When I explained why a bat flip from the previous September could result in an intentionally errant (if that’s not an oxymoron) pitch in April, a less baseball-savvy observer responded sensibly.
“It was in September,” she said. “Get over it.”
I tried to explain that in baseball, you don’t get over it — I managed to do it without invoking Chase Utley — but obviously, my arguments were completely insubstantial. Speaking strictly logically, there’s absolutely no reason that how Asdrubal Cabrera celebrated after hitting a walk-off home run last September should affect how the same pitcher pitches to him a few months and a calendar year later. You could make a fairly convincing argument that it shouldn’t have mattered even last September. That much depends on where you stand in the whole debate over bat flips, but we can probably all agree that there’s no reason a bat flip should result in a pitch behind a batter’s head.
So, the game continued, and a few minutes later, justice was carried out almost perfectly. In fact, I don’t know that there is any more perfect form of revenge for a misguided psuedo-beaning. Consider how it happened:
After Ramos threw behind Cabrera’s head, he proceeded to walk him, looking lost in the process. Thus, his headhunting had its first negative consequence.
Ramos then struck out Cespedes, reassuring anxious Phillies fans that the walk might not be their downfall after all.
Jay Bruce then came to bat against a lefty, further calming the frayed nerves of Phillies’ fans, and fell behind 0-2.
We all know what happened next: Bruce hit the ball a mile, and put the Mets on top by two. Ramos was charged with exactly one run. That run, obviously, belonged to Asdrubal Cabrera.
So, is there a lesson here? Probably, and it sounds something like this: if you plan to seek vengeance against the Mets, A) stay away from the head, and B) don’t think we won’t have our say. It’s a good lesson to learn, and an even better lesson to know that our team has the capability of teaching. And as far as April 10th goes, it’s just about as fun a way to win a game as there is.
And while we’re at it, how about a great big kudos for Jay Bruce, constantly decried — including by me myself — as not suited for New York, or over the hill, or just plain bad. Bruce, as inexplicable offensive heroes ranging from Collin Cowgill to John Buck always seem to do, has somehow become the rock in our offense, the one rock-solid figure around the rest of the lineup operates. I didn’t expect this, and it’s certainly no boon to Michael Conforto’s chances, but regardless, no one’s complaining about having a tough-talkin’, shot-sluggin’, redemption-seekin’ outfielder in the middle of our lineup.
Will Bruce keep this up? Doubtful, somehow. But hell, one win against a particularly pestilential group of Phillies is good enough for now.