Sunday, July 26, 2015

That Old Joke

I'd been out most of the day on Saturday and the game was well underway by time I arrived home, by which point the Mets had already run out to a lead and from there didn't look back. The Mets ended up hitting 4 Home Runs, knocking 21 hits and scoring 15 runs, and I was reminded of the old story from 1964 when the Mets won a game in Chicago, 19-1, and a fan called up a sports desk, saying "I heard the Mets scored 19 runs today." "Yes, that's right," replied the Operator. "But did they win?" queried the caller.

It's sort of been that way for the Mets recently, although you'd be hard pressed to find a day in which their pitching staff might get tagged for so many runs, a 15-run explosion for the Mets just seems unheard of. But that's what happened. They attacked hapless Dodger rookie Zach Lee for 4 runs in the 1st inning and went from there. Usually, when Matt Harvey pitches and wins, he's the story of the game. Matt Harvey does the job and the rest of the team just sort of does the minimum necessary, or Harvey gets fed up and drives in his own runs. Last night, Matt Harvey gave up a pair of Home Runs, probably because he was temporarily stunned from pitching with a big lead. Michael Conforto went 4-for-4 with a walk and scored 4 runs in his second Major League game. Kirk Nieuwenhuis also went 4-for-4 with 4 RBI. Lucas Duda hit a pair of Home Runs. Daniel Murphy hit a Home Run, probably the first thing he's done right in weeks. Kelly Johnson provided himself a nice "WELCOME TO NEW YORK!" moment with a Home Run of his own. Not to be outdone, Harvey himself drove in a pair of runs, the third consecutive game in which he's managed to do so.

Basically, everything clicked last night for the Mets in a way it hadn't, basically since the middle of April. You would like to think that it didn't take Terry Collins Terry Collins-puts-players-on-notice-hit-or-sit">basically threatening the hitters to start hitting to produce results like this but that's how it broke out. There are only so many ways you can get people's asses in gear and sometimes it takes going over the top to get the results you need. I highly doubt the Mets will now turn into some demented version of the Anaheim Angels, but with some new hitters who might actually hit on the roster now, perhaps it's pushed some of the borderline starters. Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores were benched outright with Conforto and Johnson now in town, and you can expect that Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy might find themselves shifted around as well.

It's Conforto who stole the show with his 4-hit charge, probably because that's exactly what you sort of blindly hope for when a hotshot Rookie hits the big stage. Much like the Mets won't score 15 runs again for a while, I think its safe to assume that Conforto won't bang out 4 hits every game. He shouldn't have to if the Mets actually turn this into something. What would be more helpful is if Johnson and Juan Uribe make their contributions count because they both come from winner's backgrounds. Uribe's only been on 2 World Series Champions, and he's contributed heavily to those causes and others once the calendar flips to October. Johnson has been a Met Killer for years and we've seen up close what he can do many times. The guys they're pushing are all players that just need to get the memo that they're blowing a really good chance to do something big.

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