The Mets made a statement in San Diego Friday night — the way we played before the All-Star break was no fluke and we will continue to play that way.
To avoid any confusion about whether the Mets were serious about winning, they pounded the Padres from the very beginning, scoring three runs in the first inning. The game seemed to be on cruise control until the fifth, when an admittedly sick and tiring Bartolo Colon gave up four runs to tie the game.
Now, these have been the types of games the Mets have lost all season long. But since they won a similar game against the Braves a couple of weeks ago, this has been a different team. They rallied for a two-out run in the top of the ninth to take the game.
Speaking of that run, how asinine was it for the Padres to intentionally walk Lucas Duda to face a red-hot Travis d’Arnaud? With Curtis Granderson on third, San Diego chose to pitch to d’Arnaud, who delivered the game-winning it. Yes, the Padres were playing the lefty-righty strategy, which is extremely overrated in my opinion. But d’Arnaud already had two hits in the game, and Duda is, well, Duda. Yes, he is hitting better, but until he proves otherwise, no one should ever be afraid to pitch to Lucas Duda.
To be honest, I fell asleep late in the game (I’m an old man!) so I do not know what the Mets broadcasters said about the move. But no one wrote about it in the game recaps I read. So maybe I’m the only one who thought it was really, really dumb.
In any case, it helped the Mets and now they are just four games under .500. This team is showing some grit, which no one would have expected after watching them in the first three months of the season. They may not win 90 games, but perhaps there will be “meaningful” games in September after all.