Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feisty Mets put up a good fight

I have a lot of respect for a Mets team that just lost five of six games this month to their cross-town rival New York Yankees.

If the Mets miss out on the baseball playoffs this year by a couple of games, they are going to rue the 2012 versions of the Subway Series. But in truth they played pretty well this weekend, putting up some good at-bats against the Yankees top two pitchers in CC Sabathia (who hasn’t really pitched like the ace we all know he is despite his solid numbers) and Andy Pettitte (who had a rare misstep in his inability to escape a first-inning jam on Friday). They might have even swept the Yankees if not for manager Terry Collins’ debatablepitching moves although he can’t really be blamed for being afraid to go to his shaky bullpen.  

But the games were all pretty close, which was great because the Subway Series always has more meaning when the Yankees and Mets are both competitive. Despite their lack of power and shaky bullpen, the Mets are still within striking distance of the Washington Nationals for the National League East division lead. It will be a lot of fun this summer to see if the Mets can hold on and compete for a division title or one of those wild card slots. It would be terrific for the franchise if the Mets actually make the playoffs. It could help banish the dark cloud cast by the Bernie Madoff scandal for good.

The Mets were scrappy on the field and very feisty off of it, seemingly never believing the conventional wisdom they are out of the Yankees league. This feistiness was reflected by Mets closer Frank Francisco’s eagerness to start a minor New York tabloid controversy by calling the Yankees “chickens.” Francisco did back up his trash talk by closing out the Mets’ sole victory in the Subway Series although he also quickly headed to the disabled list. Was he really hurt that bad or is he the real chicken? We probably won’t know until next year, unless the Mets and Yankees somehow meet up again this year in the World Series. How awesome would that be? 

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