Valdespin's pinch-hit home run in the 6th gave the Mets a lead they would finally hold on to, as they beat to the Marlins 7-6 to avoid an embarrassing sweep.
The Good Stuff:
- Down 4-1 in the top of the 6th, New York looked on the road to oblivion in the form of a sweep at the hands of a team that needed a nightclub and a host of other attractions to get even 16,000 fans to show up. Luckily for all of us, the Amazin's found themselves a detour.
- Captain David Wright led off the inning with a double to the left field corner. It was his second extra base hit of the game, as his solo home run over the Clevelander in the 4th gave the team its first run.
- After a couple groundouts only sent him to third base, Marlon Byrd gave the word of a run-scoring single.
- After Ike Davis followed with a single of his own, Jordany Valdespin was sent up to pinch-hit for a listless Juan Lagares. With fresh arm A.J. Ramos at the plate, 'Spin recaptured the magic that propelled him to a team-record five pinch-hit home runs last season. Jordany took a mighty cut at a 2-2 changeup, sending a rocket just over the high wall in right field. He almost floated around the bases in triumph, and with a foot to the plate, the Mets had a 5-4 lead after a four-run 6th.
- Singles by Daniel Murphy and the Captain allowed John Buck to pick up two RBIs with a double in the 7th. Had April lasted 31 days instead of 30, Buck would have set a New York record with 27 RBIs in a calendar month.
- After an unfortunate error brought Miami back to one down in the 7th (see Bad Stuff), Scott Atchison dug deep and, to his credit, got out of the jam with the lead still in tact.
- LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Rice brought the visitors through the 8th, and Bobby Parnell slammed the door on the way out with a 1-2-3 9th that ended his team's losing streak at six games, and not a moment too soon.
- Dillon Gee was far from fantastic en route to his second win of the season, going just five frames while allowing four runs on nine hits, with two walks and a solitary strikeout on 70 pitches. As fate would have it, it is he, not Matt Harvey or Jeremy Hefner after their stellar starts, who picks up the W. That's the way the ball drops sometimes.
- Lucas Duda had a miserable afternoon at the plate and in the cavernous left field of Marlins Park. Against Wade LeBlanc and company, he went 0-4 with a walk and three strikeouts. In the field, he misjudged a Justin Ruggiano single in the 7th inning, allowing it to bounce past his glove, roll to the wall, and plate two Miami runs. How it was only his second error of the season is beyond me.
If by some chance Terry Collins ends up on the outskirts of the Mets blogoverse and reads this, my message to him is as follows: We Want More Jordany! I've expressed my support of our sparkplug in the past, and I reiterate that support today. Jordany Valdespin makes watching the game more fun. He also hits in the clutch as well as anyone on the team. Why not give him more regular starts in center field? What do we have to lose at this point?
All I can say after that win is "whew." The offense finally woke up from its coma. The bullpen finally hammered down the Double-A quality Fish bats. Was it a pretty win? Not by any means. But any sort of win is a refreshing sight, especially one that kept me from having to write "Swept. By. The. Marlins." Well done, boys.
The Mets get to enjoy their getaway win for one extra day, as they'll have tomorrow off in preparation for their weekend set with the NL-best Atlanta Braves. Savor this one, everybody.