Frankie Rodriguez made a good pitch. David Wright made a great pickup and throw. Ike Davis made a fine scoop. But Hanley Ramirez made everything easier on the Mets by taking his sweet time for the first third of his trip down the first base line.
We appreciate it, Hanley. We know you’re capable of doing great damage to us, and you could have contributed to your criminally talented rap sheet by beating out that funky almost-foul bouncer you hit off Frankie with two out in the ninth, the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second. The whole inning was something out of a John Franco nightmare: an infield hit, a walk, a wild pitch, now the best hitter on the other team coming up to change the complexion of what had been a quietly promising night. You didn’t have to hit it long or hard, Hanley. You just had to hit it where they weren’t.
And run. You also had to do that, too.
It’s not optional. Running really helps you negotiate 90 feet in a most efficient manner. Ninety feet hustled can alter history, as we learned this week. Even if you don’t hit the ball 90 feet, you can still cause trouble running that far. You could have made the whole night for naught Metwise with a decent 90-foot sprint. We wouldn’t have been able to revel wholeheartedly in the decreasingly surprising good work of R.A. Dickey, the astoundingly surprising great work of Elmer Dessens, the cyclically scorching bat of Jeff Francoeur, the pleasant re-emergence of Ruben Tejada, the welcome disappearance of Gary Matthews, Jr., or the heartening sight of Frankie’s right arm still attached to his right shoulder. We would instead be gnashing our teeth and gnawing at our knuckles, not praising R.A.’s. We’d have had a 4-4 tie, go-ahead run at third, a world of spit raining down on Frankie’s head…
But no, we had a third out and a nice win. Appreciate it, pal. You be sure to take it easy.
Like anybody has to tell you that.