Mets End Bad Day With a Smile

Justin Turner leans into one and the Mets get a win

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Turner leans into a win.

    The news about Ike Davis's ankle was a painful reminder of how much the Mets will have to overcome to have a winning season in 2011.

    The game that followed the news on Wednesday night was an even more painful reminder. The Mets got a sparkling eight innings from R.A. Dickey, but the offense, such as it is, could only score two runs and Francisco Rodriguez couldn't slam the door in the ninth which meant extra innings.

    We're used to seeing the Mets offense at low levels, yet Wednesday night somehow felt like a new low. Perhaps it was the presence of Jason Bay in the cleanup spot, Tuesday's three hits were not the start of something big, or perhaps it was looking at life without Davis, but whatever the cause the Mets obliged with a truly meek effort.

    They were in front, though, and Dickey deserved a win that K-Rod couldn't provide. He blew his second straight save, he took his time doing it so that the pain was felt even more deeply and then he put himself down far better than anyone else could manage.

    "I’ve got to get my head out of my butt, pretty much simple as that," Rodriguez said. "I have to stop those pathetic outings. They are really pathetic. I’ve got to get it done and find a way to go out there and make quality pitches and start getting people out."

    Those bonus frames were brutal. Both the A's and the Mets got runners on base fairly frequently and then watched as their hitters failed to find a way to bring them home with a run that would finally end a game that started late in the first place thanks to a downpour.

    It felt like a game that would only end if Jose Reyes hit an inside-the-park home run because there didn't seem to be another soul in either dugout with the skill necessary to rely only on himself and not on one of the other hitless wonders to drive them around the bases. Enter Justin Turner and his creative solution to this problem.

    A's reliever Brad Ziegler loaded the bases with two outs in the 13th inning, the second straight inning that the Mets landed three men on base, and Turner strode to the plate. Some people might have been encouraged by the redhead's appearance as they recalled his heroics of May, but June has been a dose of reality and some of us were warming up our throats for another rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

    Ziegler's first pitch was a touch inside and Turner saw his chance. He turned the top of his body away from the ball while sticking out his hip just enough to catch the ball and send home the winning run after 13 mostly ghastly innings.

    "I haven't seen the replay, so I'm not going to say he did lean into it," Ziegler said. "But if he did, it's kind of a chehe replaap way to end a game."

    Was it cheap? Yeah, a little bit but speaking for everyone who watched everything leading up to the final play, we had already paid enough.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.