Matt den Dekker is a plus center fielder for a team that suddenly has a surplus of them, has some pop, and looks like he’s got an idea about how to approach an at-bat.
Travis d’Arnaud, despite being written off by people unfamiliar with the concept of “small sample size,” has a good arm and an unfussy swing that ought to keep him out of Ikean trouble as a hitter. He collected two hits and saw an atom ball go for naught, which might help him relax at the plate and realize that he’s here to stay, upside-down “p” and all.
Lucas Duda didn’t kill himself at first.
Beyond that, I got nothing. Justin Turner grabbed at his hamstring and departed for some to-be-determined measure of time (could be a few days, could be forever), thereby depriving us of our best hitter. I find myself writing that, somehow, with equal doses of sincerity and snark: Turner’s been on a nice roll and has grown on me as a useful, level-headed player, but he’s still Justin Turner, and the fact that he’s our best hitter right now says a lot about the current state of affairs at Citi Field.
As this strange season nears its strange conclusion, it may be that the adventures of den Dekker and d’Arnaud and d-Uda mean more than we might think. The September when den Dekker and d’Arnaud found their footing and Duda gained confidence after being freed of the outfield may prove to be time well spent next spring. If so, those fleeting memories of good things may be more important than the bad — the heinous Jayson Werth blasting balls all over Flushing on an off-night for Dillon Gee and the doleful sight of crowds that have shrunk to the Party City Deck, Cuppy and some rounding error of fans scattered elsewhere. (They’re more like gatherings.)
Or perhaps that’s the optimist in me, gazing at the glass, smiling and declaring it one-eighth full.
I’d say you be the judge, but it’s too early for a ruling — which is why this is all so strange. Ask me after this offseason, when we should have a better sense of what money will or won’t have been made available. Ask me when Matt Harvey returns. Ask me next September, when perhaps losing a utility infielder won’t feel like yet another body blow. Ask me next time we’re relevant with fall in the air.
Just don’t ask me when that will be.