I’m feeling so good about the Mets right now especially after what I witnessed last night. That game against the Reds was more than just another early season win, it was convincing evidence that this might be the year the Mets go all they way. Let me explain…
The old Mets never would have stood a chance last night against the Reds. Too many things went right, that never would have happened last season. I will cite just a few of them for you.
1. Brian Schneider was brilliant behind the plate. Last season, every errant pitch seemed to get by him for a wild pitch or passed ball. Sometimes it cost the Mets the game. Last night, nothing could get by him. He was even more effective when the heat was on and the Reds tried to rally in 7th, 8th and 9th innings. At least four pitches in those that would have gotten by him last season, were in his mitt instead. If any one of those pitches get by him, it could have been a different outcome, especially the two wide curves in the dirt from K-Rod in the ninth with the bases juiced. Schneider brought his “A” game this season.
2. When the Mets found themselves in the bottom of the ninth with the Reds just two runs down and the bases loaded, who among you wasn’t having some delirious flashbacks? The Mets needed just two outs to come away with the win, but Rodriguez was clearly out of gas and his fastball was flat as a pancake. We all know how that would have ended if Luis Ayala, Aaron Heilman or Scott Schoeneweis were on the mound. But this was K-Rod, and even on his worst night, he was able to dig down deep into his gut and get those last two outs using pure heart and tons of adrenaline. It was something we haven’t seen in a long time as Mets fans. We saw our closer at his worst, and he looked fantastic.
3. Defensively, the Mets played a lousy game last night. They were charged with only two errors, but it should have been at least three if not for the hometown official scorer. However, when Luis Castillo made the decision to throw home rather than pursue the rundown taking place between first and second I was like, “wow” as the umpire signaled the runner out at the plate. What a presence of mind by Castillo after a season… of constant flubs and too many mental errors to count, he not only made the right call, but he executed it with such perfection. It was a thing of beauty.
In closing, we were witness to some heads up playing, gutty performances, and solid baseball instincts last night. If this was a glimpse of of the new Jerry Manuel led Mets, we’re in for a magical season in 2009.