Me on the Mets: Keep fighting back
May 10, 2010 - Richard Rosentreter
The Mets are showing fight this year, a trait they were sorely lacking last year.
Last week started with the Mets losing two of three against the Cincinnati Reds. In the Mets lone win, they were winning 4-2 until the Reds tied it with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. But catcher Rod Barajas blasted a solo home run in the top of the ninth for a 5-4 Mets victory.
Then the Giants came to town and in the first game, the Mets were winning 4-3 until the Giants tied the score in the top of the ninth. Again, Barajas was the man as he smoked a two-run homer to give the Mets a dramatic 6-4 walk-off victory.
On Saturday, it was more of the same. The Mets were winning 4-2 and the Giants tied the game in the top of the eighth. But once again, it was a Mets’ catcher who made the difference. Henry Blanco hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Mets 5-4 win.
The Mets lost on Sunday in a game they could have won. It didn’t seem that way at first as Cy Young award-winner Tim Lincecum was on the hill for the Giants and was shutting the Mets down. But the game got interesting when the Mets were able to tie the score and then take the lead with the help of some wind-blown balls and shoddy Giants defense.
The Mets lost 6-5, but have been making fighting back a habit. Last year, the Mets would have folded like a poker player with a 10-high hand when they let a lead slip. But recently, each time a Mets reliever gave up the lead, the Mets responded with fight, not despair.
While it is worrisome that the Mets bullpen has allowed teams to come back, it is a great sign that the Mets have been able to fight back — and hopefully that continues the rest of the season.
On a bad note, David Wright is in a funk and has moved into second place for the most strike outs in the league. He has been making outs in key spots. He whiffed four times on Sunday, and in the ninth inning with the tying run in scoring position — a real clutch moment — he struck out looking on a pitch too close to take.
What followed was uncharacteristic for Wright — a totally selfish moment in which he let his frustration get the best of him — and it could have cost the team dearly.
He turned to the home plate umpire and obviously said something nasty about the called third strike as he was immediately ejected from the game. That in itself wasn’t unforgivable ... but given the situation, it was extremely poor judgement on Wright’s part. You see, the Mets had used up all of their position players, and if they had tied the score, they would have had to put a pitcher in the field — more than likely, in the outfield.
On a clear, calm day, it may not have mattered too much — but on a day in which the wind was creating havoc, it could certainly have led to an injury.
Hopefully, Wright realizes the error of his action — and can get his much-needed bat hot again.
Now the streaking and rejuvenated Washington Nationals come into town tied with the Mets for second place in the National League East at 17-14. They play in New York Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then the Mets head to Miami to play the Florida Marlins in a four-game series Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
These games against division opponents are important and the Mets need to come away with a winning record if they want to stay near the top of the race for the division title.
For more on the Mets, including a complete schedule, visit http://newyork.mets.mlb.com.