Friday, July 6, 2012

Playing All 27 Outs

The 2012 Mets play to the last out. They even play to the last strike. There is no mailing it in with this team. There's a sense that every guy wants to play his hardest because who knows where he'll be in the coming months.

Is it because of Terry Collins that the Mets play this way? Possibly, but I have to think it's ingrained in each player. Call them hard nosed, overachievers but it's gritty play like we saw last night that makes the 2012 Mets so fun to watch.

Last night's game against the Phils should have been a loss. The Mets resident ace, R.A. Dickey, didn't have it. You could tell from the first inning that the knuckleball wasn't working its magic like it normally does. Dickey had control problems and the Phils hits were hard.

The Mets crawled their way back only to give up the lead again. But it didn't matter. The 27th out hadn't occurred yet. With 2 outs and 2 strikes in the 9th inning the Mets seem to play their most disciplined baseball. Ruben Tejada looked like Keith Hernandez at the plate, working the count and following off pitches. Murphy muscled a cue shot and ran as hard as anyone in baseball to avoid an infield out.

Then Mr. Wright comes up with the game tied and does what a veteran hitter should do. He knew Pappelbon would throw a fastball on the first pitch so Wright breaks his pattern of taking the first pitch and slaps a little blooper into no-man's land to win the game.

The fact that this happened against the Phillies makes it all that more enjoyable, but it's the type of play you see night in and night out from this team. The Mets have their warts: the BLOWpen, their fielding, their left-handed heavy lineup. But because they play with such intensity every night and never seem to give up, we often overlook their shortcomings and just enjoy the love for the game that's displayed on the field.

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