hellloooooooo: daniel murphy

August 11, 2008

This is the second in what was supposed to be a series highlighting exceptional play and unbearable cuteness from the most unlikely of places, but after that first one it all went downhill for the Mets last year. In both matters, really. The last half of 2007 was full of spotty play at best, and was certainly not that cute.

But huzzah! We have found a new inspiration, a new love in our lives. Matt Cerrone calls him his favorite player. As did BMF. Greg Prince labeled him “Dandy,” which is high praise indeed, considering the source. And Joe Janish has made a shirt in his honor, which I will probably have to buy. It’s only been a week and rookie Daniel Murphy has captured Mets fans with his play, which reminds me of a bulldog, somehow. His leaps against walls to take away extra-base hits! His tenacious at-bats, which always seem to go deep in the count. And of course his pinch-hit two-run homer which proved to be the difference maker in Saturday’s game, compelling the entirety of Shea to beg for a curtain call. And Murphy, with the egging on of Carlos Delgado, no less, obliged.

Daniel Murphy, who in a measly 23 at-bats is batting .478 and has a .571 OBP. This won’t continue, certainly, but there’s something about his approach at the plate–a “general air of fearlessness,” says Jason Fry–that makes me believe he’s going to be a valuable hitter for some time. He’s the kind of player that ignites passion merely because he plays with same, in a disciplined, focused, non-flashy kind of way. A real blue-collar hard-nosed worker. Someone baseball fans will always appreciate.

And he seems like a nice young man to boot. Being interviewed by Eddie Coleman after Saturday’s game, Murphy said (in his deep deep voice, swoon), “You can’t say enough about ___________” maybe four or five times. About his teammates, the hitting, the organization, the pitching, about Beltran quietly taking him under his wing. Maybe he’s getting his media coaching from David Wright. Move over Davey boy, there’s a new heartthrob in town.


the mets are the worldwide leader in disappointing wins

August 7, 2008

How many disappointing wins have the Mets had this year? 6? 12? It feels like every time Santana has a no decision it’s a disappointing win, because Santana almost always pitches a seven-inning, two-run game and the offense is underwhelming and the bullpen blows it. Oh it happened again today? WHADDAYAKNOW.

Thank God for David Wright, coming up with the walk-off homer. Thank God Jerry didn’t sit him after yesterday’s boners (not the good kind). And thank God the Mets were able to fend off the AAA Padres. With a bunch of young kids from AA Binghamton (on Sesame Street Day at Shea, no less!) providing many of the non-Santana pre-ninth inning highlights.

Have I said enough that I’m in love with Daniel Murphy? I’m in love with him. There, I said it. Feels good.

Now Duaner and Scott, you owe Johan a steak.

Oh, there’s also this:

For some reason, American Idol winner David Cook and one of the losers Carly Smithson were in attendance. I don’t know why, but I hope neither sang the national anthem. It would’ve been way yowly.

no closer? *cues up yakety sax*

August 6, 2008

Oh, Heilman. Heilman, buddy. I wonder if you’re being trotted out there to no doubt fail as penance for some assorted undisclosed crimes against humanity that are only privy to the Mets front office and coaching staff. NO ONE wants to see you in a close situation anymore, and walking the lead-off batter on four pitches certainly won’t help your cause with the fans. A three-run homer to a man named Jody sucks too, but that kind of thing has come to be part and parcel to a Heilman appearance.

Certainly Heilman should have had a better fate had Argenis Reyes actually tried for that bloop single, and then later turned a coulda-woulda-shoulda double play, but a batter later we saw a four-run belt-loosening fresh-glass-of-water-ahhhh lead turn into a rocking-in-the-fetal-position one-run nailbiter. Thankfully Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweis got the final two outs, Show earning the save and saying, “Me getting a save is about as much of a highlight as I ate the 1,000th cheesesteak served in the away clubhouse in Philadelphia this year. That’s about what it’s like. Right guy in the right place. Lucky.” That’s pretty good, Schoeny, especially considering your post-game interview with Ed Coleman was about the most incoherent, mumbled, pause-filled atrocity I’ve heard from an athlete in quite some time.

Not that it matters, but I also got a nice mild vindication for my previous post, where I stated that I was excited to see what these young kids could do for the team. Not that I think they’re the answer, certainly–way too early for that–but as a fan I can’t help but be sucked in by young blood. Daniel Murphy not only continued his Endy impersonation but also rapped a double for his first Major League RBI. He also worked two walks, which is probably even more impressive. Previous to that, Argenis Reyes had also worked a walk to get the rally started. Nick “I only get a hit every coupla weeks” Evans also hit a double, and two errors allowed Beltran to score what turned out to be the pivotal run. Now, if only we’d seen Eddie Kunz in the ninth, then the rooks would’ve been all accounted for (I’m not counting Carlos Muniz, because boy has he been lousy lately). It would have been nice for Kunz to make his first appearance at Shea, especially afforded a four-run lead; if he got in trouble then give him the quick hook. He certainly couldn’t have done worse than Heilman.

Lost amid the Benny Hill bullpen was a nice performance by Mike Pelfrey, who worked 6 2/3 for his team-leading 10th win, as well as a perfect 1 1/3 by Pedro Feliciano, probably the best I’ve seen him all season. Pelf and Pedro deserve kudos for theoretically giving the bullpen some rest, before Heilman went up there and gave a man named Jody a marshmallow while singing “Kumbaya.”

Oh, and there’s this:


Where the hell would the Mets be without Fernando Tatis? That’s not rhetorical, either; Howie Rose asked the same question last night, and if you think to the troubles the Mets have had both in the outfield and with their offense (the first, oh, five innings last night were downright anorexic), Fernando continues to show us his Tatis, hitting game-changing homers or coming up with clutch RBIs exactly when the Mets need them most. I am unable to recall how many times this season Tatis has been the hero of the game, because every few days or so it seems he’s the one–not Beltran, not Reyes, not Wright; sometimes Delgado–who’s making the big play.

I hope the man never stops drinking his Gatorade.

watching the future

August 4, 2008

With the horrendous 1-5 road trip the Mets just finished, a trip to the DL by John Maine and a possible one to follow for Billy Wagner (following a spectacularly bad performance on Saturday), there’s not much to be excited by in Metville these days, or so you would think judging by the doomsday reports spewing forth by media and fandom alike.

It’s been a terrible week, to be sure, a week that would’ve been tolerable and possibly quite good if only there wasn’t the requisite every-coupla-weeks implosion by the bullpen as well as the firing-on-one-cylinder (and that’s being generous) Mets offense. This team has been a rollercoaster all season, and the highs of the ten-game winning streak (hell, all of July, really) has now ebbed to a current four-game losing streak, including a three in a row to the Astros, a team that is not particularly all that impressive. Back during the doldrums of Willie’s last days, I yearned for some new blood, saying I’d rather see some scrubs and youngsters brought up to play with some hunger and fight than a group of talented multimillionaires play lazily and uninspired. If my team has to lose, I’d rather the former.

It’s the beginning of August, and the Mets are three games behind a Philly team whose lily looks less gilded than it did a year ago (as well as half a game behind the terrifyingly mystifyingly tough Florida Marlins). The Mets have made up ground thanks to some also-rans like Fernando Tatis, the re-emergence of Carlos Delgado, and young guns like Mike Pelfrey living up to their potential. It may seem like an inopportune time, but the increased play of some new blood–Nick Evans, Argenis Reyes, and this weekend’s call ups of Daniel Murphy and Eddie Kunz (studly, the both of them)–provided some excitement for this fan during the weekend, especially considering the way the overall games went. Small pleasures, I know, but Murphy’s Endy impersonation and Kunz working through jitters for a scoreless inning were appreciated not just as additions to this current roster but as an appetizer for what’s to come. I’m not worried about this team simply because of where they stand with two months left, doing much of it with frequent flier miles to the DL, and because, well, if 2008 isn’t meant to be then it isn’t meant to be (and with the way things have gone this season, I wouldn’t be surprised either way). But to see what we may have in store for the future right now (and possibly the near future, as Omar has hinted possible call-ups for Jonathon Niese and Fernando Martinez as well) is a pretty little silver lining, a nice carrot to keep us going, and some other lame metaphor in contrast to an otherwise lousy week of baseball.