Okay, I wasn’t at Citi Field last night, but I could feel the energy in the park all the way from New York to Nashville. It was a playoff game in June, and the Mets continued their dominance of Philly when they absolutely had to have a win against them. It also kick-started a stretch of tough games against the Phillies, Yankees, Orioles, Rays, Cards, Yankees again, Brewers, Phillies, Dodgers and Reds before the all-star break.
Quite frankly, the next month of games is going to make or break this Mets’ team, and show us all what they are made of. I like how it started last night, with Johan absolutely fierce despite not having his best stuff. Wright, Beltran and Church delivered homers when there had been a power drought. And as for Johan, he ignored a bunt sign and drove in the tying run with a double down the right field line, and he also made a stunning catch of a wicked liner off the bat of Shane Victorino, doubling Eric Bruntlett off first to end the Phillies’ half of the 7th. He was pissed when Jerry Manuel yanked him in the 8th—he was saying “I’m a Man!” and I could also make this out: “I’ll give you the ball, but I don’t agree with you.” Good for him….who would want our ace to have any other attitude?
There was also a horrible call in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Church hit a rocket that was fielded by Ryan Howard as Fernando Tatis broke for the plate (with no outs, mind you) and Howard threw him out at the plate. But wait…..umpire Lance Barksdale blew that call about as bad as you can blow a call. Tatis slid under the tag of catcher Carlos Ruiz, but not only that, Ruiz was bobbling the ball! I have no idea why Tatis, nor Jerry Manuel, didn’t get in Barksdale’s face. Even David Wright could be seen in the dugout trying to convince Manuel to do that. Luckily, that was the same inning Santana doubled home the tying run, so it didn’t decide the game. But still…..I’m pissed about that call, and the Mets and their fans should be too.
So Game 1 goes to the Mets, and it brought them to within two games of the Phillies. We need at least one more win in the series to make a statement, but wouldn’t a sweep really be nice? I won’t get greedy, and I’m just excited for more playoff-style baseball for the next month. Let’s go Mets!