David Wright's 8th inning RBI double gave his team the lead and Ronny Cedeno's 3-run homer capped a string of 9 unanswered runs as the Mets roared back to hammer the Reds, 9-4.
The Good Stuff:
- You could hear the tricklings of that famous chant, "M-V-P," throughout the afternoon crowd of just under 30,000 at Citi Field. David Wright had just launched his second double of the game to score backup catcher Rob Johnson, who barreled his way around from first after a surprising bunt to lead off the 8th.
- Wright had just capped an all-world performance at the plate: 2-2, 2 doubles, 3 walks, 3 runs (one still to come), and that big RBI. The man is blistering hot right now, hitting .411 and getting on base at a brain-busting rate of .513. I am certainly not the first to break out this thought in the last few days, nor will I be the last, but it must be said: extend his contract now. Make him a Met for life. Make him Captain with at capital C on his chest. Because if anyone deserves it, it is this man, who has stuck with his team through the good times and the (especially) bad. Mr. Owner has eaten his words, it's time for Sandy Alderson to eat his doubts and put something on the table.
- Oh by the way, the rest of the offense woke up in the sun too! Lucas Duda responded to 3 runs in the top of the 5th with a 2-run double of his own in the bottom of the inning, and Mike Baxter salvaged a run on a bases-loaded sac fly in the 6th. Justin Turner's nearly identical sac fly off fireballer Aroldis Chapman in the 7th tied the game at 4, which set up Johnson's bunt and Wright's 9th-pitch double off Logan Ondrusek, who until today had not allowed an earned run this season. He would give up a few more: Turner came through again with a 2-out RBI single, which brought up light-hitting Ronny Cedeno, who launched his first home run as a Met over the Great Wall of Flushing to make it 9-4 and giving the Home Run Apple some much-needed exercise.
- After taking over for an off-form R.A. Dickey in the 6th, the usually shaky New York bullpen fortified itself really quickly. Maybe it was cutting loose the dead weight of D.J. Carrasco, but whatever it was, it worked: Jon Rauch, Bobby Parnell, and Frank Francisco combined for 3 scoreless innings to keep the potent Red bats from re-burying the Mets. Rauch and Francisco got into some trouble, but they got themselves out if it. And that's some Good Stuff.
- Daniel Murphy "quietly" went 2-4 with a double and a run to raise his average to "just" .331 and also started a nice double play in the 6th, making a catch in deep foul ground and gunning down Joey Votto at the plate.
- By R.A. Dickey standards, today wasn't so hot. 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits in 6 innings, although a season-high 8 strikeouts kept the Reds from putting too much wood on the ball. It's tough to evaluate the knuckleball, but from a strictly statistical standpoint, it goes under Bad Stuff. In terms of how well he through the pitch, probably somewhere in the middle; problem was when Cincy hit the ball they hit it hard.
- Even though they plated 9 runs in the game, the Mets had their share of missed opportunities, leaving 11 men on and only scoring once each with the bases loaded in the 6th and 7th.
That's the way to finish up a homestand. While they went just 2-2, the Mets started out right and finished out right. Starting pitching, offense, and relief pitching all went M.I.A. at some point in the series, but they found their way back at the right times this afternoon.
Now the attention shifts North of the Border, where the team will make a highly-publicized "hockey holiday" to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays in the opening series of that unfortunate anomaly of the Selig Administration: Interleague Play. Everyone has their opinions on the issue, you can probably guess mine. Expect a feature-length article on Rising Apple soon when I'll go more in-depth on what I think should be done about it.
***UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.***
Here is that aforementioned post for Rising Apple: "Interleague and the DH: How to Save One Travesty with Another"