Its amazing how much good pitching can cover up offensive woes. A couple of lonely RBI doubles by Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur would not have been noteworthy in a 7-5 defeat, but suddenly when the Mets beat the Braves 3-1 on Saturday they become “big hits” that provide the “key to victory.” Credit the competence of #5 starter Jon Niese and the stinginess of relievers Manny Acosta, Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez for continuing a resurgence of good pitching.
The Braves, over the last few years, have brought out the worst in the Mets. Yet on Saturday the karmic winds seemed to have shifted. It was the Braves and not the Mets who made the ridiculously boneheaded play on the bases that turned the game. Yunel Escobar should be mortified for forgetting to tag up on an obvious sac fly situation, I was almost shocked to be on the receiving end of this gift and not blasting Jose Reyes for such a gaffe. Seriously I’d be embarrassed forgetting to tag up on my company softball team, I can’t remember ever seeing that one.
The Mets good vibes and good fortune could also be symbolized by the nagging leg issues that forced Chipper Jones out of the starting lineup halfway through he game…on his birthday no less. Chipper is still the chief nemesis of the Amazins, even if the torch has been partially passed to Chase Utley. His appearances in Queens have basically been a celebration all along, so much so that he famously named his son “Shea.”
Mike Pelfrey has been brilliant of late, and the Mets hand him the broom today with a chance to sweep Atlanta out of town with a victory that would be the team’s sixth in the last seven games. If he continues the recent pattern of taking the pressure of Met hitters, another coupla RBI hits in that massive park could be all the fireworks they need.
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Written by Mark Reichman