Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Most Important Thing From... Mets v. Reds, May 4th

These Mets don't quit.

We first mentioned this back in April when the Mets battled back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game against the Rockies. They ultimately went on to lose, but they stayed in that game and battled. Just a few days later, they battled the Cardinals for 20 innings. They've already played four extra-inning games - and although they've lost three of them, they have shown serious stick-to-it-iveness.

Last night, the Mets scratched and clawed their way to victory when other teams might have folded. After two deflating losses fo Philadelpha, and a loss in the series opener, the Mets werer staring down the barrel at their fourth consecutive loss.

They had just wasted a great start by Oliver Perez the previous night, and had coughed up the lead in this game in relatively painful fashion. After John Maine gave the Mets six good innings, and Jenrry Mejia shut down the Reds for another, Fernando "Nightly" Nieve gave up back-to-back home runs to Joey Votto and Scott Rolen to tie the game.

A lesser team, on the road, might had given up. I feel like there were dozens of games last season where my Mets did just that -- not for any massive flaw in character, but simply because they were not good enough to be put in a position where they had to steal back a game under difficult circumstances. This team, however, fought back.

It may be that if not for one swing by Rod Barajas, my tone is completely different today. But what took place last night fits in the overall narrative I have seen so far this season, and with what I think I see displayed on the faces of our Mets on a nightly basis.

None of this is to say that the Mets are back (though they could be) or that they are going to the playoffs (though they could be). They clearly have some growing to do against the Philadelphia's of the world. But taking 2-of-3 from the Reds and sweeping the Dodgers when they are reeling are the kinds of things you have to do if you want to have a legitimate chance to go anywhere over the course of a long season.

The Mets might not stack up with the Phillies right now, but not a lot of teams in the National League are distinguishing themselves right now. If the Mets can take 2-of-3 from the Cubs, and from the Nationals, or split a four-game set with the Cardinals, we will go a long way.

I hate to point to any specific series as definitive, but I think this weekend series against the San Francisco Giants is going to be very important. Coming home from the road trip, we are going to be facing some very good pitching over the weekend. We are also going to have the opportunity to build on our momentum from the last homestand and aer being given the opportunity to prove that it wasn't a fluke. The Giants are a decent team and it'll be huge for us to get a couple wins here over the weekend.

No comments: