Without Their Manager Mets Smash 17 Hits, Win 6th In A Row And Reach First Place

You see, it must have been manager Jerry Manuel holding them back all along.

They won't do this for me, why not, oh why not?

You know the games a laughter when Brian Stokes is closing it out.

With Jerry suspended for a game for allowing the tip of his cap to make contact with an ump during a spittle-flying tirade, with Jerry in civvies, laughing it up with Omar's in Jeff Wilopon's suite, the Mets pounded 17 hits and 10 runs, (both season highs) against the laughable Pirates in a rare game where it all comes together, a 10-1 victory, the Mets 6th in a row and a win which, coupled with the Phillies loss to the Braves, moves the Mets back into a tie for first place in the NL East with the Marlins.

That's quite a distance to fly without your manager. I suppose they will now be calling for a longer suspension by tomorrow at this rate. Ask Jerry to punch the ump in the face next time.

You could logically point to a free-falling Pirate team as the source for this sudden Mets inspiration. It isn't easy being a Pirate fan these days. They've lost seven in a row now while the Mets have won six in a row.

Bench players, everyone but the bat boy scored for the Mets yesterday...

And in essence, that's how this game fell with one hot and one ice cold.

In the 4th the Mets had five singles from their first six hitters, hits dropping, bloops falling where they weren't, one after another after another culminating with the suddenly red-hot Jose Reyes' two-run single and the Mets finished with 5 runs in the inning, blowing the game wide open.

What's this you say, the Mets actually BUILDING on a lead? The Mets actually showing a killer instinct? The Mets coasting, cruising, laughing like a team that is ready to now put the rest of the NL East behind them? Whoa.

The first three innings of course, you could see anything happening.

John Maine was pitching as adequately as you can be throwing 102 pitches in six innings despite walking only two and allowing three hits. It seemed like every Pirate fly out to Carlos Beltran in centerfield.

But after Reyes' quick run in the top of the first, nothing much was happening against the Pirates' ace.

(No doubt we were all prepared for the malaise, listening to the same song again as the Mets struggled to hold that 1-0 lead for 4 or 5 innings then saw Maine lose focus, surrender a bunch of walks and eventually the ice cold Pirates inexplicably getting hot, scoring a few runs, enough to see the Mets in some sort of hitless 3-1 hole they wouldn't emerge from all game. This is what we've come to expect by conditioning after all. Not a laughter. Not the Mets piling on runs.)

But that IS what happened. The Mets DID produce 17 hits. They DID add on runs in the 7th and 8th innings, even with a big lead. When was the last time you saw the Mets do that? Not fade as soon as they'd scored a couple of runs and leave it all up to the pitching?

This is the kind of performance you build a new stadium to see.

Even Gary Sheffield got into the act with his first multi-hit game as a Met and a nice, sliding catch in right field in the 7th. Given Ryan Church's struggles at the plate of late, Sheffield might be seeing some regular playing time again which in turn, could see him rejuvenated at the plate. Someone's gotta win, someone's gotta lose.

If you want a little bad news (other than if you're Ryan Church) you can start getting in some early worrying about J J Putz and Jerry working him to death so early in the season that he's "not injured" but "generally fatigued" after appearing in 16 of the Mets first 28 games. He's struggled in two of his last three outings but perhaps a few days off will see him bounce back. You just don't want to see your set up guy endangered by fatigue or injury with so few candidates behind him should he falter. Bobby Parnell is the only other reliable, competent arm should Putz go down. But not to worry. Not today anyway.

Yes, the hits are falling but look at these Mets starters. Six straight quality starts since they ended the Ollie Perez Nightmare. Think that's a mere coincidence? That Perez wasn't like some contagious disease of incompetence? 6 starts without him in the rotation, 6 quality starts, allowing just 10 earned runs in 38-1/3 innings for a 2.35 ERA. That's the backbone of this little streak. Getting the pen some rest, quality starts and a few hits after the first inning when it matters.

This is a Mets team you could grow to like real quickly.

The question is will they show up again today?

After all the Mets might just be in their annual teasing stage.


sanchez said...

It's more "addition by subtraction", Omar's personal belif in actio personalis moritur cum persona dictum. No one left to blame.

How high will our euphoria fly when we choke on the bit against Atlanta? These Pirates suck. They really need to have Oliver Perez back to complete their rotation. They can have Ollie for free. Addition by subtraction.

And why does that guy playing right field for the Pirates wear his baseball cap on sideways? Is this some sort of hidden symbol to retards or something like yeah, one of "us" finally made it in?

jdon said...

Resigning Ollie might have been the dumbest thing Omar has ever done---and that would be saying something. What I like most about yesterday are the singles. We don't get enough, we don't string enough together. Maybe Jerry preaching opposite field and singles in big spots is getting through. Maybe they forget in a week. But is is a good sign. Deflate the unwarranted egos a bit. There is nothing wrong with a single. It is actually better than a warning track fly-out.

Jaap said...

I don't know, sanchez, you've thrown me off with that latin - are you starting law school again?

yes, ollie to the pirates! too bad they can't afford him any more...

Jaap said...

jdon, I think they are practising that opposite field hitting still although certainly not as much as that infamous spring training day. yeah, singles are beautiful but still, three run homers more to the point. I suppose it depends on who you are playing and where. And supposing of course that all of those singles are strung together rather than 2 singles every inning for 18 hits but no runs scoring. Timely hitting of those singles still velly velly important, grasshopper.

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