Is The Longball This Season’s X-Factor?

My hunch is that few to no Mets fans now miss Brian Schneider, last year’s non-entity of a backstop. Yeah, and the non-entity the year before that.

After Fernando Nieve blew Maine’s 4-2 lead in the eighth inning (Mainey threw six above average innings in one of his best performances thus far) in Cincy by giving up blasts to Votto and Rolen, it looked as if the Mets might let another one slip away, once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

However, Roddy B stepped in to face Reds closer, Cordero, and promptly sent the first pitch into orbit in deep left-center. K-Rod came in, and that was all she wrote, a sweet 5-4 victory thanks to a timely home run. Was it a must-win game? The simple answer is Duh!” Unless your team is 10 games above .500 with four left in the season, I tend to see every game as must-win.

As fans, we have not been accustomed to power surges in the form of HRs. Well, certainly not last year anyway. And while I think we can all agree that the arguments about whether or not the 2010 Mets are anything other than a .500 club, it surely is nice to think that we can win the kinds of close ball games that we did tonight with one swat.

If you are like me, you cannot understand why Jason Bay has just one HR… one, that’s it. And like me, you probably are confident that he sooner or later is going to start to mash.

Meanwhile, we are getting a kind of luxury in knowing that guys like Barajas, Wright, Francoeur, Davis, and Pagan can open up some serious longball on any pitcher willing to challenge them. Having won last night’s game with a homer, I am arguing that the HR is as likely to help us win ball games this season just about as much as any other factor, at least in these close games. I don’t think we ever really had this going for us in the last two years. While we are hardly a premiere slugging team yet, we surely are off to better power numbers than at this time last year. Keep it going, boys.

David’s shot was absolutely an atom bomb second decker. Anybody still concerned that he doesn’t have the potential? Nay, he has the strong likelihood to rip 35 this year.

So long small ball; let’s bring on big ball.”