Thursday, July 10, 2014

The 4001st Odyssey

After getting to the 4000th win in franchise History by winning the first two games in their series against the Braves, the Mets did themselves one better, winning the third game of the series for the 4001st victory in team history, their 4th win in a row, and the 3rd game in a row that they knocked off the Beautiful Braves by basically letting their pitching do the talking, backed by a bit of timely hitting.

Wednesday marked the return of Dillon Gee to the rotation after a 2-month absence. Gee's disappearance onto the Disabled list back in May was mysterious enough, since he kind of just happened into his lat injury, and then happened to re-injure it while rehabbing, and all of a sudden a 2-week stay on the DL turned into 2 months, and Gee's entire season, one which was off to a rather promising start, was kind of short circuited. No bother, though. Gee returned from the DL and looked like he'd been around all along, throwing into the 8th inning and allowing all of 1 run and 6 hits to the Braves en route to his 4th win of the season. Imagine if he'd been around this entire time. He'd probably be 6-6 right now because half the time he pitched, he'd have a game like this, but he'd get no run support and lose 3-0 after someone like Kyle Farnsworth gave up 2 runs in the 9th inning. Or maybe he'd be a 10-game winner already. It's not worth getting worked up over too much, but at least he's back and he's pitching well in spite of the fact that he missed a significant amount of time.

Part of the reason Gee was able to come away with a win was because a pair of guys who weren't hitting for a majority of the early part of the season are now hitting and making their hits count. For one, Lucas Duda, who's been perhaps The Ballclub's Official Flog for a few years now, has actually begun to show signs of life and get hits with men on base and men in scoring position. He did it a number of times over the past few weeks, and again last night, driving home the first run of the game with—perish the thought—a 2-out RBI single. Odd as it may seem, Duda is starting to round a bit into form as far as his hitting is concerned. He's not hitting for a ton of power, but he's starting to become much less feast or famine, which is nice to see. See, even I'm willing to admit that Duda's playing well, so he must be doing something right.

The other piece to this puzzle was Travis d'Arnaud, who's also been hitting at a steady clip since he returned from AAA, and he punctuated the scoring in the 7th inning with a 2-run Home Run that stretched the Met lead to 4-1, and really served as the game's turning point. d'Arnaud looks like he's finally found his swing in the Majors, and the results have been pretty obvious. He drove home the winning run last Friday against Texas, he's been driving the ball with authority and he's hit a few no-doubt Home Runs, last night's among them.

So, the Mets now have a chance to get the revenge sweep on the Braves if they can win tonight, behind Bartolo Colon. Oddly, you have to actually feel kind of optimistic about the Mets chances right now. They're not hitting a ton, but they're getting hits when they need to, and the pitching continues to carry the day more often than not. Still, it's a long way before they start sneaking up on anyone, particularly once they start to catch teams that aren't quite as kittenish as the Barves.

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