Growing Their Own Works Out Well for Mets

First fully homegrown lineup since 1971 brings Mets a sweep of Marlins

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Apr 27, 2012  |  Updated 7:47 AM EDT
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The locavore thing has really taken off in restaurants around the city in recent years.

People care a great deal about where their food comes from, and that means menus full of references to the farms where the pigs were grown or the arugula was raised. It can be a little tiresome at times, but it is nice to see how seriously some take the idea of building the healthiest meal possible. 

The Mets aren't a restaurant, but they are showing that they like things grown in their backyard. They started a fully homegrown lineup for the first time in 41 years -- all acquired by Omar Minaya, as it happens -- and saw it pull through with a 3-2 comeback win to secure a sweep of the Marlins.

For the second time in the series, the victory came with a lot of help from the Marlins bullpen. Down 2-1 heading into the ninth, the Mets sat back and watched Miami closer Heath Bell -- a high-priced free agent acquisition during the offseason -- melt down with four walks to tie the score.

Bell's 46th pitch of the inning turned into a Kirk Nieuwenhuis game-winning hit, which continues the strong work that the long-named one has done since arriving as a replacement for the injured Andres Torres. The question of whether he could handle the job has morphed into one of whether or not Torres should get back into the lineup when he's ready.

You know what Torres can do. It has its merits, but it probably isn't going to help you be considerably better now nor will it help you be considerably better in the future.

Sticking with Nieuwenhuis, however, could prove to be a big step toward being a better team down the road. In general, the Mets could reap great benefits from going with players who are still realizing their ceilings than by continuing to throw away at-bats with the Jason Bays of the world whose level is already acknowledged with a grim nod.

Mike Pelfrey, another product of the system, might be done for the season with an elbow injury, but we can finally feel confident that the Mets will produce players who can take his place. Maybe not right away, but things are working well in a farm system that actually bears fruit.

It might not mean anything too wonderful in terms of this year's record, although we keep saying that while the Mets keep figuring out ways to win games, but it helps push this building effort down the road a little bit further down the road. That's a big goal for this season and the Mets are realizing it in games like Thursday's when they show self-sufficiency.

Let's just hope they stop short of announcing their name, number and farm when they come to bat at Citi Field.

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.

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