|David Wright’s ability to play Saturday had been questionable because of a fractured pinkie, but he erased all doubt with a home run in his first at-bat. (NYTimes.com)|
--SNY play-by-play man Gary Cohen with the understatement of 2012.
David Wright homered on the first pitch he saw coming back from a broken pinkie, providing the difference for an unbeatable Jon Niese and giving the Mets a 5-0 win over the Phillies.
The Good Stuff
- In a stunning turnaround, it was announced 2 hours before game time that David Wright would play despite breaking his right pinkie finger 5 days ago. Concern around the blogosphere was that he was rushing back too soon and would either get hurt worse or hurt the team by not contributing. Wright buried those concerns with one pitch and one swing, blasting a Vance Worley fastball to the deepest part of left center for his 2nd home run of the year. And he didn't stop there, going 3-5 with 2 runs and making a couple plays in the infield.
- Any question as to whether David Wright wasn't the face of the franchise ended with that pitch. Playing through what I'm guessing is excruciating pain, Wright showed his toughness and his desire to help his team win. Reports earlier this week indicated the Met front office was concerned about his injury-proneness and they were holding off on his contract extension. I'd like to hope Sandy Alderson was finishing up the paper work by the time David rounded second base. Let's make this guy a Met for life.
- The offense ignited again in the 4th when Daniel Murphy walked, Wright singled, and Ike Davis singled to load the bases with none out. After Jason Bay grounded into a double play to bring one home (*sigh*, perhaps it was black magic), Lucas Duda blasted a first-pitch fastball into the right field stands to make it 3-0. He also had a double in the 6th and has broken out of a long slump.
- The last run came in the top of the 9th when Mike Baxter walked, stole second (our first stolen base!), and was driven in by Ruben Tejada, who went 2-5 and is hitting .333 from the leadoff slot (and he's only 22!).
- All the extra offense was great, but in reality, it was checkmate for Philadelphia 4 pitches in when Wright smashed his home run. Because Jon Niese continues to earn that 5-year contract extension of his, going 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 5 for his second W in as many tries. Bobby Parnell finished up the 7th and the 8th and Jon Rauch slammed the door shut in the 9th to give New York their second shutout win of the year.
- Um...I'm sure David was in a lot of pain?
- The best painkiller in the world is winning.
Games like that don't come around very often. When they do, as fans, you can't help but celebrate. Today as Mets fans, we saw spectacular pitching, good solid hitting, and the 2012 version of Roy Hobbes. Oh, and did I mention it was against our fiercest rivals? And that it puts us at 6-2 and a half game out of first place? Yes, it's one afternoon, and there's still 95% of the season left, and yes, Red, "Hope is a dangerous thing." But through 5% of the season, this Mets team is giving its hope-starved fan base a reason to believe. How long it will last, I don't know. What I do know is you take it one game at at time and enjoy the ride when you're on a high point. This is a high point.