Still Walking On Air After Last Night’s Win
Mets fans are still walking on air after last night’s thrilling comeback win against the powerhouse Red Sox.
This one will sustain the often critical (but overly effusive) fan base until at least the next bad loss. But circle May 23rd as a defining moment in the 2009 season. After Omir Santos’ go-ahead two-run homer off of blowhard Jonathon Papelbon, a significant tremor registered on the Mets Fandom Scale.
Not just Mets fans were amped up. I texted Howard Johnson (doing a story on him and his son for Father’s Day issue of Mets Inside Pitch) with “what a win,” scenario. He replied succinctly: “Unbelievable.”
I couldn’t have expressed the glee any better HoJo!
Step back and analyze what transpired last night: Before the game began, the indomitable closer Frankie Rodriguez, was sprawled out on the clubhouse table like the post-game spread, writhing in pain. He had to be carted off to a Boston hospital for severe back spasms.
(You can bet the doctors shot him with enough muscle relaxers to sedate an elephant).
Furthermore, one of the team’s most consistent players joined the ever expanding list of starters in dry dock: Carlos Delgado, Jose’ Reyes, Ryan Church, and a hobbled Carlos Beltran. Oh, I forgot to insert the starting catcher, Brian (non-entity) Schneider too.
Nevertheless, the Minute Men, such as Santos and Ramon Hernandez (from Butcher to Baker overnight) chipped in to hermitically seal an incredible journey. Baseball is a game of redemption-ask the journey man Hernandez.
However, the biggest defensive play of the game was executed by David Wright and Luis Castillo (he stretches for throws better than any first baseman on the team, and should be nicknamed, “Plastic Man”). Wright corralled a hot smash hit by Jason Bay (guarding the line) and nabbed the lead runner with an acrobatic Castillo preventing the throw from sailing down the right field line.
Finally, the leather matched the lumber.
J.J. Putz managed two more loud outs and the vociferous faithful reverberated throughout Fenway Park.
Assured of a .500 road trip, today’s game is played with house money. A Mets sweep is gravy. Considering that the clubhouse has resembled a M*A*S*H unit recently, an astonishing reversal of fortunes. A losing road trip was not out of the realm.
And what reward does Santos reap for his heroics? He gets to be Ramon Castro’s caddy today. He had his glory last night, and Mets fans enjoyed every second of it.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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