Mets Game 155: Win Over Pirates

Mets 6 Pirates 0

It took five and a half months, but the Mets finally gave their hometown fans something to cheer about.

Mets Game Notes

After assembling a pocketful of historically awful records related to poor play at home, the Mets win the fifth of their last six games in Flushing, and seem poised to make six of seven. Further, the home fans were treated to David Wright becoming the team’s all-time hits leader, and may witness the team’s first 20-game winner since 1990 tomorrow. Yes, I’m saying and not fearing jinxing anything; if I had that kind of power, believe me, I’d put it to use toward much more honorable actions. It’s about time that Mets fans have something good to feel about, and something with which to look forward — even if it’s only for a very brief, fleeting moment.

It’s different from Johan Santana‘s no-hitter, which was something unexpected; my point here is that Mets fans, today, enjoyed something that they knew was coming eventually, and can look forward to something that they know might happen shortly.

By the way, I’m so glad that Ed Kranepool is no longer the Mets’ all-time hits leader. Nothing against Ed, but it’s embarrassing when your team’s leading hitter spent most of his career as a platoon player / pinch-hitter, and had a career .261 average and .693 OPS. I’m not even sure how he managed that .261, since he exceeded that number only 7 times in 18 seasons. Well, I know, and it has to do with math, of course, but it just doesn’t seem right. Kranepool was simply a bench guy who hung around forever. Imagine if the Yankees’ all-time hits leader was, say, Andy Phillips. As a fan, you want your career hits leader to be someone really good – All-Star caliber, at minimum. No offense, Ed.

During the SNY postgame, Bob Ojeda and the other guy talked about David Wright understanding the history of the franchise, and “getting it.” Huh? Maybe if this was Bismarck, Idaho, there would be something to “get.” But it’s really hard to make a big fuss over passing Ed Kranepool, when across town, Derek Jeter had to pass people like Don Mattingly, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig. I know, no one’s history can hold a candle to the Yanks, but it’s also impossible to escape the shadow of that team in the Bronx. What there is to “get” is that finally the Mets have a legitimate star in their record book. Now all they have to do is give him a 4- or 5-year extension so that the franchise can continue to build some kind of history worth discussing.

Jeremy Hefner pitched well; in fact, it was his best outing since his August 26 outing against the Astros. He allowed only three hits and one walk, striking out seven, shutting out the Bucs through seven frames. If this turns out to be his last start of the year, it was a super way to end.

Unfortunately, the pessimist in me doesn’t put much stock into the performance, in terms of evaluation for 2013. Once the Pirates fell behind by four in the fourth, it looked as though all the air came out of them. Some might say they went in the tank; at the very least, they “went through the motions” for much of the contest — even before the Mets’ offensive outburst. That said, I don’t know how “real” Hefner’s performance was. I like that he throws a ton of strikes, but fear that he’s susceptible to being pounded by a motivated big-league lineup. It would seem his destiny is to become Aaron Sele.

Ruben Tejada had four hits in five at-bats, driving in two and scoring one in his last-ditch drive for .300. If he stays hot, he might just get back there by game 162.

Similarly, Daniel Murphy is pushing to get back there, and helped himself by going 2-for-4.

It’s weird, for me, to acknowledge streaky singles hitters like Murphy, Tejada, and others on the Mets. When I think of a streak hitter, I think of a big swinger who has rut but balances them with week-long bursts of booming doubles and homers that can often carry a team. In other words, what we see from Ike Davis. Other than Ike, though, the Mets’ “streak hitters” are of the punch-and-judy variety. Why is that weird? Because — very generally speaking — a punch-and-judy hitter usually has a short, compact swing that isn’t very powerful but is fairly conducive to making contact and “putting the ball in play,” and that kind of swing usually is impervious to slumps and streaks. Yet, this is what the Mets have – several streaky singles hitters. Not sure how that happens.

Speaking of last-ditch efforts, Andres Torres went 3-for-4 and is 6 for his last 14. You know what? I don’t care if he goes 30-for-35 in the last seven games — the Mets need to go in another direction to fill center field in 2013.

Next Mets Game

The final game of this four-game series will begin at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. R.A. Dickey goes to the hill in search of his 20th victory against Kevin Correia.

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.
  1. The King September 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm
    I think the punch-and-judy hitters are streaky because they swing big but don’t hit big.
  2. wohjr September 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm
    Ruben picked off twice! Yikes!

    Congrats to David. Hope he gets to the Series at least once in his career

  3. Dan B September 27, 2012 at 7:16 am
    By all accounts Andres Torres is a very nice man. It wouldn’t bother me if he dated my sister. But if he is the Met’s 2013 opening day center fielder, I will cry like a little girl. How can the Mets improve their outfield if they don’t spend money or don’t trade away prospects? What is left, packaging Torres and Baxter for…. someone else’s Andres Torres?
  4. Walnutz15 September 27, 2012 at 8:23 am
    Wait, you mean to tell me the Mets are still playing?

    ………..and yet, it seems (far beyond) apropos that Wright’s franchise-leading hit occurred during a meaningless September game vs. the Pirates, with “22,890” in attendance ———– would be absolutely shocked if there was even a quarter of that in the building.

    ………on an infield dribbler, to boot.

    To Wright’s credit, at least he stayed in the game after the hit — as subsequent AB’s could not hurt his total. The same couldn’t be said for a SS who left the game in the 1st inning, after a bunt single. *wink*

    This is your life, Davey. Better wake up and smell the pine tar…….so long as the ‘Ponzi’s are runnin’ the show, it ain’t gonna change.

    Go win somewhere. Even diehards haven’t been paying attention here.

  5. Joe September 27, 2012 at 11:57 am
    If Hefner is destined to be Aaron Sele, one can do worse.

    The OF is horrible. Torres was not supposed to be the long term fix. Ramirez (who didn’t do much) was supposed to be the better part of that trade. In fact, there was some thought Captain K would be ready for the summer. Ha ha.

    The trade was a bust since RR was a bust and Torres underperformed (hurt for a month too) even per his limited role. Didn’t help K. got hurt & more was expected of him.