Suddenly It Feels Like 1968

What’s going on around here? When did the Mets become a resilient team? Is this a flash in the pan or have we reached a point in the season where we thought all was lost but now winning has been found with all are angst to the early part of the season,  were we too blind to see this (Amazin’ Mets how sweet the sound that saved a wretched fan like meeeeeeeeeeeeee……………..)

I’m starting to feel a little bit of a 1968 mojo rising here with the Mets.  6-4 in the last 10 games and winning the last two series against division foes AND bouncing back from late inning loses to win the next game. Usually the walk off loses suffered in Atlanta and Philly would put the Mets in a downward spiral but  the opposite happened.  Don’t tell anyone but that’s what good teams do.

The ’68 vibe comes from the strong personality and even stronger right arm of Matt Harvey. It’s not only the on field presences he has but the legend of Matt Harvey off the field is growing as well. First was the declaration that he was not a fan of the 6 man starting rotation and the tactful way he said it. It’s kind of like when I’m elected to feed our two cats I hate opening up cat food and I make sure everyone in the house knows it but hey, I still feed the little fur balls because they have to eat just like the rest of us. Then there was the Jon Rauch story which was epic and now we have the, I hate the extra day rest and I love the Friday Night Lights of Citi Field   that Harvey let it be known he much rather take on the Nationals this Friday night than Saturday afternoon.  

The Harvey feistiness is starting to rub off on some of the other Mets as well. We have Captain and leading vote getter at 3rd base for the All Star Game David Wright throwing out F-bombs to umpires. We have Jon Niese staring down Terry Collins when he wants the ball to take him out of a game, Juan Lagares in the past week stepping up his game and of course Zack Wheeler turning on the light at the end of the tunnel.    

I really, really don’t like to compare Harvey with Seaver because it’s just not fair to Harvey so soon in his career but he has the same air of confidence that Seaver possessed from the first day he hit NY. First pitch curve for a strike? No problem. Crank a fast ball to triple digits? Watch it wiz by you? Date a super model? Come to #33 baby.  

The best gift Harvey has given Mets fans has been giving us our swagger back on days he pitches. Think about it, the Mets, the lowly, broke ass, can’t get out their way New York Mets, on the day Matt Harvey pitches can compete as equals with or are better in every game that he starts. You want match your Ace with ours, no problem bring it on. You want to match your starter in the back of your rotation with Harvey and the Mets, as Mike Francesa would say “YA BRINGIN’ UH PEESHOOTAH TOA GUN FIGHT”     

 

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The Dog Days Of July ?

 

Remember back about a month ago when the Mets were proving the critics wrong by playing hard nose balls to the wall baseball that translated into winning games and had the beaten down fan base thinking of crisp cool evenings in October at Citi Field ? What happen?
It’s hard to pinpoint but this Mets team that looked to be tougher and more resilient that in the past has lost its mojo. Or has it? Are the Mets like water and have found their level?
The level of frustration with the Mets is not just relegated to the fan base. The more I see Ron Darling on SNY the more frustration with this team I see. Keith Hernandez is almost there but Darling, he’s arrived. It started with watching the Mets relievers just kill the enthusiasm of the season with poor performance and poor performance. It intensified when Andres Torres with a chance to pay back Roger Bernadina for spiking Ruben Tejada bailed out, a play Darling called Torres out on and a few days later was still pissed about the nonpayment by Torres.
My frustration is with Terry Collins and his nightly “we have to give Jason Bay at bats to get him going” Terry, Please stop! My leg is full of piss! I don’t know whose call it is that Bay stays in the lineup, but someone in authority has to say stop already, and I’ll tell you this, Bay has not gotten anything close to venom spewed on Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez by the Mets fan base. What he gets booed? Big deal! Yes, I know Bay is a swell guy and is loved by all who meet him, and I’m not advocating the fan base go all asshole on him but I’m just pointing out the criticism of Bay is tame to what other non-performers in Flushing have endured.
Ike Davis knocks three baseballs out of the park and the Mets still loses. I’m speechless!

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COME ON NOW, WAIT A SECOND GUESS!

 

The Mets have lost their share of games this season that would have you sit an ponder for a few minutes before you get on with  your life outside being a Mets fans , but last night’s game , some 12 hours later is still bothering me.  I was lucky enough to have Ed Marcus (rusty Jr.) of The Real Dirty Mets on with me last night after the game on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN podcast and we disscused the game plus a lot of other Mets news and views, but back to last night’s game.

Last night Terry Collins managed more with his heart than his head, when he left R.A. Dickey in the game in the 8th inning. I’m not going to kill Collins on the move but I won’t argue with fans who feel  he  left Dickey in too long. Where I take Collins to task is, and not to go all Tim McCarver on you, why do you have Izzy warming up in the pen, and then you don’t use him? Sure Collins brought  Izzy in after Neal  Walker’s  two-run single up the middle to break a 1-1 tie, but the formula all season has been Izzy in the 8th and Frankie Rodz in the 9th which has worked great for most of the season, so why re-write the strategy now?  Well, it seems Collins got caught up in the moment as did all the fans at Citi Field.

R.A. Dickey not only showed guts pitching in pain with his plantar fascia injury that has left him unable to run and walking with a bit of a limp but that did not affect his ability to toss a knuckleball that sashayed better than any contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Maybe it was the warm humid night or just that Dickey got his mojo back but he was vintage Dickster last night.

Every time Dickey came up to bat he was greeted with an ovation that was Seaver-Godden-ess and deservedly so.  Problem for R.A. was the lineup that Terry Collins used last night made a journeyman pitcher like James McDonald look like Dock Ellis, minus the hallucinogenics  of course. I will give McDonald props on curve ball that was just a nasty 12 to 6 hook.

It seemed that Collins was ready to let Dickey pitch a complete game hopefully with a shutout added to the back of his baseball card. Dickey had retired 12 in a row until the 8th inning. After a Ronny Cedeno’ leadoff single, Dickey got two quick outs, then hit a batter and let young James Harrison get another hit off him bringing up Neal Walker who hits much better from the left side than right, so maybe bringing  in Brydak or O’Connor would be the move here.  Collins didn’t think so, it was Dickey’s game to win or lose.

Now Dickey got two quick strikes on Walker but a combination of Dickey letting a knuckler float in the middle of the plate and Walker using good hitting technique and shorting up his swing with two strikes, sent the pitch right up the middle for a two run single which was like a swift kick in the nuts.

If Dickey strikes out Walker there, R.A. and Collins are heroes instead it’s become a second guesser’s paradise. That’s baseball Suzyn.

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