The Mets Can Face the Rapture With a Smile

Justin Turner stays hot, R.A. Dickey stays out of trouble and the Mets win 2-1

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, May 20, 2011  |  Updated 10:06 PM EDT
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Turner's shoulders prove wide enough for the Mets yet again.

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If Saturday is indeed the final day of normal life here on Earth, you get the feeling that Justin Turner wouldn't mind all that much.

How much better could things really get for a guy who started this baseball season as the third option at second base for the Mets behind Brad Emaus and Daniel Murphy? The answer, obviously, is not very.

Turner went 3-for-4 with two doubles and his 11th RBI in the last six games to help the Mets grab a 2-1 victory in the opener of the first Subway Series of the year. His first double scored Fernando Martinez with two outs in the fourth and he even got robbed of a second RBI when double #2 skittered into the stands to strand Carlos Beltran at third.

As you can tell from the modest total of runs, the Mets once again needed every bit of Turner's offense to come out on top. Murphy's line drive home run into the right field seats was the game-winning hit, but it was Turner who came out of his first Subway Series game shining like a star.

Turner's ascendancy isn't something anyone predicted, of course, but it is indicative of everything the Mets are doing right this season. He wasn't the first guy in line, but the new regime has made it clear that no one gets to keep their job when it is clear they can't handle it.

Emaus was cut loose, Murphy has morphed into a super utility role and Turner has seized his chance to play with the fervor of a lion near a wounded zebra. It would be incomplete to only single out Turner for praise on a Friday night that ended with the Mets at .500, however.

R.A. Dickey finally looked like the man who won our hearts last summer with a knuckleball designed to send hitters back to the cage for extra work. He allowed baserunners in every one of his six innings of work, but the only run came on a Mark Teixeira home run that would have been an easy pop out to right in most other stadiums.

Otherwise Dickey got every big out, many of them on strikeouts that came with runners in scoring position. The Yankees were 1-for-10 in those situations against Dickey and couldn't manage so much as a baserunner against the three relievers that followed.

Freddy Garcia did his best to match Dickey in what must be the first matchup in history that featured a non-knuckleballer who threw softer than an opposite number specializing in the pitch. Seven innings of two run ball is more than the Yankees can rightly expect from the veteran, but their offense petered out again one night after jolting the Orioles for 13 runs.

Perhaps it will return on Saturday night. If not, they might also be wishing for a Rapture to make things better.

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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