The Mets are proving that winning baseball isn’t just measured by pure numbers such as batting averages or home runs or even low walk totals.
Winning baseball is a mishmash of that along with solid clutch playing and a really big chaser of luck. Luck isn’t something the Mets are used to lately not to mention their fans.
The start of the 2010 season was beginning to feel like a bad epilogue to 2009 as the Mets compiled a 4 and 8 record. You just wanted it to finally come to an end at any cost.
Then the Mets came home and ten games later left in first place. Not even the best screenwriters in Hollywood could make this stuff up but that’s what makes baseball the best game there is.
One day you’re Jerry Manual, the goat of New York, the next day you’ve got the New York media world on a string, sitting on a rainbow. My apologies to ole’ blue eyes but that’s the name of the game in Metropolis.
Watching this team play I’ve become nostalgic of a few past Metropolitans. Rookie Ike Davis and 35 year old rookie yes rookie, Hisanori Takahashi, former stud pitcher on the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese league, both have me seeing mental flashbacks of Terry Leach and Dave Magadan.
Terry Leach in the mid to late 80’s was as solid a pitcher the Mets had that wasn’t named Gooden or Cone, or Fernandez or Darling or…you get the point.
A swing-man who’s submarine style delivery baffled hitters especially in 1987, the year the Mets rotation was as decimated as the Mets entire team was last year. Leach ended 1987 with a record of 11-1 until he too succumbed to the injury bug, ending what many were believing to be a potential Cy Young season.
Leach and Takahashi both with quirky deliveries and both had been starters with Takahashi doing so during his tenure in Japan. Both men pitch with as much guile as anyone I’ve seen.
When John Maine left his start against the Braves with a sore glove arm, Manuel turned to Takahashi. All he did was pitch 3 solid innings giving up a run while fanning 7, and oh yeah he even got his first Major League hit.
The same way Leach spelled a number of starters for Davey Johnson in the summer of 1987, Takahashi bridged Mets history for Manuel. Classic.
Here comes Ike. I like Ike. Who doesn’t at this point? Ike Davis has been to the Mets what Febreeze is to a old stinking couch with one too many spilled adult beverages.
What’s impressed me so far is his maturity and plate control. If he stays on this track his power, as prolific as many scouts have said, will not only come around but will blossom. He’s as slick a fielder that the Mets have had in a long time to boot.
He’s Dave Magadan…multiplied by infinity. Again, Davis replaced the less than stellar Mike Jacobs who was replacing the injured Daniel Murphy. Similarly it was Magadan who had the unenviable task of filling the shoes of Keith Hernandez. It’s amazing how history repeats itself.
Who knows what history will be written in Flushing Meadows in the summer of 2010? Stay tuned.