The Amazins clearly ain’t gonna overwhelm you with talent this year, but opening the season in Miami they had the right spare pieces in place to take two of three.
Brad Emaus platooning with Daniel Murphy at second, Willie Harris as a fourth outfielder, and the fluttering knuckleball of R.A. Dickey all proved to be effective “odds and ends” carrying the Mets. On a scorching hot (already) Sunday in Miami, after extra innings the night before, Murphy looked comfortable a second, Harris looked terrific with a homer and steal, and Dickey frustrated batters all day with the “change of pace” of the knuckleball. All three had fresh legs on getaway day and gave the Amazins a nice lift.
Add up enough of these small complimentary parts and you have a team capable of pulling together for a big win even on a day where Reyes and Wright weren’t lighting it up. Its the way GM Sandy Alderson won games in Oakland with a small payroll and its certainly looking like an effective formula to win a few series in orange and blue this year.
Dickey was definitely the Mets biggest weapon on Sunday, and I love him in that day-game-after-a-night-game scenario. Of course he can’t predict where his knuckleball is gonna go, but his ability to mix in his modest mid-80s fastball gave him a tactical advantage Sunday in frustrating hitters, and he managed to avoid the damaging walk, even if he was a little hit-or-miss with the strikezone.
I was at the game in Miami Sunday, my first time in Sun Life Stadium — it was a home game for the Mets with tons of blue in the stands and “Lets Go Mets” cheers that drowned out any attempted weak response from the handful of Marlins fans.
My other impressions were…I found the “text us about any unruly fans” sign kind of funny, I guess the Marlins encourage snitching. I wanted to text the team about their fans being too quiet and not making enough noise but that’s not what they meant.
Man Emilio Bonifacio is fast! He whipped around first like lightning stretching a single into a double, it seemed like it had to be the fastest time to second base I’ve ever seen. But he puts the team in a tough spot because he doesn’t get on base enough to hit leadoff, and languishes in the 7th spot. He also had an awful error at third.
Also I found it interesting that whereas Tampa has a serious problem with Longoria-worship (Evan is on every shirt sold and is the face of all their promotional material) you’d never know that Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins best player. Almost no shirts celebrating Hanley and none of their promotional material touts him as it should. Could be his crappy attitude last year prevents him from being fully embraced as the face of the franchise, or perhaps Floridians are too busy going to the beach to care.
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Written by Mark Reichman