Top 5 Mets You Want Up with the Game on the Line
Baseball is a game of timing.
Whether it's a batter starting his swing at the right time, a base runner beginning his dive at the perfect moment or a pitcher releasing the ball in the ideal arm slot, baseball beckons for timing.
This is even more true in clutch situations. A player can go 1-for-5 on the day, but if that one hit is a grand slam, he's still a hero. Same as how a guy could be the goat if he goes 3-for-4, but strikes out with the bases loaded.
The Mets aren't going to blow many teams out this year, so many of their games will come down to timely hitting.
Which five Mets do you want up with the game on the line?
This one is a layup.
Whether he's on one of his insanely hot streaks or he's ice cold, Mets fans would have to want David Wright at the plate with the game on the line.
After all, the guy is captain for a reason and frankly, Wright is pretty clutch.
Last year, Wright hit .299 with no one on, but .317 with runners in scoring position. In 142 at-bats with runners in scoring position, Wright drove in 67 runs and had an impressive on-base percentage of .440.
And did I mention the World Baseball Classic? The guy was recognized around the country as "Captain America". A grand slam, some timely doubles in the gap and a great understanding of the game make him the ideal candidate.
Always have to follow up the layup with the surprise pick. Justin Turner isn't even a starter, but the guy is about as clutch as it gets.
From 2010 to 2012, Turner might have posted the most bizarre splits in baseball between his average with no runners on base and his average with runners in scoring position.
If Turner hit the way he hit with the bases empty all the time, he wouldn't even be in the majors. Over that three-year span, Turner hit .218 with nobody aboard, but hit .324 with runners in scoring position.
Granted, he doesn't hit many home runs, but Turner is one of the toughest outs in baseball with runners on.
Buck has never really been a high average guy, but he is beloved in baseball because of his unmatched understanding of the game.
If there's a runner on third, he doesn't try to do too much. He simply gets the ball in the air deep enough for a sacrifice fly (as he did twice Saturday against the Marlins).
He's also hitting .400 over the past three years with the bases loaded, and is off to one of the hottest starts in all of baseball in 2013, particularly for catchers. Unlike Turner, Buck is a huge threat to go deep and will do what it takes to get that run in from scoring position.
Jordany Valdespin is "Mr. Pinch-Hit Home Run".
In his rookie campaign, Valdespin blasted five pinch-hit homers, a club record. Unfortunately, many of Valdespin's homers came with no one on base, but having a game on the line doesn't necessarily mean there are runners on base.
So for Valdespin, if it's a tie game or the Mets trail by one with their backs against the wall in the ninth, he is the perfect candidate as a solo blast could win it or send it to extra innings.
Plus, he's already taken Jonathan Papelbon deep, which Mets fans love to see.
Even though Ike Davis doesn't hit for a high average, how can you not include the team's biggest power threat on this list—especially against a righty where Ike has the kind of power that only a handful of guys in the league possess.
If he can hit like he did in the second half of last year, Davis is going to have a huge season. However, Davis is a notoriously slow starter, and if he doesn't get hot soon, the Mets could be in trouble.
P.S. I still don't think the ball he hit over the Shea Bridge has landed.