I was on the phone with Joe D. as I was driving to the park and he asks me if I think they’ll get the game in? I look out my window, light snow showers, “I think so,” I tell him. “Just some light snow at the moment.”
I hadn’t been off the phone for more than 30 seconds when the snow got harder, then it started doing something that I think they call sleet, then more snow and some frozen ice pellet things, then even harder snow and it began to look like maybe there wouldn’t be a game.
Fortunately the snow tapered off just enough as game time approached and the temperature dipped to 34 degrees. It was the coldest game time start since the opening of Target Field.
Now even though 34 degrees is downright balmy when you consider what the past couple of months have been like out here — it gets so bad you have to be careful not to keep your eyelids closed for too long because they can freeze together – it’s not exactly baseball weather. You wouldn’t want your eyelids to freeze together while you’re trying to track down a fly ball… you could run into a wall, or Lucas Duda.
It was a strange night. The Mets came out swinging the big boy bats and pummeled their old National League adversary Vance Worley with a 5 run first that had to feel like a cold slap in the face when the wind chill is 12 degrees. Worley left with his ERA having snowballed to 10.5.
Command appeared to be an issue for both pitchers and they struggled to grip the ball. Worley left pitch after pitch over the plate while Niese uncharacteristically walked several batters in the first few innings. Neise and Buck smartly decided to give up on his cutter after the first inning as Niese was unable to get a feel for it.
“We went to more the 4 seam, changeup and curveball,” Said Buck. “Canned the cutter because it was backing up, it was hard for him to control, obviously we all know it’s his bread and butter, so those runs we got up front definitely helped us be more aggressive, pounding the strike zone, make them hit their way back in the ballgame. We knew were were going to give up a couple of hits, it’s kind of what the game called for, with the conditions.”
The Mets tacked on another 5 spot in the second with Buck hitting a bomb 386 feet over the left field wall with the bases loaded. Worley didn’t get an out in the second.
Murphy had 4 hits with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. David Wright had 3 hits with 4 RBI and 2 runs, Valdespin had 2 hits with an rbi and 3 runs, Buck had a run a homer and 4 rbi. All in all the Mets left the Twins out in the permafrost this nigh with Terry Collins smartly plugging Aaron Laffey in for 9th inning duty to save his bullpen. The bullpen, incidentally was outstanding as Atchison, Burk, and Laffey contributed 4.0 innings of shutout ball.
Game time: 3 hours 24 minutes
Thoughts from Joe D.
Despite the most deplorable playing conditions one could ever imagine for a baseball game, the Mets braved the snow and freezing temperatures to defeat the Minnesota Twins 16-5 tonight at Target Field.
Leadoff hitter Jordany Valdespin got on base three times and ignited three big rallies for the Amazins as the team exploded for ten runs in the first two innings and knocked out Twins starter Vance Worley faster than you could say Winter Wonderland. By the way, I thought it was a nice tough when Andy Williams started blaring over the PA system singing his Holiday Classic, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as the Mets baserunners kept crossing home plate.
The Mets torched Twins pitching all night long and racked up 15 hits as they put their two game losing streak in Philadelphia in their rearview mirrors.
Catcher John Buck continues his torrid home run streak and tonight walloped a grand slam in the second inning that iced the game for the Mets. It was his fourth home run in four games, and sixth this season to lead the league.
David Wright finally broke out of an 0-for-8 slump and racked up three hits falling a home run short of the cycle and driving in and four. But it was second baseman Daniel Murphy who led this hit parade with a 4-for-5 performance including a pair of doubles and he now has 12 RBI for the season, second only to Buck who leads the NL with 19 ribbies.
Jonathon Niese started and didn’t bring his A game, but still pitched well enough to win. He allowed a season high five runs but picked up the win anyway. I’m chalking this up to frostbite. Great job by the bullpen as Scott Atchison, Greg Burke and Aaron Laffey combined to toss four scoreless innings. Nice…
Hey the Mets won and improve to 6-4 for the season and Matt Harvey takes the mound today which bodes well for another win.
Lets Go Mets…