Well, I just got back from Shea stadium and although I am disappointed of course that the Mets lost, 9-0, I was very pleased with the game. I don’t at all agree with the fans who were discouraged by the Mets’ performance. I saw a lot of very hopeful and encouraging signs of the revival of the team. They are waking up and they are finally emerging from their doldrums.
I was most impressed, first of all, by their aggressiveness at the plate. They didn’t let the bats rest on their shoulders. Although they were facing Johan Santana, possibly the best pitcher in baseball, they refused to be intimidated. They came out swinging. And they made contact. Santana could only manage one strikeout all evening. How often do you see a team strike out only once in the course of a full nine-inning game? They swung and they made contact. They kept the ball in play. I noted that several of the balls they hit to the outfield would have been doubles or triples if they hadn’t been caught.
The Mets were also aggressive from a defensive standpoint. They didn’t get out of the way when balls were hit to them. They fielded the balls and threw them. Would you rather have a team that didn’t do this? Sometimes, when you are being aggressive, you will throw balls too hard, or you don’t field them properly. But making errors of this kind can sometimes be simply a sign of aggressive enthusiasm, of too much energy, of too much grit. My feeling is that it is better to see such aggressiveness than to see none. Once the Mets learn how to control their aggressiveness, the rest of the league had better watch out!
Some of the callers on the radio suggested that the Mets gave up completely after they fell five runs behind. I didn’t see any sign of this. I didn’t see any evidence that any of the Mets had gone home. They stayed to the end and they came to the plate as scheduled, and there were nine Mets on the field every time the Twins came up. I was there. I saw this myself. I am confident that, to the very end, the Mets fully expected that they would be able to win the game if they ended up scoring more runs than the Twins.
I stayed to the end of the game. I felt that it was the least they deserved.