|Josh Thole, left, beats the tag of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann to score on an Ike Davis single in the first inning. (NYTimes.com)|
Dillon Gee kept the lid on the Braves offense for almost 6 innings, and starters Chris Caupano and R.A. Dickey delivered in relief to help the Mets hold on for a 3-2 win, snapping their seven-game losing streak dead in its tracks.
The Good Stuff:
He was only with the team because of Chris Young's trip to the DL, but Dillon Gee may be around for quite awhile. Another young gun, who had a solid September last season, impressed in his season debut, lasting only 5 2/3 innings but allowing only 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4. It's far too soon to tell, but could this be the coming of the team's long-lost ace? Only the next few starts will tell.
Terry Collins must have sensed how urgent a win was to the ball club; with 2 on and 2 out in the 6th, instead of bailing out Gee with a shaky Hot Potato Reliever, Skip sent out a starter, Chris Capuano, who got Jason Hayward to ground out to third for the force and the end of the Atlanta threat. The next inning, he sent out another starter, R.A. Dickey, who gave up a single to Matt Young but otherwise subdued the Braves.
Let's move to the other side of the plate. True, the offense only scored 3 runs, but that's enough when the other guys only score 2. Josh Thole came through big in the 2-spot, going 2-4 and picking up 2 RBIs. Ike Davis got the other one, bringing his season total to a still-great 12. And Jose Reyes did what a leadoff man should do, going 2-4 and scoring 2 runs.
Also worth note is that Carlos Beltran, who usually gets day games off, played in his 3rd game in a 24 hour span. The concern in the first two weeks was the knee, but this is a good sign that things with Carlos, who went 1-3 today, may finally be getting back to normal.
The Bad Stuff:
Of course, this win doesn't erase the problems that still plague the Amazin's. David Wright was ineffective at the plate, going 0-4 and striking out thrice (you're welcome, Coco). Angel Pagan still hasn't found his groove, going 0-3 and bringing his average down to a miserable .169.
The regular bullpen also continues to play Hot Potato with who's going to screw up the late innings. Today, the music stopped on Jason Isringhausen, who gave up an 8th-inning solo shot to Jason Hayward and walked another before getting out of it. And while Fransisco Rodriguez did pick up his second save of the year, he couldn't avoid giving Mets fans heart attacks with every pitch: he let the tying run get to third base before sitting down Brooks Conrad for the final out. K-Rod has always been shaky like this with us; it's something NY fans must accept.
Yes, we've still got some major problems. But today we won. Yes, we're still in last place in the East and tied for worst in the NL. But today we won. Yes, we're still in a cash crunch and it won't go away for quite some time. But today we won. A win is a win. And Lord, did we need this win.
Terry Collins mentioned something recently along the lines of, "Yes, we're on a long losing streak, but you throw in a long winning streak, and you'll forget all about it." If ever there was a time to get that streak, it would be now: a six-game homestand against the last-place Houston Astros and the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks. The season is not quite over yet, my friends.