After the first three pitches of the game, I thought we had it in the bag. Although we would go on to win, I was wrong.
But boy, it’s nice to have that thought.
You saw the first three pitches of the game, right?
Fastball, fastball, fastball.
99, 98, 99, or something like that.
Strike, strike, strike.
Ring him up.
Today is notable, in a sense, for demonstrating one thing: with Thor on the mound, we’re pretty well set. He had his worst stuff of the year tonight, and demonstrated it by coming within one out of a 7 inning, one run performance. And would have left with the win, if not for the sudden wildness of Antonio Bastardo.
How low can Thor go? Well, tonight seemed to be about it, and he looked pretty damn good nonetheless.
And boy, isn’t this team fun to watch? Conforto…Duda…Walker…where will the hits come from next? Don’t ask, because I don’t know, but know that whatever the source of our ultimate offense, it’ll be explosive, quick, and damn fun.
First off, Conforto, because as we knew coming in, the BABIP gods owed him a few. They gave him one of his three hits, to add to a walk: the others were solid, contact hits. He’s got a few more coming his way, and, considering the hits he’s going to get anyway, what with the swing he’s got, that should strike fear into the hearts of opponents — again, if he doesn’t already.
And Duda…what more is there to say? To quote the epithet making the rounds on #MetsTwitter, Lucas Duda Is Good. That’s all there is to say, because that’s really it: he’s a professional hitter batting cleanup on a strong offensive team, and not missing a beat. He hits, he fields, hell, he even runs.
Remember Ken Davidoff’s column, wherein he announced to the world that Mets fans everywhere had an inexplicable distaste for Lucas Duda? Does anyone see that anywhere? Me, I can’t make head or tail of it.
And then there’s Neil Walker, who’s on a mission to make us forget about Daniel Murphy and so far, has done an admirable job. With his home run tonight, he’s got eight on the year, with a .290 batting average and a slugging percentage somewhere absurd. Will he keep it up? No, let’s not kid. But will he be a solid player on both sides of the ball, hitting for power and average and maybe even a little bit better than we thought from the right side? Absolutely he will. You just have to look.
And then Familia comes in for the save, nails it down, and just like that, another win is right there in the books.
Do you see what we’ve done here? We’ve moved through our four aces. None had their best stuff; next time around, one or more very well might. And with the aces going at less than full speed, we pulled out four wins in four games.
That’s why this team is so great: every day of the week, we’ve got a good shot at winning, no matter the opponent, no matter our lineup, no matter whatever. It’s an occupational side effect of having four aces and a quality lineup: you win more than you lose. And so far, as our 11-7 record, up from 2-5, will indicate, we’ve seen our share of that particular phenomenon.
Now it’s time for the gap day: it’s Colón, it’s the Reds, and we’ve still got every chance in the world to get another win, wrap up the series, and go for the sweep Wednesday with a rapidly improving Harvey on the mound. And then Matz. And then deGrom. And then Thor. Again.
See where I’m going with this? Boy, I love this team.
So — we’re winning and winning, and we know the Nationals won’t keep it up, because they’re the Nationals. So, all in all, I like where we are.
What’s not to like? We’ve got a team, and we’re beating up everyone. Hell, let’s get to it.