No Grand Slams, No Problem

Bats explode once again in 16-9 Mets win.

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 7:46 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
No Grand Slams, No Problem

Getty Images

Pagan was safe at home, of course.

It is hard to keep coming up with ways to describe how hot the Mets offense is after Wednesday's 16-9 win.

Saying that they are putting up video game numbers felt fine after 22 runs in the final two games in Texas, but 52 runs in four games makes even that seem insufficient.

Calling it unexpected or a pleasant surprise or an explosion of Michael Bay film proportions might be true, but it doesn't quite capture the full nature of what has gone on in the last four games.

So we'll try a different track to explain the strangeness of a Mets run that feels like it is happening to a different team than we saw in the first 76 games of the season. We'll use the things that feel familiar as a jumping off point.

The Mets gave up five home runs on Wednesday night, didn't hit any of their own and still won by seven runs. Terry Collins brought Tim Byrdak in to face lefty Andy Dirks in the seventh inning without bothering to warm him up first and Byrdak promptly gave up a two-run homer that cut the Mets lead to 10-8.

In the past, that's the kind of boneheaded, inexplicable mistake that led to a loss that left Mets fans sitting in the dark staring at replays and muttering to themselves. On Wednesday night, it was an amusing prologue to a four-run eighth inning that broke the game wide open again.

Chris Capuano and the bullpen allowed nine runs on Wednesday, which obviously isn't good, but the Tigers finished the game with infielder Don Kelly on the mound. They probably should have turned to him sooner, he retired Scott Hairston without giving up any more runs, because traditional methods can't stop this Mets team.

Tradition holds that teams can't possibly see every groundball they hit find a hold in the infield and turn into a single, but that's what's happening for the Mets right now. Their fly balls are clearing outstretched outfield arms, their batters aren't swinging at pitches an eyelash outside the zone and absolutely no opportunity to score runs is left on the table.

The 52 runs in four games are a franchise record while the 69 hits in that span fall a couple short of the record book. All of the scoring isn't enough to make the team contenders, not yet, but it is getting a little easier to believe that they can get there.

Especially if they keep the scoreboard popping against Justin Verlander on Thursday afternoon.

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.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
21st Century Solutions
The NBCUniversal Foundation is partnering... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out