Technology, you magnificent bastard, I could just kiss you…or open your iKiss app and click on it hard. You showed us Juan Lagares was safe at second in the ninth inning Saturday despite his being called out. More importantly, you showed Jim Kelly, Mets video replay coordinator (as new a title as baseball can confer), that Lagares was safe and ultimately you showed the powers that be at MLB that James Hoye made a terrible call on the field, convincing them to overrule it.
Instead of one phony out, the Mets had two runners on — and momentum. Soon enough they had the bases loaded and the ghostly presence of Ike Davis materializing in the flesh to remind Mets fans of what it’s like to not just be glad to not lose, but to be thrilled to have just won.
We won today! That was a come-from-behind effort for SNY to run into the ground Mets Classic style, which is OK, since I won’t get sick of watching it for another five or six years. I still stop and watch Omir Santos get waved home on an accurate video replay ruling of his 2009 home run at Fenway. The inner moral goodness of the Mets doesn’t always come through in live action, but it’s darn near unassailable upon further review.
I’m giddy. What the hell? This is the kind of game that if it had been lost, 3-2, you were prepared to respect it because Dillon Gee pitched Jonny Cueto to a standstill; because Curtis Granderson hit a ball that would have been out of Citi Field; and because when Gee ultimately wore down, he was picked up by Scott Rice and Carlos Torres, two relievers with notoriously slippery metaphorical fingers earlier in the week.
But you wouldn’t have respected losing in the ninth after Lagares walked, Anthony Recker bunted a little too hard and Hoye suffered from day blindness when Joey Votto’s throw to Zack Cozart at second was not immediately judged too late. The throw was too late, except in the sense that it took place this year when something can be done about a bad call. In the past, Terry Collins could have dashed to middle of the infield, griped his face into a nasty shade of crimson and the Mets’ rally would have probably wafted into the Flushing gusts. Instead, the new video system was activated and it worked.
Will it always work? Does anything? It worked today and, as previously reported, we won today. Ruben Tejada walked instead of sacrificing and pinch-hitter Ike Davis came through instead of disappearing. What had shaped up as a respectable 3-2 effort in defeat morphed into a spectacular walkoff grand slam 6-3 victory, one in which everything and everybody is bathed in a golden, sunny Saturday afternoon halo as we bask in a .400 winning percentage and a two-game winning streak.
Lagares was disciplined. Tejada was patient. Gee was unburdened. The bullpen was redeemed. Granderson was on the board. And Ike — funny how he’s almost always Ike and only rarely Davis — was a lefty power bat off the bench for a new generation, a 21st century Rusty Staub, if you like (even if temporary Reds closer J.J. Hoover probably didn’t). Or maybe Ike was making his case to take back the first base gig Lucas Duda inherited by default and then wrapped his mitts around Friday night. For what it’s worth, Ike, the backup, starts Sunday. Is Ike being showcased for that trade that was supposed to be executed months ago? Is Terry balancing his two heretofore brutally disappointing lefthanded first basemen in perfect harmony? Has anybody seen Josh Satin’s eyebrows lately?
Ultimate solutions will have to wait. We won today. We won today on a pinch-hit, come-from-behind walkoff grand slam, which has happened how many times before in Mets history? I’m pretty sure never. Let’s see: Harkness, Hickman, Jorgensen, Teufel, McReynolds, Valdespin…nope, those were either tie scores when things got grand or the walkoff slam-masters were already in the game. Ergo, it’s a first. Ike Davis has done something no Met before him had ever done.
Twenty-four hours ago we would have been surprised if the above sentence consisted solely of “Ike Davis has done something.” Now he’s done something else. This game will confirm your deeply held suspicions most of the time but render your assumptions stupid if you give it a chance.
Give it a chance. It’s worth it.