Baseball season is three days old. The weather is getting warmer. The Mets are two and one, and started the season with a fairly resounding series win over a division rival. Now we’re headed to Miami for a shot at the N.L. East’s punching bag. Jeff McNeil is ripping; Pete Alonso is crushing; Jacob deGrom is scorching.
I’m thrilled. Aren’t you?
Oh sure, there are problems. There are always problems when the Wilpons are your owners and God hates your team. Noah Syndergaard didn’t look completely precise in his first start of the season, and Zack Wheeler didn’t either. At one point, Mickey Callaway somewhat questionably declined to pinch-run for Wilson Ramos, although the decision proved astute. Brandon Nimmo has struck out a few too many times, and he will sit tonight in Miami, hopefully to return tomorrow with a clear head and a smooth swing. And on Saturday, J.D. Davis made an error.
But problems will happen, and as problems go, these ones aren’t bad ones. Wheeler and Syndergaard will straighten themselves out. Nimmo, if you know him, will be just fine. Ramos can really hit. And J.D. Davis is a solid player.
Really: if J.D. Davis is the preeminent problem with our team, isn’t the reality that our team doesn’t have any problems worth mentioning? J.D. Davis, over ten at-bats, has two hits, including a single against the Nationals that went a long way towards getting us a win. He passes the eye test, whatever that means and whatever you count it for. By all accounts, he’s a hard worker and a talented player, and he certainly doesn’t look out of place on a major league field. He seems at least fairly able to hit and field. He is 25 years old, and in the minor leagues, has hit like a star. He’s neither Mike Trout nor Brad Emaus, just another fairly solid player on a team chock-full of them.
So J.D. Davis shouldn’t hit cleanup. Fine. But really, what’s the matter? We’ll be okay. In fact, I’ve got a feeling that we’ll win tonight, wherever J.D. Davis bats and however he plays. Our team has started out strong and looks like a decent bet to stay that way, and it’s something to savor.
In Miami tonight, J.D. Davis will bat cleanup. Robinson Cano will hit in front of him, and Michael Conforto behind. Wilson Ramos sixth, and Pete Alonso second; Amed Rosario in the leadoff spot, and Jeff McNeil seventh. That’s a lineup that can win a team some games, and if I have any qualms with it, they’re not serious enough to be worth mentioning.
The Mets will take the field tonight in Miami, and J.D. Davis will be among them. Maybe he’ll get a few hits, or make a big play or two. Around him will be the rest of the lineup, a lineup that twice — and almost three times — beat the front end of the Nationals’ rotation, and shot Queens full of electricity and raw hope. We’ve got a shot at the division, and a roster that’s going to have a lot of fun competing for it. In Miami, the forecast calls for nothing but warmth, sun, and clear skies. There are at least 159 games left in the 2019 season.
Now, who wouldn’t be happy with that?