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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BOBBY PARNELL AND NICK EVANS A STUDY IN CONTRASTING PLAYERS

What’s worse than watching a baseball game in September that’s meaningless? How about watching a meaningless baseball game in September being played in “Your Name Here” Stadium in South Florida in front of dozens of fans with an hour plus rain delay? Then when the game resumes your team in this meaningless contest has the lead and the pitcher who is thought to be the closer of the future comes in and blows the save for the fourth time in nine chances, but his ass is saved by a player who you couldn’t give away at least three times this season getting the game winning hit?

So is the tale of Bobby Parnell and Nick Evans. Parnell has been given the opportunity to show he should be the closer for the Mets from now until whenever but he has shown that he does not have the qualities needed to be effective at that position. Parnell has a flamethrower for a right arm but has a ton of trouble locating pitches for strikes. He also has this nasty habit of giving up a hit and then falls apart by falling behind in the count to the next batter who either walks or gets a nice juicy fastball or a flat slider to mash at. It’s not just the pitches that are ineffective; it seems Parnell loses some nerve and confidence when he’s behind the 8 ball.  Small fires become forest fires for him on the mound.

It looks as though the manager who has shown a lot of faith in him is starting to doubt if Parnell can close out games:

“Well, we’re going to talk to Bobby tomorrow,” Collins said. “I mean, there’s a couple things (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) had talked about with him, a couple of little pitch-location stuff that he’s just got to be able to make. He’s got to make some pitches.

“He’s got a great arm and he’s got really great stuff. But the bases on balls hurt him. Getting behind in the count hurts him. You saw the first hitter, he went right at him with good fastballs, got ahead of him in the count, and throws him a slider and it’s a mismatch. But you’ve got to be able to get ahead.

It has got to be deflating  to the team to have Parnell blow as many saves as he has and Collins made be sensing some frustration in the clubhouse so why not take Parnell out of this roll and let him work on getting his mind as well as his pitches back to where he can be effective. There is too much talent in that right arm to give up on Parnell, but Terry Collins wants to end this season on a winning note as well as evaluating players who have a future with the Mets and who doesn’t.  Using a committee of Manny Acosta, Jason Isringhausen  and the neophyte Josh Stinson looks to be the way to go for these final weeks of the season.

As for Nick Evans, how can you not root for him? He’s been tossed on the scrap heap time and again but never gets discouraged and when he gets opportunities, as he is now playing 1st base on a nightly basis, he is producing with his bat and his glove. From trolling around the team you can tell the players hold Evans in high regard as they know how hard he works to stay in the big leagues and if he can continue to produce like he has, and impress the manager like he has, he will have a spot on the 2012 Mets 25 man roster.

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AUTUMN IN NEW YORK IS MORE GRAND WHEN YOUR TEAM IS IN FIRST PLACE

There is no better place on earth than New York City on the first crisp cool fall day even though we haven’t had one of those classic “Con Edison can’t handle the electrical demand summers” there is something invigorating when you step out the door and it’s 51 degrees with a chilly breeze. The afternoons are even better as the shadows of the sky scrapers bring back memories of Seaver/Cuellar and Koosman/McNally and just makes me root harder for the Mets to get into the post season as this season HAS TO KEEP GOING. Not just because fall baseball is the ultimate sporting event (made even better that my son was asked to play on a team in a fall baseball league today even though he didn’t sign up as he rather play soccer this time of year but the coach knew of him from Little League and asked him to play for his team today. Talk about your late season call up)  but it’s only fitting that the team from the South Bronx which has looked down it’s nose at us for years closes it’s stadium doors with no post season game but a with a meaningless play out the string game tomorrow night and that Shea the old clapboard house that many an insult has been hurled at it finishes out in style with post season baseball. 

Last night’s game was no work of art by any means but OP was great, Brain Stokes had his fastball back and Daniel Murphy will find a place to play for the Mets this post season and for many seasons to come.

Is FOX kidding by putting Cards-Cubs on in NYC with the Brewers-Reds on at the same time?

Let’s hope Petey has some magic left in that right arm tonight

I can’t say this enough please Skill Sets and Omar shut down John Maine for the season get him the surgery he needs and let the cow chips of the bullpen fall where they may.

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