin, who's appeared somewhat overmatched by the Majors at times, had his best performance since his HR in Philly last month. After last week's debacle of a performance at Shortstop, I feel like people were beginning to get a little fed up with him. Problem is, until the 12 injured middle infielders start to come back, we're going to have to go to the whip with him and hope for the best. I like Valdespin's energy and the talent is certainly there, but he's got an often horrible approach at the plate, to go with a general lack of polish. I suppose it will come with seasoning, but then again, he's already 24. But I digress. He could have just been getting his sea legs. He's looked markedly better with the bat over the past week, and his hits on Sunday and tonight led to some runs, so, all the better. Then, there was Ike Davis, who's been hitting .160 pretty much all season, and hasn't been able to build on anything positive. He's had to dodge rumors and fans clamoring for a platoon or a demotion, and perhaps the fact that there's really no good replacement for him has been keeping him afloat. But, tonight, in addition to his HR, he cleverly dropped down a bunt for a hit against the overshift. Who knows what it will lead to, but sometimes, that's all it takes.
Then, there were all these 2-out runs. For years, it seems, the Mets had this annoying problem of never being able to drive in runs with 2 outs. I'm rather certain that the last time the Mets had a 2-out RBI was sometime in 2006, and that's probably not far from the truth. But for some reason, this year, the Mets seem to have the 2-out touch. Of the Mets season-high 11 runs tonight, 9 were scored with 2 out. 9! What's more, the talk after the game has been about how the Mets lead the league in 2-out RBIs.
So, yes. The Mets aren't dead quite yet. Of course, having to face David Price tomorrow night isn't exactly a favorable matchup, but then again, R.A. Dickey hasn't been a favorable matchup for anyone lately. Should be worth being home for.