The New New York Mets Shine Bright in the San Diego Series
I've recently finished one of the most gruelingly busy months I've ever had in the five years since I've started my career.
In that time, I haven't been able to watch many, but I have been able to listen to every Met game, and I have to say I like what I've been hearing.
The Mets front office has made all the moves the fans were clamoring for (even if it did take way too long to do so. See Gary Matthews Jr.)
There's been an injection of young, home grown players into the starting line up who play hard and have fun, and I'm enjoying watching the team again for the first time in a very, very long time.
Guys like Ike Davis, Mike Pelfrey, and Jon Niese have stepped well beyond their intended spots as role players and have moved into the spot light as legitimate players and future stars.
The weekend series against the first place San Diego Padres featured some of this young talent on display, and did they ever shine.
The first game of the series featured Mike Pelfrey's strongest outing to date, a nine inning, one run gem that was capped off by an Ike Davis walk off home run in the 11th.
Davis hit the ball as far as I've seen a Met hit a home run so far at Citi Field. He entered Adam Dunn territory in right field. With that kind of power coming out of a such a smooth swing, I can see Davis developing into a great home run hitting first baseman.
There was some concern in the first game of last night's double header, when Johan Santana continued his "struggles" walking four batters in six innings.
I'm pretty sure if I had the kind of struggles Johan had, I could get $10 million a year to pitch in the majors, but it's very uncharacteristic of Santana to struggle with his control and to give up so many hits.
He's pitched a few great games and a few games like yesterday afternoon this season. The one constant in all of his starts is a general lack of offense.
The best story of the weekend was Jon Niese's start last night.
Niese pitched a brilliant complete game one hitter and was that one hit away from perfection. He pounded the strike zone all night, throwing 76 of his 108 pitches for strikes.
I've got a tremendous amount of confidence when Jon Niese is on the mound. He seems to have a great deal of confidence in himself too.
My favorite part of this weekend was the absolute elation shown by the weekend's young heroes, Davis and Niese.
When Ike Davis was interviewed following his walk off home run he was all smiles telling reporters
“He hung a splitter and I was looking fastball, saw it early and happened to hit it on the sweet spot… Oh, God, it was awesome. To win a game with one swing, walk-offs are amazing. I think that’s really the first true walk-off in my life, so that was pretty sweet… I was gonna jump really high (on to home plate), but I saw my teammates yelling, ‘No,’ so I gave like a fun little hop.”
Niese, after finding out last night that he was one pitch away from a perfect game, looked like a kid in a candy store smiling and bouncing around the field. He even took a pie in the face courtesy of Angel Pagan.
I know the Mets have a lot of problems, particularly winning on the road, but I'll give them this...
They're a fun bunch to watch, and a fun bunch to root for. I'm enjoying 2010.
Let's go Mets
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