The New York Mets' 4-3, walk-off victory yesterday over the Washington Nationals showed me something. The Mets had no business winning that game. Mike Pelfrey got knocked around, the Mets only got four hits off of starter Edwin Jackson and the hitters were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
However, these are the types of games that, dare I say, "special" teams tend to win. Even if you don't think they're special, these are absolutely the types of games that the Mets of the last few years wouldn't win. There's something about this team that people are overlooking: they believe.
They believe in themselves, they believe in the team concept and they believe in what Terry Collins is doing. Speaking of TC, I absolutely love the man. I don't think they could've hired someone that was more right for the job.
The Mets are right back in action tonight, and I will be very interested to see how they come out after the big win last night. Let's take a look at the three top stars from that game.
If it wasn't for Ramon Ramirez, Daniel Murphy's hit probably wouldn't have been a walk-off. With the game tied at three in the sixth inning, Ramon Ramirez entered the game with runners on first and second, after Miguel Batista had walked both Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman.
Ramirez didn't flinch. He got Adam Laroche to line out to left field for the first out. This was a case of things just going right when you're rolling. Laroche hit a nice shot down the left-field line, and being a lefty, you figured that was going to drop. However, for whatever reason, Bay was shaded a little towards the line and made a nice running catch to get there.
After that, Jayson Werth grounded into a routine double play (which should be noted was Daniel Murphy's first of the season). Ron Darling, who for anyone listening to the broadcast was essentially clairvoyant all night, predicted this happening.
Another big spot for Ramon Ramirez, another terrific outing. The Mets bullpen has looked flat-out amazing in the early going so far.
Captain Kirk was at it again. Any other game, he probably would've gotten three stars, but that has to go to someone else this time.
Kirk got to the plate with Josh Thole on first and two out in the bottom of the fourth. Edwin Jackson was dealing and the Mets weren't really squaring anything up against him. On a one-two pitch on the inner half, Nieuwenhuis turned on the ball and smacked it over the newly drawn in right field fence for a two-run, game-tying homer. This was, of course, Nieuwenhuis's first career home run.
This was big for the Mets because they didn't score again until the walk-off hit in the ninth inning. If Nieuwenhuis doesn't hit that home run, it's a completely different ball game.
Of course the three stars are going to the man who is quickly becoming everyone's favorite Met. You all obviously know about the walk-off hit, but I want to touch on two things that could be just as important.
The first came with one out in the sixth inning. With runners on first and second, Jayson Werth hit a ball right to Ruben Tejada for as routine of a double play as they come.
Now, this sounds completely unimportant, but Murphy has not turned a double play yet this year and the only one he had a chance on, he literally dropped the ball. However, this time Murphy had great footwork and looked silky smooth in turning the double play.
The second thing was in the top of the ninth inning, with a runner on first and two outs, Ryan Zimmerman hit a hard grounder right back up the middle. It looked, by all means, that it was going into center field for a base hit.
The Nats probably would've had first and third with two outs. However, out of seemingly nowhere, Murphy came diving across the television screen to smother the ball and throw it to Tejada at second base for the final out of the inning.
It only seemed fitting, that with second and third and no outs in the bottom of the ninth, Murphy would be the guy to come to the plate. He smacked a single to right field and Mike Baxter scored the winning run, and the Mets went to 4-0.