Monday, April 19, 2010

The Most Important Thing From... Game 13, Mets v. Cubs, April 19th

In March, the New York Times ran a great piece on the Mets farm system entitled "The Mets Future Suddenly Feels Far From Barren." In it, there were a couple of great quotes, and a couple of great player profiles. Nothing, however, stood out to me more than a single line delivered by Jerry Manuel:
“The talent is on the doorstep,” Manuel said. “It’s not in the living room, but it’s right there waiting.”
Well. It is here. The talent isn't on the doorstep any more - it has beaten the door off its hinges and it's making it's way to Flushing. You can say what you will about the Mets chances this year, but tonight, the Mets youth put on an absolute display.

The headliner, of course, is Ike Davis. Davis, above all others, is probably more responsible than any other for opening the door and leading the charge into Flushing. It is apropos then, that he spent the last three weeks as a Bison. Ike Davis put on a show tonight - and in a single at-bat may have changed the whole culture of this organization.

Davis may, or may not, succeed right off the bat. Davis may, or may not, succeed at all. But what he did was remind us of what is possible.[1] He reminded us that with luck and patience, good things can happen to an organization even when things are darkest at the major league level.

Davis reminded us of a day just like this six years ago when a top prospect was promoted in the midst of a lost season to replace a journeyman and gave us all hope again. The day was July 21, 2004. The veteran who was supplanted was Ty Wigginton. The prospect was David Wright.

The Mets may or may not succeed this year, but the Most Important Thing for tonight is that the talent is on the doorstep, and there looks like there is no stopping it from coming in. It takes only a brief glance at tonight's box score to reveal that.

Ike Davis went 2-4 with an RBI and played great defense in his debut. He is 23 years old.

Jonathan Niese gave us 5.2 innings of gutsy pitching, striking out seven and not allowing an earned run. He is 24 years old.

Jenrry Mejia finished the game with two hitless innings, striking out two and lowering his ERA to 2.00. He is 20 years old.

The oldest pitcher the Mets used tonight was Fernando Nieve. He is 27.

Angel Pagan struck the decisive blow tonight at the plate, stroking a 400+ foot home run into the death valley in left centerfield. He's hitting .297 on the season now and plays great defense. He is 28.

And of course, David Wright continued his strange but stellar start, walking for the league-leading 18th time and stealing his fifth base. He seems like he's been around forever, but he is only 27 years old.

Our six top performers from the game tonight[2] were all 28 years old or younger. Jose Reyes didn't even start (though he got on base and scored a run). Dillon Gee, Fernando Martinez, Reese Havens, Ruben Tejada, and others await.

The talent is here. And just as you would expect with youth - it doesn't feel like waiting.

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[1] Or beyond the possible, to the impossible. And beyond that, to what I like to call, the possimpible.

[2] You could include Bay, if you want, but I don't. He's still not in my plans.

[3] Yes, I still have that beat-up back page of the New York Post. I brought it back with me from college and there it resides on my currently-humble Mets wall.

1 comment:

Noah said...

I was at the game last night. So excited to see Ike's first AB/Hit. Huge applause for everything he did. The crowd was so excited to have him there and to see him succeed. He (and Niese) have such poise. The only person that I expect is less than exhilarated about Ike is the previous guy who got our hopes up. Murphy must be aching to get out there and re-prove himself.