Leaving aside the question of the health of Jonathon Niese‘s left shoulder, the Mets have had a pretty good week. Kirk Nieuwenhuis‘ walk-off home run on Sunday, three wins out of five games in Atlanta, Zack Wheeler‘s debut, Matt Harvey’s dominance… even a win tonight to open a weekend series in Philadelphia.
But it didn’t really seem like a game the Mets would win at first. Jeremy Hefner gave up three hits and two runs in span of five pitches during the second inning, and Daniel Murphy made a fielding error that allowed a third run to score and momentarily led me to wish for Jordany Valdespin to get more playing time.
Meanwhile, the Mets wouldn’t get their first hit until the fourth inning, and it seemed like they were going to waste a fifth inning scoring opportunity until Eric Young Jr. delivered a two-run single to tie the game.
And that’s where things turned around. Hefner would not allow any more runs to score, even as he scattered 10 hits over six innings, and the bullpen continued its recent string of brilliance.
The real surprise of the night was Juan Lagares. He made a few nice fielding plays, but we more or less expect that now. He also had three hits and drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run. Hopefully Terry Collins will continue to play him, but I expect the Mets manager will sit him on the bench tomorrow and play Nieuwenhuis against the right-handed starter.
I do feel better about the Mets now than I did last week, and it has little to do with Wheeler’s arrival. The odds may against them, but they’ve started to show that the game isn’t over just because they fall behind by a couple of runs. That makes for a much more watchable team.
Also, Cole Hamels is now 2-11. That is all.