Back in 2006 I was eleven years old. I remember the great season the Mets had, I still watched a lot of games with my dad and I loved the Mets. The big moments from that year stuck in my mind such as the Endy Chavez robbing that home run, and of course Carlos Beltran striking out looking.
This year has been different. I have watched every single game including the pre-game and post-game shows. My passion for Mets baseball is definitely greater than its ever been and I can honestly say that aside for games I actually played in myself, I have never been more into a baseball game than Game 1 last night. I was holding my breath every time the Dodgers got a man on praying that a run wouldn’t come across. I was a pitcher myself so I always appreciate a good pitchers duel and Jacob deGrom was outstanding going toe to toe with a three time Cy Young winner. We have been waiting for this great pitching that the Mets have been stockpiling to pay dividends and that really comes to fruition now. Pitching wins championships and we can now watch what these young guns can do with the pressure on.
Even with pitching, the lineup still needs to show up and they did a great job putting up three runs despite a great performance by Clayton Kershaw. Terry Collins‘ bold move to play his three lefties paid dividends as all three would come through for the Mets. Of course Daniel Murphy started things off with his solo shot in the fourth, that let us all breath a little easier. Lucas Duda got a hit and started off the rally in the 7th by drawing a walk. Curtis Granderson went 2-for-3 and he too drew a walk in the 7th that loaded the bases for the Captain and got Kershaw out of the game.
It is hard to complain about the way Collins managed the game but I do think he will need to reconsider some of his strategy as the Mets continue their October run. There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Addison Reed should take over the 8th inning and Clippard did not do himself any favors last night. Clippard had a 7.11 ERA down the stretch and did not look sharp in his first post season outing leaving a few balls up in the zone with a lot of plate. If he continues to falter Reed will have to be looked on to take over that role.
Another area of concern was Cuddyer’s play in left. He let two playable balls get the best of him and could not contribute at the plate. It will be interesting to see how Michael Conforto will handle his postseason debut and if he can maybe force Collins hand to keep him in the lineup. Conforto has the ability to hit left-handed pitching as evident through his success in the minors, but if Collins is set on keeping him out of the lineup against lefties there is still another option.
Juan Lagares and Cuddyer ironically have the same batting average of 273. against left-handers this year. Lagares has actually hit with more power against lefties too as he has 3 home runs to Cuddyer’s 1 and 15 RBI’s compares to 5 by Cuddy. Tejada is in the lineup to have the best defense out there and obviously adding a gold glove to the outfield will shore up the defense even more. Regardless this was an outstanding night for Mets baseball, lets hope we keep this going.