Boy, does this team have heart.
In one of the most exciting games in the first half of the baseball season, the New York Mets were able to pull off a thrilling come from behind, walk-off win against the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that has broken the Mets' hearts more than a few times in the past five years.
The matchup heading into the game was very intriguing.
The Phillies ace and All-Star Cole Hamels went up against the Mets' ace and All-Star R.A. Dickey in the rubber game of the series. Despite the hype surrounding the pitching matchup, neither pitcher was all that impressive on this night. Both Dickey and Hamels were able to pitch seven innings regardless of their shaky outings.
This game went up and down throughout, as neither team could hold on to a lead for very long.
After R.A. Dickey gave up the lead after a David Wright home run in the fifth, he was in line for only his second loss of the season.
But like the Mets have shown all season, they have knack for the comeback.
The difference in this game from countless others this season was that the bullpen was able to keep them in the game.
With the Mets down by one, Pedro Beato was able to get a big out in the top of the eighth inning with runners on first and second. Then Bobby Parnell had an extremely impressive 1-2-3 ninth to keep the Mets down just one run heading into the bottom of the inning against Jonathon Papelbon.
Ike Davis was able to start a rally with a leadoff double to put the Mets in a great position to tie the game. After Thole bunted to advance pinch-runner Ronny Cedeno to third, Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a chance to get off his 3-for-26 snide (previous nine games, to include the first three at-bats tonight) by driving Cedeno in with a productive out. Unfortunately his offensive struggles continued as he struck out.
With two outs, both Jordany Valdespin and Ruben Tejada were able to work the count against Papelbon.
Valdespin was hit by a pitch, and Tejada worked a walk. Despite being down to his last strike, Daniel Murphy hit a liner up the middle that caromed off Papelbon's shoe. Although his kick save prevented the winning run from scoring, the Mets were able to tie the game in spite of being down to their last strike for three consecutive hitters.
After Daniel Murphy tied the game, there was a feeling the David Wright would subsequently end it. He did just that.
On Papelbon's first offering Wright hit a blooper to right field to win it.
After suffering so many heartbreaking losses to these same Phillies, the Mets, with so much heart and fight, were able to dish out a tough loss to Philadelphia.
Although there is still half a season left to be played, and they have a lot to do in order to reach the playoffs, there is one thing that is certain, there is something truly special about this team.
There is a hype surrounding the Mets that has been gone from this team for some time. This excitement has Mets fans believin'.
Erick Fernandez is the creator of I Want to Thank My Hood & My Psychiatrist