The Mets are off to one of the hottest starts in their 50-year existence and I, for one, am reveling in it. Summer has come early, both metaphorically and meteorologically. An 80-plus degree April 16th — coupled with Metsian success on the field — is conjuring up images of those lazy, hazy, crazy days. It could be called “early-pennant-race” weather. The Wall Street Journal put out a terrific piece this morning, suggesting that though it is early in the extreme, these very successful couple of weeks could – just could, mind you – be a harbinger of good days to come. It seems like a heady time.
A couple of quickie observations from the first fortnight of the 2012 season:
As has been noted elsewhere in these parts, if the Mets pitch, they win. I know this seems like a firm grasp of the obvious, but truisms become truisms for a reason. Over their seven wins, they’ve scored a total of 32 runs – an average of 4.57 per game, which ain’t a lot. However, they’ve allowed a mere 13, which averages out to 1.86. That’s winning baseball.
Insert obvious busted digit jokes here. Jason Bay and David Wright both missed time with jammed/broken fingers, came back sooner than expected and crashed homers almost immediately. I could say something about giving the Phillies, the Braves and all the doomsayers the “finger,” but I think I’ll refrain.
Bay took a few steps towards rehabilitating his image among the fan base last night (4/16), pulling an “Endy” as he robbed Jack Wilson of a go-ahead homer in the fifth, then adding a good-measure homer in the ninth to salt the game away for good. I can see Bay’s relationship with fans reaching a similar point as Tom Glavine’s in 2006: past transgressions slowly but surely overlooked as positive accomplishments pile up. Sort of a semi-easy truce. Of course, in Glavine’s case, all of that was undone in one spectacularly inept and inopportune inning.
The Mets can be opportunistic, the mark of a solid team. They followed up Bay’s great grab with a long-ball inning which gave us all a first-hand glimpse of the genius that is Fredi Gonzalez. He intentionally walked Wright with a man on – defensible on its face, seeing as Wright came into the at-bat a blistering 13-for-23, but wouldn’t you rather surrender two runs than three? – ahead of a recovering Ike Davis who deposited the fifth consecutive curveball from Tommy Hanson into the right field pavilion seats, well over the head of a despairing, immobile Jason Heyward.
Is this all sustainable? Much as I can say “Lord, I hope so,” I’m trying to net get overly giddy. We are only ten games in, but the signs are there that this can be a pretty fun year, somewhat along the lines of 1984, as my friend Ed Leyro posits.
Fingers crossed that this year can be that special.
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