Mets 5 Phillies 2
Take THAT, Chase Utley! Now you know what happens when you wake a sleeping giant!
The Mets mustered all the motivation they could find, inspired by a ferocious slide by bad-ass Carlos Beltran, and absolutely hammered the first-place Phillies.
Beltran not only dropped to the ground and got dirty, but his slide was in the general direction of another human being. Kevin Burkhardt reported that Beltran nearly took out TWO infielders on the play. It was an incredible display of interest, to the point where it almost confused the Phillies. Not only that, but the slide filled Beltran’s teammates with enormous pride and attentiveness, giving them the energy they needed to stomp all over Kyle Kendrick and the rest of those dastardly, dirty dregs from Philadelphia. It was a shining moment in Beltran’s career, and one that cemented his status as the team’s leader.
Excuse me for a moment … I’m getting verklempt just thinking about “the slide” …
OK back to reality. Beltran’s slide was hard, clean, and appropriate. But the channel 11 / SNY staff’s decision to position it as something inspirational was laughable. If that slide was the Mets’ answer to Chase Utley‘s from the night before, then this team is even more clueless than we thought — and more in need of someone to teach them how to play baseball than anyone realized. There was nothing remotely outlandish or motivational about it, aside from GKR and SNY’s response to it — which was, as with the Utley slide, a completely fabricated angle of importance. Maybe the idea is to build “toughness” and “hard play” as a snowball of a talking point that eventually explains the hiring of a “fiery” manager such as Wally Backman. Believe me, I’m all for seeing Wally as manager next year — but please don’t create some artificial platform to justify his hiring; he is qualified on his own merits.
Dillon Gee was once again outstanding, allowing only 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in seven strong innings. Gee should be the focus of excitement in this ballgame, not the first time Beltran slid toward a middle infielder in six years.
Or better yet, let’s talk about Lucas Duda, who delivered a 3-run, pinch-hit double to put the Mets ahead. The postgame interviews would have you believe that drive was inspired by the Beltran slide, but I’d be more inclined to think that Josh Thole‘s bases-loaded single did more to swing the momentum the Mets’ way. Though, in the post-game interview, Thole did “admit” that “the slide” helped get the Mets motivated — after being handed a framed question to which answering any other way might embarrass the inquisitor. But hey, maybe the slide really did get the Mets going. If so, why the heck did it take 154 games to light a fire?
Just think, if this were 1960, the season would be over and we’d all be out of our misery.
Two streaks were snapped with this game: the Phillies’ 11-game winning streak and the Mets’ 6-game losing streak.
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About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.