Barely half a day after the horrible loss Tuesday night in Los Angeles and all the things we were complaining about have been put to rest momentarily, but hopefully for good. Situational hitting, getting hits with two outs, with runners in scoring position, tacking on runs, offense in general..all looked good in this Wednesday afternoon game. On the pitching end, the Mets took another big step, finally reaching the 9th inning with a starter. John Maine struggled a little in the 9th and didn’t get to finish, but that’s alright. John Maine has taken steps to show that he’s going to get better this year, and with Santana and Maine, forget Pedro, at the top of this rotation, it gives me a lot of confidence. It’d have been nice for Maine to get the complete game, but Peterson and Willie gave him a lot more rope than I expected, and I think that says that they agree with me about him being improved over last year. Also, the game isn’t about personal stats and 8.1 is plenty from a starter, even bad bullpens should be able to get those last two outs. The bullpen will pitch .2 innings over two days, getting some much needed rest, hopefully charging them for a strong homestand.
However, it’s just one game, and we’ve seen these flashes in other games, and other stretches. The Mets need to isolate whatever is causing the difference between these last two games, whether that be the approach at the plate, the lineup, the manager, or just plain bad luck, and figure out how to make Wednesday stick. The plane ride home just got a little bit lighter, and hopefully the off day will give them time to figure out what went right on Wednesday afternoon.
A quick note on the leadership that so many people think is absent from the Mets and their clubhouse. It’s becoming _very_ obvious to me that Reyes and Wright have taken an active role, if not a public role, in leading this team. They were the first two, as is often the case, out to the mound to congratulate Maine. When a key error gave them the final game against the Diamondbacks, Reyes and Wright, nowhere near getting up in the inning, were the first two out of the dugout to give Beltran a high five with the go-ahead run. There is so much going on in terms of team chemistry that we just don’t see, or only see through the media’s eyes, who are so obviously just searching for anything to write about. The team is under performing, so they look negative.