Can Jordany Valdespin’s walk-off grand slam lead to better things?

Talk about a pick-me up!

After an uninspiring first-game effort against the Dodgers on Tuesday and then failing to do much in Matt Harvey’s so-so start(at least by Harvey standards) to begin Wednesday night’s affair, the Mets appeared on the verge of dropping their second straight game to the Dodgers.

The Mets were listless offensively for eight innings and were trailing the Dodgers 3-2 heading into the ninth inning.

However, that was all about to change. After David Wright’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth tied the game, it set the stage for Jordany Valdespin to deliver once again in the clutch.

With the Mets running the bases loaded with one out in the 10th inning, Valdespin was given the chance to play hero (Actually, Valdespin had a chance to come through in the clutch in the 8th inning. With two outs and a chance to tie the game, Valdespin, however, swung at the first pitch and promptly grounded out to first base). At this time, all that was needed, though, was just a sacrifice fly. So, when Valdespin saw a 2-1 fastball thrown by the Dodgers’ Josh Wall, he lined up and socked it to right field with it sailing all the way out of the ball park.

Euphoria then ensued.

Mets’ SNY field reporter Kevin Burkhardt interviewed Valdespin after the game and asked him what many Mets’ fans were thinking: “Is he the man right now?

Confidently, Valdespin obliged and indeed said what all wanted him to say: he was the man.

For a guy who had a game-winning home run off the Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon last season, Valdespin has this late-game heroics thing down pat. (BTW, this marks the second year in a row that Valdespin’s first home run of the year came in a game-winning fashion)

Can this walk-off grand slam lead to bigger and better things? Is this the confidence booster Valdespin needs to get going?

Well, that depends on if Terry Collins takes the training wheels off Valdespin and lets him play every day. It’s high time that Collins and the Mets finally put their trust in this gifted albeit mercurial talent.

After all, Valdespin is hitting and doing a decent job on the field. Sure, he can struggle against lefties, but Valdespin at the minimum should be in there every day against righties and batting leadoff. Valdespin offers the Mets with a guy who could go deep at a moment’s notice while also having the capability to swipe the occasional bag (Valdespin does sport three stolen bases). Outside of Wright, no one has that dual-threat capability.

Valdespin can often come across cocky, but you can’t question the passion this kid has for the game. Collins said during spring training that Valdespin has become a more mature ballplayer and it’s time Collins reward that maturity with more playing time.

With the Mets getting unproductive seasons from Marlon Byrd, Collin Cowgill and Mike Baxter and with recent call-up Juan Lagares a complete unknown, Valdespin is one of the better outfielders the Mets can rely on. He definitely possesses the most upside. Plus, Valdespin can man the middle infield spots in a pinch.

Collins has done enough mixing and matching with the outfield already. He should know by now what works. And with Valdespin delivering in the clutch once again, it’s time Collins makes Valdespin the “man” on a permanent basis.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

6 comments for “Can Jordany Valdespin’s walk-off grand slam lead to better things?

  1. Metsense
    April 25, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Falling below .500 on a night Harvey pitches would have been demoralizing.
    Wright’s base hit was symbolic that he was going to keep this team afloat, just like a Captain should.
    Harvey’s “mistake” just cleared the right field fence on a late swing. I’m used to “mistakes” being pulled and landing in the second deck. That alone makes Harvey must see TV.
    JV was so unpolished in the Burkkhardt interview that it was refreshing. He led right into the “I’m the Man” line and it was fun. Not your typical “I was looking for something to drive, ad nauseum…”. He was a kid playing a kid’s game and enjoying it. I saw exuberance not cockiness. As for TC saying he needs him to be a bench player. He is a poor man’s 5 tool player, something that this non athletic team needs, and he should be playing as much as possible until he cools off. I am continuing to wonder about TC.
    It was nice to see the bullpen go more than one batter and be effective also. Are we paying attention to this type of bullpen use TC?
    Wanted to say all this during chat last night but it just wouldn’t scroll on my IE browser.

    • Chris F
      April 25, 2013 at 10:08 am

      I totally agree Metsense. Also, I needed to refresh regularly when scroll did not work on chat (iPad2, Safari). That brings up every new comment.

      Three cheers for JV. I would also add that to me the hero role was really shared, and while the taste of victory came with one bite, it was the last bite of the meal. This was a Mets win, top to bottom.

      1. Matt Harvey. When hes off, he’s better than 80% of MLB pitchers. Ok, he makes one mistake, and one the best hitters in baseball makes him pay by dropping an HR just over the fence, just inside the foul pole. You couldnt confuse that with Buck’s second tanker the other day. His double was 5 feet away from being a HR. I like this kid. I wish I lived in NY so I could go to mets games…I wouldnt miss a single start.

      2. Bull Pen. Ive not been shy about my criticism of the pen this season. It was a great performance to go 4 solid.

      3. Mike Baxter. Love the 110% hustle. His home-made, hustle double was exactly what saved the game. Charging hard out of the box, he clearly aimed to pressure Crawford, and did exactly that, forcing a misplay and taking second by pure force. If he just runs it out down 1B, Mets lose. (As an aside, its hard not to credit Crawford’s very Duda-like patrolling of LF. On several occasions balls that should have been caught or throws made just failed to materialize all to Mets runs).

      4. Ruben Tejada and John Buck. Break the oh-fers with key hits that bring in a run and start the winning rally. Buck called another great game. Tejada’s flashing the leather like we know he can.

      5. Captain America. We needed it, and he delivered. Well played Mr. Met!

      6. Lucas Duda. The guy who couldnt leave the batters box most of last year, cant stay off base now. Keep eatin’ those Wheaties son.

      7. JV1. With the table set for an heroic finish, send in the bling…and the bang! Donnie Baseball tried to make the player configuration look like the infield at the Kentucky Derby and perhaps throw off your timing, but when the ball is hit that hard and high, all doubts dissipated at the crack of the bat.

      Put it in the books! The METS won this game.

  2. Name
    April 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

    5-0 in Harvey’s starts. Probably the best stat about Harvey right now.

    JV needs confidence boosters? Really? This is a guy who has had documented maturity issues because he thinks so highly of himself.

    Marlon Byrd, Collin Cowgill, Mike Baxter having unproductive seasons?
    Maybe yes to Cowgill, he swings too hard and doesn’t really make enough contact, but he has had a few big hits for the Mets.
    But Byrd has the highest run driven in percentage on the team and has also had some big hits for the Mets
    Baxter has also been great; without him there might not have been a 10th inning in yesterday’s game. He is an OBP machine and plays a good defense. He’s excelled in the role he’s been given.

    I’m not sure how you can complain about the OF rotation right now. Terry has pretty much gotten the best out of all the Outfielders. If only he can learn to mix and match the bullpen correctly…

    • Dan Stack
      April 26, 2013 at 5:02 am

      Name, I guess I see limited upside in Byrd and Baxter. Cowgill, I agree is a wild car too.

      • Name
        April 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm

        I’m fine with you saying that you don’t think that they will be productive in the future, but saying that they have been unproductive so far this season is factually incorrect.

        Examples of unproductive on this team so far are: Hefner/Laffey/IKE/Tejada(from defense)/Edgin/Gee.

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