Trailing in the sixth inning or later every game. Having to surmount the vaunted arms belonging to Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton and Cliff Lee. Dealing with injuries to Mike Pelfrey, Ronny Cedeno, Jason Bay, Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole. The manner in which these Mets swept the Phillies defies all logic. These Mets have no idea they’re supposed to be the doormats of the National League East, even at full strength. These Mets laugh in face of a tidal wave. These Mets merrily take what opposing pitchers give them. These Mets take advantage of fielding miscues and adventures in the outfield. These Mets will take an RBI on a HBP with the bases loaded. These Mets happily welcome back a slugger who’d lost his way.
The names on Terry Collins’s lineup card last night screamed “concession.” TC ran Vinny Rottino out to left and Rob Johnson behind the plate. The outfield consisted of Rottino, Andres Torres and Scott Hairston. Stalwarts of the previous two nights — Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin and Lucas Duda – were all lefties, rested against the formidable Lee. It looked for all the world like a lineup put together with bailing wire. Well… you can get it, right? They’d won two straight and in thrilling fashion, to boot. You could understand if TC was tossing it in. You wouldn’t to appear greedy to the baseball gods and ask for a sweep on the road vs. the defending division champs.
These Mets would have none of it.
Nieuwenhuis and Duda came off the pine to contribute a leadoff walk and the aforementioned HBP in the sixth, an inning that saw a 2-4 deficit morph into a 5-4 lead. Ike Davis – the wayward slugger – drove a ball which would still be traveling as we speak, were it not for the Citizens Bank Ballpark’s second deck. Several outfield flies left your intrepid columnist secure in the knowledge that the Philadelphia trio of last night will be no threat to the memory of Cleon Jones/Tommie Agee/Ron Swoboda. These opportunistic Mets gobbled all of it up and scurried onto their waiting jet with a sweep and a 5-1 season series record vs. the Phils safe in their back pocket as they fly off to see what new adventures await in Miami.
Many fans are saying it’s a golden time to be a Met fan. I’m not sure I’ll go that far yet, but I’ll ride this thoroughbred of good feeling until it won’t run anymore. If that day doesn’t come until October, so be it.
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