Tuesday, September 8, 2015

>>>>>>Mets @ Nats-GAME #1

If the opening game of this three game set against the Washington Nationals is any indication we are going to see some good baseball. I saw some damn good baseball yesterday. What a game.
It was a beautiful day in Washington D.C.
The first place New York Mets played like a team determined to keep it that way. 

Future Current Mets hitting star Michael Conforto did not appear to be feeling the pennant race pressure that surrounds these three games in Washington. In the second inning he turned on the first pitch he saw from Washington starting pitcher Max Scherzer and whacked it over the wall in left to give New
York a 1-0 lead . 

Not to be outdone, one batter later newly aquired Kelly Johnson launched another home run out to center to give Mets starter Jon Niese a nice little 2-0 cushion.

Jon Niese was handed a lead after two innings and struggled early. Yoenis Cespedes socked New Yorks third homer of the game to make it 3-0, and it should have been smooth sailing for Niese. But as we all saw, it wasn't.

After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead on MET POWER!™ all us fans were crushed by the Ramos grand slam. 

But the team wasn't. 

They just charged ahead, kept on plugging, never gave up and won the most important game of the season in a beautifully dramatic fashion.

But I'm getting ahead of myself because this was a game to see, a game to savor, a game that unfolded like a blue and orange rose. This was a game to treasure.

Carlos Torres came on and things started going wrong right away. After ending Niese's horrific frame with some crafty pitching to the heart of the Nationals line-up Carlos started the 5th by giving up two soft singles to Escobar and Desmond, whose liner just ticked off shortstop Ruben Tejada's glove. 
Torres collected himself and got the next two outs, but not without incident. 

The New York reliever pulled his calf muscle tracking down a grounder near first for the 2nd out of the inning. Carlos Torres has been a very important part of the Mets bullpen and I hope he isn't out for long. Losing Blevins early in the season was pretty bad. Losing Torres now for any length of time could be devastating.

Erik Goeddel relieved Torres and was able to end the inning and the threat with one pitch.

The Mets would begin to chip away at Scherzer. To start they answered right back in the 5th. Back to back doubles by Ruben Tejada and Curtis Granderson plated another New York run to make the score 5-4 Washington. 

This is a great sign of a successful team when it can snap right back after suffering a devastating blow like the Ramos grand slam. A few months ago this game would have been beyond hope. But these days the Mets have been playing beyond our hopes and dreams. And this new version of the Mets is a team you should never count out.

Again in the 6th they chipped.

Yoenis Cespedes, who has just been a wicked ball of fire, ripped a lead off double in the 6th and followed by instigating Scherzer into committing a balk, which put him at third base with 1 out.

Travis d'Arnaud promptly looped a low liner that Washington left fielder Jason Werth was able to make a sliding, tumbling catch on, but Cespedes was off to the races, tagging up and scoring easily. The game was tied.

Erik Goeddel and Dario Alvarez continued to hold the Nats down , Dario's slider looking impressive as it forced Bryce Harper to go fishing on this fine afternoon. Could the pen come through and keep Washington off the board? Tyler Clippard, our usual 8th inning guy, was unavailable and we still had three innings to go. It wasn't quite time to start biting my nails yet, but it was getting close.

Then came the classic 7th inning.

Wilmer Flores led off the inning with a single and quickly traded places with Ruben Tejada who hit into a fielders choice at second. Curtis Granderson drew another walk (his 71st of the year) to put Mets at first and second, and The Captain, David Wright, came to the plate.

Wright delivered a crucial clutch line single over short to plate Ruben Tejada with the go ahead run. There was a chance to get Tejada at home but Washington messed up on the cut off.

 The throw to the plate by Nats centerfielder Michael Taylor was strong enough and looked to be an accurate one but third baseman Escobar tried to cut the ball and deflected it away, a break for New York.

 The Mets would continue to tack on. Granderson, who took third on the Captain's knock, came in to score on a sac fly by Daniel Murphy. And for the icing on the cake Yoenis Cespedes ripped such a wicked drive to right that Bryce Harper ran in on and over at and out under and all around but never caught. It banged up against the wall and bounced away from him.

David Wright came all the way around from first and executed a smart straight in, foot slide. The throw beat Wright but his slide got his toes across the dish an instant before the Nats catcher could apply the tag. 

The Mets were up 8-5.
Now it was bite your fingernails time as New York had to turn to it's depleted bull-pen to close the game.

Right hander Hansel Robles saved the day as he came in and pitched a perfect 7th AND 8th inning, punching out 4 Nats in the process. Robles was the perfect bridge to New York's closer Jeurys Familia.

Fammy allowed a lead off single to Jason Werth in the 9th, but then struck out Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, the heart of Washington's order, to end this amazing Labor Day spectacle.

The Mets picked up a game on Washington to put them back at 5 games up. The importance of winning this opening game of the series cannot be overestimated. Now we need one of two. If we pull a sweep the parties at my house Wednesday night!

David Wright post game:
"We know it's a big series for us, especially with the results in Miami," Mets captain David Wright said. "Coming out of there with one win as opposed to three wins is disappointing, so we knew we had to bring it today, especially against one of the best pitchers in baseball. Exciting game, emotional game. Fans get into it, get the adrenaline pumping, the energy. That's kind of what you dream about."

"I've been talking about how resilient this team is, so it's nice to answer after a tough loss yesterday," Wright said. "But from here on out, I think every game is going to be the biggest game of the year. So it's nice to win and we need to move on and look forward to tomorrow. We have a pretty good shot to win this one with an angry Matt Harvey on the hill." 

Zimm  stares down Robles after a quick pitch strike three.

>The Mets activated 1B Lucas Duda (back stiffness) from the disabled list before the game. He wasn't scheduled to arrive at Nationals Park in time to start. 

>Collinvas said he doesn't expect a prolonged absence for LHP Steven Matz, who left with a blister in the sixth inning of Sunday's start against Miami.

>RHP Carlos Torres left in the fifth inning with a strained left calf.

Photography by
Alex Brandon
Greg Fiume
Evan Habeeb

Tonight Matt Harvey pitches the most important game of his life in the thick of a pennant race.
No pressure Matt, go get 'em, good luck
and Happy Harvey Day!

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