Remember when you wanted to turn your back on the 2008 Mets? Now you kind of want to wrap your arms around them. They're so adorable when they're like this.
Like what? Like winning, for one, though the early '08 Mets were that from time to time, but those guys…ah, let's not talk about those Mets. Let's talk about these Mets.
Let's talk about our man Dan. Or Daniel. The various scoreboards and PA were in disagreement Wednesday night about which is correct. Murph will do. The Mets have always done well where Murphs are concerned.
Surely I'm not the only one who noticed that on the night Mrs. Murph, Joye Murphy, pulled down the Lincoln Mercury number, that our latest Murph, Dandy Daniel Murphy, pulled off the first homer of his newborn career. It was an opposite-field pinch-hit job, a two-run clout that made all the difference in a game that threatened to get away but stayed properly put in the Mets' column.
Daniel Murphy has a home run and Brian Stokes has a hit. Presumably he has the ball, the same one Mike Jacobs, who should remember what it's like to commit firsts at Shea Stadium, overtossed into the crowd. If the erstwhile Jakey meant to, he couldn't have aimed it any better at the kid in the box seats who grabbed it on the carom from the dugout roof. Up popped Carlos Delgado to arrange a horsehide swap and avoid the most disappointed child at Shea Stadium since Benny Agbayani forgot how to count outs eight years ago this month. Carlos Delgado may not like coming out of the dugout to bow on his own account, but isn't it neat that he takes care of his teammates? It's worth noting he grinned a big veteran grin of approval when Dandy Daniel was compelled to take his first curtain call.
He took care of Scott Olsen as well with a blast that seemed to disappear beyond the parameters of the home bullpen. I do believe it bounced twice on the parking lot pavement and then onto the Willets Point Manhattan-bound platform where it was ticketed for fare-jumping (but the ball was too fast for the cops; it bounced right onto the local and changed for the E at 74th).
Stokes, when not hitting, managed his other responsibilities pretty well. He was one pitch from leaving with a two-run lead, but if Johan Santana can't be guaranteed wins, why should Brian Stokes? (And why all the fuss over Santana's win count anyway? It's not like he's positioning his stats to negotiate a new contract.) It irked me a bit in advance that Brian was here at all, since it was spelled out by management that they didn't call up younger, more intriguing, lefthanded Jonathon Niese so they wouldn't have to “start the clock” on the kid's service time. Is this MLB's favored cost-cutting method? Why not just charge rookies and erstwhile American League pitchers the cost of their commemorative baseballs? But maybe Omar is just trying to save the next feelgood story for the next homestand.
Speaking of feeling good, how about Good Old Aaron Heilman, the new closer in town? Enter sad man, exit happy Heil. I swear I saw him smile just an eensy bit as he accepted congratulations from teammates whose collective effort he saved again. I also saw him whisper something to Robinson Cancel with his glove over his mouth…after the game was over. Is this how pitchers talk to catchers when nobody's around? Is this how Aaron Heilman talks at home? Psst, honey! Seen my socks? No, I can't speak up. The kids might know what's coming next.
Heilman has a win and two saves in three days. Murph is batting .500. Delgado has reignited. Beltran (3-for-3 with a walk) may have reawakened. Tatis is a veritable Gold Glove outfielder once a night. Stokes is viable. Wright remains ablaze. Jerry Manuel, it was noted in the telecast, is wearing new glasses. Me too. Mine are rose-colored.